Today I did something that I’ve never done before, and some will think I’m silly for seeing it as an accomplishment, but for me, it is.
I went to the gym by myself.
As I’m really struggling with my joints recently I’m going to try and do more gentle exercise, such as yoga, pilates and swimming. But I’ve also found that even sitting in the sauna helps wonders with my joints, so I can’t wait to go away in the summer as hopefully I’ll be pain free in the heat!
I didn’t manage to do many lengths, because when I stretch out as I swim it feels like Sally is ripping away from my skin so when that got too uncomfortable I went and sat in the sauna for a while. All was going well till Sally decided to say hi to the 6 other people sat in there and I got too embarrassed and left. By this point though, I was a healthy shade of tomato and was walking a lot more easily than I was beforehand so I didn’t mind too much.
I’ve only ever been to the gym before with Hannah and Naomi. They both know about my bag (obviously) and have seen it and been there when Sally gets a bit vocal and it doesn’t bother them, and I know if anyone were to stare or say something, they’d step in and say something back which I’m not brave enough to do. And although I don’t mind doing stuff, like swimming, my bag and what others think still really bothers me.
When I come out the pool I always dry my bag before I get dressed because otherwise I find I can get sores where the damp bag sits flush with my skin under my clothes. Hannah and Nai think nothing of it because they see me do it all the time. but today I was alone, and the changing room was full of old ladies (I’m talking 70 – 80 year olds). As I’d finished drying my bag, I walked round the corner and continued to get ready when I heard them talking about me
“oooh she’s very young to have a bag, that red head round there. I wonder why she’s got it the poor thing, such a shame her being so young and all.”
Some would say I’m just being paranoid and they may not be talking about me. But being the only redhead in the changing rooms, and the only one with a bag, it was fairly obvious it was in fact me they were having a chin wag about.
This actually upset me more than I thought it would. Yes I’m very young, and yes I still hate the fact that I have a bag, but I can’t change that and I’m doing my best to live life to the fullest extent I can, whilst trying not to hate myself too much. So comments like this, really get me down. Why couldn’t they have waited till I’d left the changing room?
Comments like this make me more paranoid about my bag, the noises it makes and the stares I get. I know I shouldn’t be worried or conscious about it, as it saved my life. But how can you not be conscious about something you hate so much when you are met with comments like that?
But nonetheless, I did it. I went swimming by myself and I’m proud of myself for doing so. And also for not breaking down in tears when I heard the old ladies gossiping about me, because that’s all I wanted to do. Just cry.