I Saw it First

by gillis

My husband has joined my exercise group. Just seeing that on the page irks me a little. There, I’ve said it. My group. He joined my group. The group that supported me through a 30 pound weight loss. These beautiful people helped me believe I could do it and they’ve dragged me past the margins of fitness into the path of strength and health. I’m about halfway there, I have a bit more weight to lose, but beyond that, I’m nowhere near the fitness level I now aspire to because of this group.

So what’s the big deal about my husband joining in? After all, he did ask me if he could. He has had serious health issues and he needs a regular exercise routine. He wanted to make sure it was okay with me before he joined and I could find no reason to deny him the positive experience I had. No reason that wasn’t ridiculously petty and selfish that is. I couldn’t tell him I wanted these two hours each week to myself without being known as someone else’s something. I couldn’t tell him that I didn’t want him to find something in the experience lacking either. He can be critical and I didn’t want him to turn that glare on my community. I didn’t have it in me to share how much it has meant to me to finally have a group that doesn’t make me want to run screaming from its dysfunction, so I shrugged and said, “Sure, you can join Get Fit, it’ll be great. We can help each other.” But I didn’t really mean it.

The truth is that I am a very self-centered person on many levels. A few years ago I would have denied that, would not have owned up to my territorial ways, but now I see no reason to run from who I am. I never seem to get very far when I do. And gosh, people love how direct I am, let me tell you. Knowing how hurtful I can be when I let all my truthiness hang out, I kept my mouth shut and let him join. Let him. As if it wasn’t open to anyone with a checkbook. But you know what I mean.

So far we’ve had two classes together. Both fairly basic, no TRX straps or intricate sequences of exercises, no partner exercises. It’s actually okay. Probably more than okay if I can get myself to admit it. I can’t say that it feels great to be in it together because I’m still mourning that tiny slice of autonomy that I felt there. I have a feeling I’ll get over it and it will be great, but for a little while it will continue to feel a bit like it did in middle school when I discovered a friend bought the same shirt I had. I just want everyone to remember, I saw it first.

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