I’m all about 24 Hour Fitness now. I only take one class – Body Pump- eventually I’ll experiment with some other classes but for now I’m cool with Body Pump. I also do weights, hang out in the steam and sauna room and jacuzzi and I’ve even started swimming. Plus, I always run. I’m in love with the treadmill. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I genuinely enjoy running. I’ll spend the entire first hour of my workout on the treadmill – Running, power walking, increasing my incline, increasing my speed. Love it.
I listen to music while I run and it helps me tune everyone else out. I didn’t realize until recently that while I’m tuning other people out they’re noticing me. Not because my boobs are bouncing up and down ridiculously despite my sporting 2 (sometimes 3) sport bras, but because I’m a bigger girl and I’m sweating my balls off and I’m flipping running! For some reason it surprises people to see a girl like me, my size (not a flippin size 2!) running on the treadmill for an hour. I won’t be offended by it. I get it. It’s not something you see everyday. Even my own brother patted me on the back once while vacationing in Florida, and after going to the fitness center together, said, “I’m proud of you, Dawn. You don’t usually see a lot of Black women workout out as hard as you.” It stung that he said that. And I don’t know how much truth is really in those words considering all the times I’ve given the side eye to the skinny Black girls running around Los Angeles but I am starting to understand why people are taking notice.
Because I’m trying. And it shows.
An older man ran on the treadmill next to me today. He was old. Like 60s and he was totally in shape. I didn’t feel the need to say, “Good job old man! No heart attack for you any time soon!” but I was impressed with his stamina. You’re not going to care about the super buff, 20-something dude running his ass off for an hour straight because who flippin’ cares! You’re clearly in shape and perfect or whatever. But you will look twice at the 60 year old running, wrinkly skin flapping in the wind and a toothless smile on his face. It’s an accomplishment. You can’t help but feel happy for him- and I was. Actually, I felt slightly competitive toward him and pushed myself harder so I wouldn’t look like such a punk next to him. It might be silly to admit this but….shrugs….
When the man was done running he turned to me, gave me a thumbs up and said, “Good job! You’ve been on there a long time. Nice work!” Then he left. I finally let myself slow down, power walk for a bit and smiled.
Because everyone likes to get a pat on the back every now and again.
And honestly, it really doesn’t matter how anyone meant the potentially patronizing comment.
It only matters how I interpreted it.
Good job, indeed, Dawn 🙂