It’s that time again. The time we talk about the assumptions people make when you have a particular sort of body. Now me, my body is fat and a wee bit muscley as well. I’m almost 6ft tall, and you guys know that I am moving on. Scene set as they say.

 

One morning I was heading to the gym. Alone for once. It was the weekend. I planned to put in at least half an hour on the treadmill and see how I felt. So I started warming up then started my running intervals working up to my peak speed for 2-minute bursts. Puffed but making it. GO ME, you know.

Into the virtually empty gym comes one of the trainers. Not one of the trainers I’ve had that much to do with but I’d seen her around. You know, the friendly nod as we come and go. So, I kicked into another running interval, and she walks past and stops as if to say something. I smile through deep breaths. Niceties continued, you know?

Oh, look at you, running! She says.

In a tone that should be in the dictionary under patronising and gives me two thumbs up. I don’t say anything, I’m too busy breathing, but my brain goes to town. I look for more meaning and less in what she said. I ponder (quickly) if she was just nervously making conversation.

While on the outside, I just gave her a look designed to say ‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME, LADY?’ and kept on running. In some ways, I’m thankful I didn’t have the breath to say all the things running through my head. Mostly I wanted to say; you work in a GYM, surely you know that people come in all shapes and sizes and that shape or size doesn’t always determine ability.

After all my lanky, skinny cousin can squat weights like no one’s business, my sister does sit-ups like there’s no tomorrow. And my rather large, sometimes chubby brother runs up to 10km a couple of times a week. Different bodies, different abilities and none of them would fit the ‘ideal’ fit person body type.

 

Bitch, please.