Seen At My Gym

Much as I love my old gym with its rooftop pool, gleaming chrome, and banks of state of the art machines, I’ve made the switch to a women’s only gym.

This is not a statement about how much I like/dislike the company of men.

This is nothing more than a self-preservation.

I need a gym that draws me too it, one that gets me, one where I don’t need to polish my carapace before I walk through it’s pristine glass doors–one where I know the kindness is real.

I’ve finally found it.

My new gym is simple and it is clean.

It has no windows to the outside world. No one stares in.

It has some machines and many light free weights suitable for women.

There is no bad smell.

No condensation from sweat clings to its mirrors, and in most places, I’m not forced to look at my reflection.

In yoga class, teachers are kind, students are non-competitive and friendly. Yesterday, an Indian woman I didn’t know brought me a roller, offering it to me with gentle ceremony. I could sense my newness and uncertainty showed, was accepted.

I am new, but welcome, like I came through the door and someone brought me tea without being asked, like my human needs were anticipated by women who understood.

I don’t need fancy surroundings.

I don’t need faux enthusiasm for my middle-aged condition.

I could bask in this nonjudgmental haven.





6 Replies to “Seen At My Gym”

  1. I love this. I want to find a place like that in my area. The yoga places I’ve gone to are like that, but the gyms? Hmm…. So glad you found a welcoming, nonjudgmental, encouraging place!

  2. How right you are. I started along this path long ago, by attending one of the few remaining all-women colleges in the US (Simmons College in Boston). Why? Maybe because I was small and skinny and hated being picked on by boys, especially that one called Tony who always called me a “blue-eyed cow” when I frequently raised my hand with the correct answer. (Blue-eyed cow? I weighed 79 lbs. Go figure.) But I always disliked “boy cooties.” And I CERTAINLY don’t want to share an exercise machine with them, ugh! You are doing the right thing, Tonia. There is a good reason for separating the sexes in certain situations. And that reason is cooties.

  3. Once I get settled in St. Charles, I hope to make myself at home in a similar environment. For now, I sit on the couch, and make multiple trips up and down our stairs, and watch my arm muscles atrophy. 😉 For now, I’m trying to score a great deal on a car so I can GET to a gym, so mostly, I’m just couch surfing, and burning about 3 calories a day with that mind-numbing activity. Can you see why I’m staying away from the scales?

    1. Denise, you ARE really good at change. I know that you will master what is on your plate, and even if there is a little more “couch” than “crunch” in your daily exercise routine at the moment, I’m betting you’ll have this well in hand soon. You are a disciplined woman. Thanks for reading. Can’t wait to visit.

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