I’ve been going to the gym lately like a good girl. I enjoy it – ooh, the endorphin rush is really rather nice – and for a good 80% of the time I don’t even feel self conscious. Walking from the locker room to the water cooler (through the free weights section, lots of judgment) I feel self conscious, walking from the water cooler to the cross trainer I feel self conscious (no glasses = petrified I’m going to walk into someone), and walking back from whatever machine I used last to the locker room I feel (you guessed it) self conscious. But the rest of the time I don’t feel self conscious. Something to do with the fact that with no glasses on and my headphones in I’m in my own little bubble.
I only feel self conscious when I’m using one machine – the stomach curl/crunch thingy. It’s in the middle of a lovely semi-circle of other machines, all invariably used by big beefy toned men (who I can’t appreciate anyway because I haven’t got my glasses on). Then I have to use the machine on the lowest weight and can only manage 10 curls at a maximum before I stagger off in pain. Today I had to move the pin from the highest weight setting to the lowest. I could feel the scorn and derision in the gaze of those looking on.
I need a big flashing neon sign that says “Bad back! Stomach muscles surgically cut in two and not working any more!” so they know I’m not just a wimpy girl. On all the other machines I exhibit normal strength and prowess. It’s just that one I can’t do. And it’s just that one that is surrounded by all the others.
All I want for my birthday is a big, flashing, neon sign saying “I’m allowed to be weak on this one machine. And I should get points for trying”. But Moose says that’s a silly idea, and anyway, my birthday isn’t till September so I should be able to do at least 15 by then. She does have a point I guess, I mean – a big, flashing, neon sign. It’s hardly practical, it it?