I always assumed that when I moved out of the schoolyard, I graduated from the bullies, too. As my mother likes to say, don’t assume- it makes an ass out of you and me. This weekend, my ass was bullied in a way that it hasn’t been in years. And it sucked just as much as it did in high school. The funny thing was that it happened with my best friend from high school. We went to check out a new boxing gym. Those of you who know me know that boxing was my absolute favorite activity before I moved, so I was looking forward to getting back to it and feeling good. But, from the moment the class began, the instructor had some kind of issue with me. That in-your-face bullying (literally, at one point, he was 2 inches from my face) went on for the entire hour. He called me weak, told me that I couldn’t keep up with the class, said I had a “bad” core (I may be bad at some things but, thanks to Pilates, core work is not one of them) and on and on. This was not the tough, bootcamp approach. This was mean. He said things that, in my 9+ years as a Pilates instructor, I have never uttered to a student. It was to the point where my BFF (who is very much the person to tell me to “Suck it up, Buttercup”) looked at me and whispered, “Do you want to leave?” Two days later, I’m still scratching my head, wondered what the guy’s problem was. Or, more to the point, what his problem was with me. And, just like in high school, I can’t figure it out. I can speculate but, at the end of the day, what’s the point? But, here’s the difference between now and then. Now I am able to stand up for myself. When the instructor got too close to me, I looked him in the eye and said “I don’t like this.” And instead of sliding out of the studio with my tail between my legs (as my younger self most certainly would have), I spoke to the owner. I recounted my experience. He couldn’t have been more understanding and apologetic. But I was disappointed to learn that, though he had received complaints about this instructor before, he had done nothing to rectify the situation. He offered me a complimentary membership, but I won’t be back. Because I didn’t enjoy being there. The studio didn’t make me feel good. As an adult, I have so little free time. When I do have availability, I want to spend it with people I enjoy, doing things that make me feel good. I dedicate enough energy to things I have to do during the workday. In my off hours, I now do what I want. This has meant cutting people out of my life who no longer brought me joy. It has meant turning down activities that, even though I maybe should go, were ones that I didn’t want to attend. Life it too short. In that spirit, I’ve been making choices. Saying no. And embracing the things that make me feel good.
Heidi Merrick blouse, RE/DONE “The Black Elsa” jeans, IRO Paris “Xabea” fringe booties (similar $$, similar $$$$), Geren Ford silk scarf (similar $$), Cristina Ramella “World” cuff, XIV Karats necklace (similar $$$$), Seoul Little “Los Angeles” necklace, Catbird, XIV Karats and ginette_ny rings (similar), MAC lipstick in Lady Danger
Photos by Michele LoBosco