|Welcome to the gun show, suckers.|
Fortunately, I usually get one of the benches on the end of the row. Yesterday was no different. I picked the bench on the end. I selected a couple of sets of weights and put them by the bench. I commenced doing my sets. I stand to do the bicep curls, lateral raises, shoulder presses, etc. I sit on the bench while I do the triceps extensions, bench presses, etc. I do push ups, squats and lunges on the floor next to the bench. I repeat this three times. You get the drift.
In no way am I any different than the long row of big guys doing their exercises next to and on their benches. And mind you, mixed among the big guys are also empty benches. So there I was, completely minding my own business, trying to get my three sets out of the way so I could get the hell out of the free weight area as fast as humanly possible because I'm not entirely comfortable there.
And then some dude walks up to me.
"Are you using this bench?" he points at the bench that I am standing next to, on top of which rest my weights and my warm-up jacket.
"Yes," I say and smile. He gives me a disgusted look.
"I mean, are you using it for anything other than putting your weights on?" he is snide and looks at me as if I'm some addle-minded chick who doesn't know what I'm doing. What the hell, I think. Can't he see how ripped I am?
"I'm doing presses on it!" I say and smile, even though inside I feel like ripping into to him. He gives me another disgusted look and then marches off to another area of the gym. I have no idea why he's so pissed and I have no idea why he asked me of all the people in the long row of benches. Was it because I was the only woman? And why didn't he simply go to one of the empty benches?
I continue doing my exercises, but while I do, I feel myself getting madder and madder. I feel regret at covering up my anger with false joviality and friendliness. I mean, I couldn't even be curt and short with this guy. I covered it up with a smile and a friendly tone of voice. I suddenly realize that I am angry at myself.
I'm mad at myself for being mad in the first place. Why do I have such big emotions over such small stuff? And then I get mad at myself for faking being pleasant and nice to this guy when clearly he's an asshole.
So I'm torn.
Should I have put this guy in his place and shown him that it's not nice to pick on the only girl? Should I have pointed out that there were other empty benches for him to use? Should I have not felt offended to be singled out like that in the first place?
I mean, maybe he's writing his own blog post right now about how some dumb chick wasn't even using her bench other than to put her weights on it and it was so rude of her not to let him use it. Maybe he didn't want to work amongst the big burly guys either?
I know there's always another side to things, another perspective. But I'm still pissed.
I asked my therapist about it and she pointed out that it's not a problem that I have these emotions. It's a problem that these emotions feel so big and that I feel the need to conceal them. So in that regard, this little incident is useful. It reminds me that I still have some work to do on Big Emotions.
I'm not a Buddha quite yet. At least not at the gym.