15 December 2010, 10:00 am
Health: Working It Out
This post was submitted by 'Stine
Hey guys! So I fell off the universe for a while and into a black hole of awesome and then not awesome and then some other stuff. But for now, I’m back! And, I joined a new gym! I’ve always been kind of gym-y. I like burning off anxiety, uncertainty, and lack of fullfillment in physical pursuits; it’s where I deposit the insanity.
Every gym has its own culture. I’ve been a boxer for the last few years, but my old gym stopped revving my engine, so it was time to evolve. The new gym is oriented towards a full spectrum of combat methodology and I am learning how to interact with the kung-fu respect culture that is prevalent there. It manifests in not wearing shoes into the gym proper, to slightly bowing before stepping on the mats, to making myself find a new sparring partner every class (faaawwwck talking to people), to learning the particular attack flurries utilized in this discipline.
At the gym I tend to be pretty single focus. I’m not there to make friends or flirt or even stare (I do a lot of wandering eye shenanigans in every other aspect of my life, but not at the gym). There is some butt to be kicked, and it’s my own (insert fierce gym intensity sounds here). If I find a conversation in the gym it likely is directly related to the activity at hand or an accident.
But as a queer female who looks, so I’ve been told, like ”you knew you were gay since you were 13,” I’m feeling a bit self conscious in the cramped locker room. Post workout I want to shed down to skin and re-layer fresh, especially for the now freezing treks home. Generally, I have pretty limited body shame. It’s not that I am exhibitionist (okay sometimes I kind of am), but I really generally don’t care about stripping off a sweaty sports bra and pulling on a t-shirt in front of a locker room audience. It’s a pretty functional thing; that’s what a locker room is for. Except now I’m the new lady on the block looking all super queer and I’m self conscious of being perceived as a creeper or provocateur. I only want to make people feel uncomfortable intentionally. Inflicting incidental discomfort as a result of my presence stings. I felt so off that last week I squeezed into the tiny bathroom stall to change, which is contrary to every ingrained gym going instinct I have.
This is all in my head right?
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