On Wednesday I thought of writing a blog again for the first time in a while because something funny happened, it made me realise that this time I can see my diagnosis and work with it.
So what happened is I was pottering around at home, in the back of my mind was this free gym trial I am on, and how I fancied checking out “moves with Di” at 7 am. As the time got closer I popped my boat shoes on and headed off to the gym. I am so used to going around barefoot, or to yoga in bare feet that it only crossed my mind once to wear trainers/running shoes, clearly the thought didn’t hang around for long because next thing I knew I’d thrown off my boat shoes and was being introduced to Di of “basic moves” fame in my bare feet. At this point, I was thinking I’d walked from my car in bare feet and I’d completely forgotten I had any shoes at all (such was the overstimulation of the gym environment and a new class on my first day. Di and her tribe of elderly followers had been setting up stepping, skipping and weights stations for a circuit around the room and it had still not crossed my mind I’d need shoes. She said quite bruskly “ah you can’t do the class without shoes”… to which I looked at my feet, realising for the first time that my hippyness was not welcome here, I smiled and (quite relieved) left Di and her grey army to it.
I went back to my towel and drink bottle by the windows and surprised saw my boat shoes and popped them on. I went out to the front desk where the really friendly trainer who welcomes people in, asked me where I was going. I told him what had happened, he asked to see my shoes, I lifted my leg up to show him over the desk (almost putting my back out in the process) and that’s when it dawned on me that i perhaps could do Di’s class in these shoes because it’s not like the grey army would be going too hard-core! Whilst I was contemplating this, the gym trainer kindly offered me his thongs (flip flops) instead of my boat shoes. In my haze of considerations, I thought he was serious and propositioned that my boat shoes would be better than his thongs. Luckily he must have heart of gold and didn’t outright laugh at me, instead, him and his female counterpart who had appeared behind the desk too, looked at each other, then me, quite compassionately.
He changed tacks and said you can go use the weights if you want, rather than wasting a trip here. I slowly came to, dropping the idea of going back to Di’s, and thought ‘yes that’s a great idea’; “Can I do cardio too?”… to which he sensibly replied, “yes the bike and cross-trainer are fine, but I wouldn’t do running, though”. Such a wise comment considering that the shoe I hadn’t shown him flaps open at the front, like a crocodile mouth, where the sole is peeling away from the body. (soul is peeling away from the body – I like that :))
So I had a great workout and had time to settle into the gym and all that was going on around me. As I worked on my legs I went over what had happened with the thong comment and laughed to myself that I hadn’t seen his joke, I had only thought he was being really lovely. It’s amazing to consider how many situations I may have been in where because I was under overstimulation-stress, I hadn’t seen reality or another person’s reality. Luckily this man was kind, I guess in a school situation or a bullying office, that would have been a great opportunity for people to laugh at my expense.
On my way out of the gym that day I joined up and was given a free protein smasher voucher which I very much enjoyed from the caravan cafe downstairs. What a great start to the day… thankfully it was full of joy despite my aspie forgetfulness of work-out shoes. Perhaps, because I live in Queensland, on the Sunshine Coast, and most of the gym patrons (that aren’t grey army members) look like surfers, maybe they are used to people finding it strange to wear shoes!? It was lovely though to not get shamed for my ‘mistake’ and I am very grateful to the gym trainer for that (I must get his name next time, its one of those funny, hard-to-remember ones!)
As I joined up I did apologise for not getting his joke about the thongs, I was tempted to tell him I was an Aspie, but instead I said I tend to take a lot of things literally (perhaps this is only when under internal or external stress, though, I will have to observe that in myself).