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April 13, 2005

It's Not That Difficult

I went to work out at Curves yesterday. Although it is more comfortable than the typical gym because it is all women, there is still a sense of tension in the room. There are women that look like they've just stepped out of a magazine and there are women that you wonder how they walked inside. There are college students, business women, mothers and retired women.

When in the circle, you are often facing other people. Each person thinking their own thing - what should I make for dinner, I still have to stop by..., gotta pick up the kids, this sucks, ouch, am I ever going to lose this weight, I shouldn't have had that brownie earlier, am I doing this machine right, I can't wait to fit into that dress.

But you wonder what other people think of you. You look up, accidentally make eye contact, do the half-closed mouth smile thing and quickly look down. You don't want anyone to think you were starring. Exercising can be such a vulnerable thing. We are all self conscious about something.

Yesterday, everything was the same. Each person on their station , waiting 30 seconds to switch to the next station. Some women can be intimidating doing extra things in odd positions that you just don't know how to do. Should I know that? Should I be doing that? Other women do their station with ease - as if it were second nature.

I start on my usual machine and gradually speed up to get my heart rate up. At about my 4th machine, I see this shorter woman, fairly large, come in a black gym pants, a melon colored shirt and wearing a matching black workout jacket. I'm already dripping sweat in my capri pants and t-shirt - she's going to die in that!

After noticing it's warm, she removes her jacket, folds it neatly and places it in her cubby. She starts walking in place at one of the recovery stations across from me, she looks at me, smiles, and says "hey, your pants look like my pants except mine only have one stripe and yours has two". I agree and respond that they are popular. Now, realizing she has a mental handicap. She then continues to tell me about her matching jacket and how she got them. The whole time, she's smiling through her workout - giving it all she has - really working hard at each station.

She is then across from another woman, one of the women that looks like she just walked out of a magazine. The woman that I didn't want to make eye contact with - like I wasn't worthy of her acknowledgement.

She talks to the model about her pants too, how they both have similar pants. I was just waiting for the model to be rude - just waiting. The model smiles and says she loves the girl's pants and that yes, they are similar.

Everyone goes back to their own worlds, listening to the sped up pop music, switching stations every 30 seconds. And the girl is smiling the whole time - like she's at an amusement park.

Each time we cross paths, she makes eye contact and smiles. She doesn't turn away. She was having a blast being around other women, getting to work out and listen to music. She was having so much fun. She made it look so simple.

And that's when I figured it out. We make things way too difficult, with our worries, excuses, complaints, opinions and our own self doubt. We take something this girl probably looks forward to going to everyday, and we make it difficult.

I ended up doing an extra round yesterday - just because I could. It really just wasn't that difficult.

Posted by Sissy at April 13, 2005 03:47 PM