I had put in a really hard workout. I’d gone 4.5 kilometers on the ergometer at a resistance level of 18 which was a new personal best for me. I was bathed in sweat from that but then I moved to the second part of my workout, the cable machine. I spend about 45 minutes on the machine doing a variety of different exercises. I enjoy this part because, unlike the ergometer, I change exercises every few minutes.

The last exercise I do is the only one I need to call for help from the staff. When I started I had to call them 4 or 5 times over the workout because I didn’t have the flexibility to move some of the settings when the grips were too high or too low. Now it’s pretty much just the once I need help. The staff are young and eager to help so it’s no problem when I call them. I had expected, when I first came, a bit of resentment because of the help I needed but I met none. NONE.

But the last exercise I need the cable machine set on the highest notch and the long bar placed on the clips on each side. I like this exercise even though it’s hard to do. I have to reach very high, which pulls me as upright as I can be. It seems to straighten my back and set my shoulders exactly right. I do thirty reps pulling the bar down to under my chin. Then I roll back and grab the bar, lean back, and do another 30.

I was on the last thirty. I was feeling good and powerful and healthy. When doing these exercises I close my eyes so as not to be distracted as I count each movement up to 30. I was at 26, I was almost done. I was flooded with feeling good about the routine that day and the new personal best on the ergometer, when I was spoken to … “excuse me …”

Opening my eyes I saw a woman, my age, standing and looking at me. I asked her what was up and she told me that my exercise shirt had rolled up and needed to be pulled down so people couldn’t see my belly. Let’s be clear here, nothing was exposed. My shirt had rolled up but it wasn’t at the top of my pants, I was completely covered. But somehow my shirt needed to be pulled down to cover something that would be seen just as easily if my shirt as down.

“I knew you’d want to know,” she said.

“I didn’t, I was working out and focused on that.”

“Well, sorry,” she said.

And she was offended.

AND SHE WAS OFFENDED.

I don’t have the right to be offended at the interruption of my life by a stranger. I don’t have the right to a single moments privacy in a public forum. I don’t have the right to simple be left alone.

But she has the right to be OFFENDED.

Why is it that our lives are there to be commented on??

Why is our gratitude an expectation??

You understand, she spoke to me about my body and that’s okay? Because I’m disabled. Because I’m fat?

And she was OFFENDED.

WT Actual F

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