I walked towards the building at 8:10 on a Monday morning with my friend and at first sight, it looked pretty normal. The red doors glistened with hope and optimism. The building stood tall and looked like other buildings on campus. The first set of doors was no obstacle but the second set is where the challenge began. You could hear the sounds and that gave me chills all over my body.
I said a silent prayer to myself and walked in with the fake confidence that I’ve learned to master when I walk in here. The fake confidence without which I would be an easy target. The sounds grew louder as I walked closer to the first site of dreadful activity and that’s when I saw them. It was the jocks.
The sounds grew louder and now were easily distinguishable. The loud rap music, the clink-clank of the equipment being used, and the vocalization of masculinity could be heard all through the building. The football team is in training in the weight room. Suddenly, I came to the rude realization that I don’t belong here. The gym is not made for people like me.
It’s not made for someone who doesn’t fit in. Literally!
The sound of the equipment grew louder as I made my way to the second floor. The second floor is filled with equipment that strikes fear in the hearts of many. You have your ellipticals, treadmills and bikes. But you also have the dreaded stairmaster. This monstrosity features a notoriously tough cardio workout that features an endless loop of stairs.
Now you might be thinking “Wow, Shobha! You’re exaggerating.” But bestie, I’m not.
Think back to your time on social media. Have you ever seen a video that pokes fun at a fat person working out? You must have. There is a big subculture of the internet that loves making fun of fat people working out. And, this scares me.
I am very scared of being the girl in the gym that everyone laughs at in the gym that has no idea how to work the equipment. The very environment of the gym scares me.
When I said I don’t fit in, I meant it.