Today, I went to the gym.

I knew a person that would be there who I wanted to slightly avoid. But, a part of me also wanted to put myself in their way. To say to them nonverbally, “Yeah, I’m here. What are you going to do about it?”

I knew he would be there because he’s always there. That is why I took myself out of the picture. He will always be there, and that will never change.

Regardless, there he will stand in my place of escape and I can choose to block him out or decide to let his aura seep into my sweat. I can choose to not imagine grinding his little carrot head up into a food grater. I can choose to not imagine him tying me up with stretch bands(although this one may be slightly more difficult).

Today, I went straight to the elliptical, my white-girl place, a place he only goes if he comes to talk to me.

After forcing my arms and legs to move back and forth for an hour, I thought stupidly, “It would be nice to do some squats right now.”

As I looked over to the space I wanted to go, my vision was blocked by his head of strawberry blonde hair.

I flinched for a second, but then started to walk toward the space. When I looked up though, I realized that my feet were taking me in the opposite direction.

I walked back to the locker room, grabbed my things, and walked out the door.

I saw my friend sitting by the pool stand so I went over to say hi. Conveniently, she asked me about this person, and I told her the story. Then, I told her what I did.

“I was about to go do squats but then I saw him standing there and I turned around and left,” I said.

“The ball is in your court,” she said to me. “Don’t ever do that again.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” I said back.

I walked to my car, which was awkwardly parked by his big, black truck, turned on the engine, and drove away. I stopped by the grocery store on the way home. I bought the necessities, grapes and turkey jerky, got back in my car, and then started to drive home. I turned right to go toward my house. But, my ass felt jiggly and I was pissed about it.

“Ugh, I don’t have a weight ball at home,” I thought. “I don’t have that pully-machine thing to hold me upright. I guess I’ll just do them tomorrow.”

I turned at the light to head toward my house. From Folsom I take a left onto Canyon and then I am home.

I didn’t want to go home, though. My body didn’t want me to go home. As I drove down Folsom all I could feel was anger and disappointment toward myself, for letting him take away my escape.

If there is anything that motivates me, it is the silent rage that sits in my head.

I impulsively turned right instead of left, and drove back toward the gym. I marched into the space. I  squatted, and lifted and pulled.

Out of the corner of my eye, there he was, his strawberry blonde hair and long sleeve of tattoos. But I had my space on the mat, and my mind focused on the movements of my body.

The second time I left the gym, I felt happiness and content instead of anger and frustration.

I waved goodbye to my friend at the pool, grateful for the motivation she unknowingly gave me.

I got into my car, started the engine, and headed home(for real this time).

I left with the realization that the ball is always in my court. It doesn’t matter who leaves whose picture.

I have whatever power I give myself, and any space I choose to avoid is me choosing to give that power away.

Now, my butt feels really nice, and I can focus on something more substantial to my existence, like what to eat for dinner tonight.


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