Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Try Not to Get too Obsessed With...

I try not to be the kind of gal who gets too obsessed with the "I'm getting older" trip, but sometimes the observations of young vs. old are simply too fascinating, not to mention like, totally in your face, ok? To see oneself as in days bygone (b'george!) is one thing, but I'm interested in taking the idea a step further. Here's an example from my evening to illustrate the thought.

But first, in keeping with the spirit of my verbal stories (re: disastrous!), I will first go on a tangent.

*Ok, so the gym I was going to in Cannon Beach closed in August because the place was way "in the red" as they say, so I didn't mope for more than a minute, but I also started to go nuts getting creative with trail runs and beach jaunts and yoga in a cottage with a ceiling so short I touch it with my upstretched arms. But...I totally sprained my left big toe back in March and it never healed properly so I've been going to a physical therapist (yes, for my toe...and he doesn't even make fun of me!) who said I should lay off the back-and-forth motions with said toe, which means I shouldn't really be pounding the 'ol toe on an uneven trail for a few weeks. So...I broke down and got a one-month membership to the gym in Seaside, the town one over from Cannon Beach; the town I refer to as Meth Village.

To return. I saw this little girl at the gym today on my way to spin class...

*'s just that I'm sure you're wondering what I'm doing in a spin class. I don't know, it sounded like a fun-yet-challenging activity that wouldn't involve my toe too much...and I ate a LOT of cheese last weekend so I needed to do something about that. I'm going again tomorrow, by the way. It's fun.

The little girl was coming into the women's locker room to use the bathroom by herself and I was in there changing. Suddenly I had this total flashback to the many times I went to the gym back in Great Falls, Montana, with my dad (who mostly went there to use the sauna, by the way) and I had to wait for him outside of the locker room. The flashback created the sensation of being her--of being this little girl--not a memory of a similar experience of what it was like to be her, but more like I was actually her and the person playing me was a woman from the 80s back in my former experience. All of the awkwardness rushed back. The feeling of being invisible to those older women, yet totally vulnerable at the thought that I was somewhere I should not be; a place I did not belong.

It's not that deep, really, since this sort of deja-vuness happens all the time whether we chose to identify it or not. The distinction I am trying to make here, however, is subtle, and in this case was accompanied by the thought, "Now it's me...I'm the "old woman" in the locker room and I've taken someone's place". The changing of the guard involved no pomp or ceremony; just a towel and a sports bra and a little girl's voice.

****** ****** ****** ****** ******

Phrase of the day: brought to you by Ram Dass:
"You're're just busy thinking you're not."

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