A bit of unexpected motivation
Monday, May 31, 2010
I went swimming today at the university pool. I didn't really feel like it, but than I haven't "felt like" anything for a couple of days now, so that's not an excuse. So I went.
About half way through my swim I begin to notice something strange. It seems that the girl in the lane next to me is, more often than not, swimming parallel to me. A bit in front, a bit behind, but generally within 5 meters of me in a 25 M lane. I wouldn't have noticed it at all, except for the fact that the girl was a pretty slow swimmer compared to me. And so it looked as if she waited for me to get close to the edge before pushing off so she can swim around me. Whatever.
After half an hour swimming I got out and went downstairs to the Jacuzzi. After about two or three minutes I see the same girl coming down the stairs and get into the other Jacuzzi (they're about six feel apart.) Not only that, but when I looked over a couple of minutes later, she looked straight at me, made eye contact, and smiled. Now I may be a bit dense when it comes to interpersonal interactions, but this was plain enough even for me. So I reacted in the only way I thought was appropriate: I pretended not to see her, and nonchalantly rested my left hand on the edge of the Jacuzzi so that she could see my wedding ring. It worked, too. By the time I got out of the Jacuzzi a couple minutes later she was gone.
I'm not sharing all of this to boast or invite offers. I've been married to a wonderful woman for going on six years now, and have no plans to ever change that. The reason I'm posting this (on a blog that both my wife and my mother in law read, no less) is that this is the first time something like this has ever happened to me. Or more precisely: This is the first time that I believed that something like this could happen to me.
My old, overweight self would never entertain the notion that a woman would make eyes at him, at the pool no less, and would never think that his outwards appearance would ever merit such behavior. I'm still fairly convinced that one of the reasons my wife and I got together to begin with is that on our first "date" she couldn't see me for most of the time. (She knows what I'm talking about, and the rest of you will never know) and have lived with this idea that my body basically repulses people around me for as long as I can remember. It's a sucky feeling.
But my "new improved self" is slowly realizing that people actually see him differently now. That the first thing that people see now is not a gut surrounded by arms, legs, and a head, but a fit young man. It's a nice, if bewildering, feeling. And while I'm not the least tempted by the notion, it's nice to think that every so often someone is checking me out. It's like a nuclear arsenal: You have no plans of ever using it, but it's nice to know it's there...