Some people like to tear others down in order to make themselves feel better, and today I had the misfortune of being someone’s target.
I’ve recounted this story so many times since it happened that I’m getting sick of it, so the shortened version is that an old guy at the gym felt that he needed to give me advice on the way I was working out, and when he asked if I wanted it and I said no, he called me ‘sweetheart’ and gave me the advice anyway, despite my protests. This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this confrontation at the gym, and the first time was probably even with the same guy, unfortunately.
I have spent a lot of time making myself feel comfortable and safe while working out. Going to the gym is something I look forward to three times a week because I’ve developed a great routine that I am comfortable with. To have all of that challenged is incredibly upsetting for me. I already have issues with confidence and self-esteem, and when a stranger twice my age feels the need to interrupt my workout to let me know that I am somehow less-than, it makes me angry but it’s also as if all of my insecurities are have been realized. I listen to music when I workout because I am getting into the zone. I’m focused, driven, and I’m not leaving until I’m finished.
I used to be so insecure about working out because I wondered what everyone else at the gym must have thought about me; I was so sure they were all watching and laughing at me. This man was watching me workout for however long, waiting until the perfect moment to step in and take me down a peg. Would he have said anything if I was working out with someone else? I doubt it. He thought I would be an easy target, and he was wrong because I am strong. I stuck up for myself, even though my self-esteem took a blow. It’s so frustrating that some men feel so entitled to share their opinion/advice/whatever with women that they don’t even hear when it’s not wanted.
Tomorrow I’m going back to the gym and I’m not going to be afraid. I know which workouts are right for me, and I will not let some skeevy old guy prey on my vulnerability. Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I am weak or incapable of exercising without injury.