Saturday, 31 March 2012

Fat Woman meets the fit kids

Fat Woman went to her third Boxercise class. Fat Woman is attending by special invitation of Personal Trainer. Fat Woman is accompanied by Tiny Friend. Tiny Friend is a much better gym buddy than Not Thin Friend. Not Thin Friend is late to classes and has a fairly high rate of absence. Always with an excuse of course, but Fat Woman has reached the stage where she prefers not to put her health in the hands of others. Tiny Friend is very keen and has got Fat Woman to purchase her new gloves and pads. Fat Woman is flattered that her eBay shopping skills are receiving the recognition they deserve.

Personal Trainer had said there were a lot of very fit regulars at the class. Fat Woman did not find that to be the case in her first two weeks. There seems to be a small knot of people who know each other from over the longer term but they all come sporadically. In each class there were only a couple of very fit people. The rest were beginners. Fat Woman is not very fit but she has been doing pad work with Personal Trainer for three months now and can punch hard and accurately. Fat Woman still has lots of room for improvement but she is not a total novice and she can keep up on the boxing.

This week there were several supposed "regulars" whom Fat Woman had not seen before. Fat Woman has been rather spoiled by the people she has met at the gym so far. To an extent this is because Fat Woman has been protected by Personal Trainer and Swimming Coach. When Personal Trainer or Swimming Coach introduces Fat Woman as someone who is worth talking to then people look at Fat Woman in that way. In Aquarobics all the ladies are very friendly, mostly because they are older and more secure.

In the competitive environment of Boxercise (or BoxFit as Personal Trainer likes to call it) Fat Woman has been exposed to a new type of person. Fat Woman is not competitive in situations where she has no chance of winning, but she enjoys pushing herself to keep up. Fat Woman is no threat to anyone in situations where she is outclassed and in fact gets a lot out of them. Fat Woman has said before that she doesn't mind being patronised by knowledgeable people. Fat Woman is prepared to learn from anyone who is about to share knowledge. Genuinely accomplished people are a pleasure to learn from.

In Boxercise class Fat Woman found herself with some fit, knowledgeable people. Fat Woman also found out there were some people who weren't so knowledgeable. Unfortunately these people were unaware of this fact. They were very obviously comfortable with their status as "regulars". Fat Woman was particularly unimpressed with one young lady who appeared to make the classic mistake that a fat woman is lazy and stupid. Fat Woman can live with such assumptions, allowing them to change over time as people realise that Fat Woman is actually brilliant and quick. Fat Woman gets particularly irritated by people who project that they think they are superior to Fat Woman but who actually aren't as good as they think they are. Fat Woman thinks that if you are going to patronise her about how to do a combination you really ought to be able to do your half correctly. Fat Woman also thinks that if you are going to rush through an exercise at speed banging hard into someone else should make you realise you aren't doing it as well as you think you are. Fat Woman is firmly of the opinion that once is a mistake but twice is deliberate or selfish sloppiness and it should make you doubly apologetic.

Personal Trainer did not miss any of these interactions and told Fat Woman to "punch it out". Fat Woman smiled sweetly and kept her further opinions to herself. Fat Woman has resolved not to bitch about this incident to Personal Trainer but instead to keep working. Fat Woman is not confident that she could explain the flash of prejudice that she sees in the eyes of some people. In other areas of life when some thinks Fat Woman is sub-human, somehow worth less, they realise their mistake within minutes. In an environment where people are measuring physical fitness on a limited axis Fat Woman is admittedly near the bottom of the food chain.

Something has changed inside Fat Woman recently. Fat Woman feels determined and empowered. Fat Woman is going to eat her way up the food chain.

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