27 Feb You own a fitness studio and you look like THAT?!
That was my first reaction to her comment.
“You own a fitness studio?!?!” *add look of shock here*
Yup, that’s how my encounter started with this seemingly nice lady. We were both in a lineup to pay for our purchases. She turned to me and said how much she liked my new plant. “Do you have a good spot for it in your house?” she politely asked.
“Oh it’s not for my house. I own a fitness studio and I love how plants add to the ambiance in there”.
And that’s when it happened.
“You own a fitness studio?!?!” she replied with utter disbelief in her voice. THEN, it got worse. To add just a little more insult to injury, she gave me the “look”, you know the one that goes up and down you?? Seriously, I’m not sure she could’ve looked more shocked had I told I was an alien.
I think it took a few minutes for me to process what had just happened. I was stunned. Then the cycle of emotions began: shock, disbelief and confusion. What could have gone through her mind when I said that I own a fitness studio?
Next came the doubt and embarrassment. Was it because I didn’t LOOK the part?? Maybe I wasn’t a very good representative for the studio? What SHOULD I look like??
Then the anger rolled in. I was seriously pissed at this lady. Who did she think she was making a comment like that?!?! This was a personal attack on my APPEARANCE!!! Who does that to a total stranger?!?!
I sat in my car, with my plant beside me for company, and had a good cry. It was like I needed the cry to cleanse me of all these negative thoughts. Slowly, I calmed down and began to remove the emotions. What was I supposed to learn from this experience? Was there a teachable moment in all of this?
So I dug deep and thought. Have I looked at someone and made a judgement about how they SHOULD look? Honestly, yes. Unfortunately, most of us have. Maybe we said something or maybe we just thought it. Either way, it happened.
To this day, I have no idea what this lady’s thoughts were behind her comment. It doesn’t really matter. But I would like to thank her. She taught me quite a bit with just that one sentence (well, and a “look”).
Thank you for helping me understand how words can hurt, even if that’s not the intention. It’s helped me to consider my own words BEFORE I speak.
Thank you for reminding me that it’s not how I look but how I FEEL. I’m healthier than I’ve even been and I feel strong. My extra lumps and bumps don’t take away from that. Your opinion of how I look doesn’t really matter.
And perhaps most of all, thank you for confirming that there NEEDS to exist a safe place, free of shame, judgement and societal expectations, where EVERYONE feels comfortable, supported and encouraged. Where they’re embraced for who they are, not how they look.
And that’s WHY I own a fitness studio.
Want to hear how I became the owner of a fitness studio? Read the remarkable story of how it all happened in my blog post here!
More posts are waiting for you on the Emerge blog!