Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Becoming invisible!

She was there tonight just two steps in front of me in the fitness room at the Y.  We were both there for the step sculpt class and we had both been there before.  I was one of the members working hard, breathing hard, sweating.  I had on my favorite short sleeve hot pink Under Armor shirt and my black workout pants and my dark gray tennis shoes with the new hot pink shoe laces which were purchased online to support a teenage girl fighting breast cancer; I was bright, hard to miss.  She had on a skin tight light blue tank top and similarly fitted black workout pants. She was average in size and she was directly in front of the instructor. Apparently she saw nothing wrong with doing her own thing.  I watched her as we went from move to move, all of us, except her, stepping up and down on the step while doing endless reps of rows, delts and biceps with hand weights.  She would work a while, weightless, and then get a drink and stand admiring herself in the mirror for several minutes as we worked on.  I never saw her break a sweat. I did see her comb her hair and put it back into the already neat ponytail it started in.  If we were doing 20 repetitions she would stop at 12.  If she didn't like the instructors call she would either look in the mirror or do what ever exercise she felt like doing which is not only distracting to the instructor but just plain rude when you are in the front row.  We all worked on and we worked hard, or most of us did.  Arms and legs were shaking, shirts were wet with perspiration, and muscles were exhausted when we finished.  Everyone stayed until the class ended.  Not much talking went on; we were working hard to breathe and ignore the burn in our muscles.

The cool down and stretching finally arrived and this is when I realized I had worked so hard I had become invisible.  Her comment might have gone unnoticed by me on any other day but for some reason today I heard her loud and clear, "I really hate to see women with all of that sagging skin hanging from their arms!  Why don't they just cut it off?  Don't they know how gross they look?"  I am mad, furious, but I am also silent.  Did she not see me?  How could she have missed me in that hot pink shirt?  She doesn't know a thing about me or the journey I have taken to get those baggy arms.  Is she so insensitive to those around her and so wrapped up in herself that she feels it is socially acceptable to make not only a statement but such a judgement?  I am getting madder but I remain silent.  I pray she never comes to the water aerobic class I teach because she will find out not only do I have saggy baggy arms but thighs as well.  My brain is shouting say something to her! Don't let her get away with such an insensitive comment.  Tell her you could choose to have surgery but why should you change something that works.  Tell her, tell her, tell her...

I left the Y, mad, fighting tears for all of the others whose arms sag, whose bodies do not meet her expectations but I WILL NOT apologize for my saggy, baggy arms and thighs.  I FOUGHT too hard to get them.  Next time I will not be silent.  Next time I will tell her and maybe, just maybe I will not be invisible when she sees me again.


  1. "I see ignorant people everywhere, only they don't know they're ignorant". Maybe someone should make a comment about people that can't follow instruction.

  2. I'll come join you, batwings, jelly rolls and all. We'll give Miss Thang a "thang" or two to think about. She better hope karma's not taking notes..... ya know? Keep rockin' Lynn!!!