Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Totally Inappropriate

I've been working out since I was 15.  When I began, it was at my high school and the only opening they had was with all the football players.  The class was filled with about 25 guys totally juiced up with natural testosterone and me with two other girls.  This was not your typical weight lifting class.  The beauty of it, though, was the fact that the guys in the class took their lifting very serious.  Loved that.  So, at the time, I learned along with my small group of girls how to push it hard.  Since the weight lifting coach was also the football coach, there was no room for a bunch of pussies.  The one day we had our "max" day was where we would lift once as heavy as we could with perfect form.  It also included max pull-ups, dips, bench press, etc.  I remember benching my own weight and having 8 guys  around me saying, "GO! GO! GO! DO IT!! PUSH THROUGH IT!!!"  It was rad.  I was one of them.  I also held the record for most dips for the school ever.  (I had freaky big triceps).  Again, I had the encouragement behind me the whole time.

Well, since those glory days of radness in high school and true support of my friends (guys and girls) who had the same goals - staying fit and getting stronger - I've continued that path ever since.  While I've always worked out since, the last 2-3 weeks I've decided to really physically push myself by incorporating more cardio, lifting heavier, and trying out new things I've never done before.  I've stepped it up a bit.  Lifting, and lifting heavy, is a bit of therapy and it is something I can see if I'm just kidding myself or if I'm truly giving it my all.  I know I can curl the 15s with ease and perfect form, but can I push it up to the 17.5s?  Perhaps the 20s?  I'll only know if I dig deep beyond my tiredness and desire to simply wrap it up and fucking go for it.  And I do.  I'll throw extra plates on when benching, I'll do Burpees and incorporate a push-up in the process making it more difficult, I'll make it a daily regiment to do the kettle bell swing to keep my butt tight, lower back strong, and shoulders defined.  I'm taking care of ME.  I need this right now because it is a part of my life that I absolutely love and am passionate about.

I've never competed, but the thought enters my mind from time to time.  Way too late for the Emerald Cup, but maybe another show.  The men and women who compete have a grueling regiment that they have to do every day.  It includes crazy workouts, incredible dieting, and ridiculous amounts of water and protein and vitamins.  It is a lifestyle I am quite familiar with whether I participated on stage or not...I have lived it.  Part of living it is looking for and at the physical results.

I know I now live in a very conservative town...but c'mon.  I've been working hard enough to feel comfortable to wear a sports bra as my top to be able to see the results with my abs, obliques, and back.  I wore it today.  I have three others - black, red, white.  I'm not stupid.  The white one is too much boobage and it truly isn't serving the purpose of wearing a sports bra anyway.  I'd be too busy looking at my own boobs making sure I didn't have a wardrobe malfunction.  However, the other ones I have, I have worn for quite some time.  Again, the purpose is to see what the hell I'm doing and if it is working.  I'm not one to walk into the locker room and pull up my shirt and pose in front of the mirror. But again, in the bodybuilding world it isn't unheard of for a guy to pull his shorts up as high as they'll go to see how shredded their quads are, take off their tank tops to see their pecs, deltoids, abs, etc.  While others would view it as odd...it is a fucking sport!  I'm not 100% sure that I wouldn't compete, but I'm going to have my body in rockin' shape for this spring and summer, dammit.  I need that for me.

So...I wore a black sports bra today and workout pants.  I worked my ass off today.  I needed to get things out of my system and it came in the form of pushing myself hard and watching as my abs got tighter and tighter.  Tight abs on a chick are rad, I think!  So, during my workout that honestly, was NO DIFFERENT than any other as far as interactions with people and the intensity level I was going...I was suddenly approached by a Gold's employee.  I knew exactly what he was going to say and where it was coming from.  "We've been receiving some complaints about your attire and you need to know the dress code is t-shirts.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad news."  And he was sincere, but probably more uncomfortable when I asked, "Who has been complaining?  Men or women?"  "Women."  My response was, "Of course it is.  Whatever."

I worked out at my old gym constantly in sports bras/tops all the time.  The most shit I'd ever get was being told, "Kathy, are you just walking around flexing?  You look stupid." (Thanks, Gavin.)  But that's it!  NEVER did I encounter issues with other women.  Several others wore similar things, too.  I'd never experienced cattiness from women.  And here's my thought, right or wrong.  Keep in mind...if you don't like what I'm about to say, sorry.  You chose to read this after reading the disclaimer.  If you're unsure, then go back and read it again:

Why on earth would I wear that?  BECAUSE I CAN AND I EARNED IT!!!  The fact that a handful of women saw me working out and decided it was "inappropriate" and "distracting", then they don't know what the hell they are doing or why they're there.  "Oh my god, look at what she's wearing.  Jesus, she's doing an exercise that is so difficult to do and wearing that?!!  I can't even sit on this machine I'm not even using any longer.  She makes me sick.  I feel it is my civil duty to complain about her top!"  When I workout there, I don't shake my ass.  I don't shimmy my shoulders to make my boobs bounce around.  I NEVER stretch or do exercises that are where I'm horribly on display if anything I'm doing could be looked at as being even remotely provocative.  That just simply isn't my style.

Did it make those women feel better to tattle on my top?  Did it improve their workout skills?  Did it make it so their difficult areas were suddenly gone?  If I worked out in a bikini, I could see how that might be inappropriate and distracting.  Duh.  However, the clothes I wore were specifically developed for what I was doing!!  Otherwise, what's the god damn point that Nike, Reebok, REI, Adidas, Russel, or any other athletic company would make these?  Let's see what makes sense here...


EXACTLY what I wore today, only the top was black.

Normal workout attire...why else is it made?

Um...uh uh.

No, no, no.


So, there it is.  Not everyone is built the same way and not everyone can wear the same clothes, but give me a damn break.  If these women worked out at my gym, do I get to say something to the front desk about how my eyes are burning?  Sure I can.  But would I?  Hell no!!!  They are comfortable in what they are wearing...so they are left alone.  As I should be, too!  Whatever...gonna buy a few sheer tank tops to go over my sports bra tops.  They say one word...I just might flip out.  And by flip out, I mean I'll do cartwheels all the way from one side of the gym to the other...then they can complain about how I'm "distracting" or acting "inappropriate".

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