“Hey man…you cannot wear that skullcap here.”
That was what the manager told me at the first gym I went to. I was confused. I mean, it is an Under Armour skullcap. It was the coolest thing in the world. It made me look like I belonged at the gym.
I was 370 pounds at the time. I lost 50 pounds and belonged to my first gym for a month. I promised myself that when I lost 50 pounds I would wear some sort of Under Armour gear because it symbolized strength in my eyes.
You might have heard of the gym…they do not charge much each month and accept everyone. I looked up on their wall, and it did indeed say no skullcaps. It was part of their “Judgment Free Zone.”
So where was the “Judgment Free Zone” when the manager rolled his eyes at me when I walked in for the first time? A 400 pound guy who could not tie his shoes. A guy who wanted to ask questions about the equipment, but after seeing the eye rolling realized he did not belong.
Where was the “Judgment Free Zone” when the two girls laughed at me when I could not fit on the bench press? When I could not get my balance? Were they going there to see a guy lose 200 pounds?
Where was the “Judgment Free Zone” when I could was on the treadmill for only 48 seconds? When I saw the guy next to me mouth to his friend, “Is that it?” Did they see a weak, obese man?
Where was the “Judgment Free Zone” when I left the gym for the first time in tears? Hating my workout. Thinking that no one was there to help me. Not wanting to go back.
I drove around after my first workout and I decided to judge myself. Knowing that I am strong. Knowing that I can do this. For me.
So when the manager told me I could not wear the skullcap anymore, I told him that it was my last day at the gym. I’d been judged enough.
Today, I worked out at my Anytime Fitness. It was 4 a.m., I was bench pressing and doing some cardio.
I wore my skullcap, like I have every workout since 2008. No one was around at the time.
I wish they were….I wanted to be judged.
Tony Posnanski is a renowned blogger, chef, and an Anytime Fitness member. He writes about weight loss, fitness, motivation and more on his blog The Anti Jared.
11/2/2010 at 6:00 PM