I grew up in a world that was so strongly delineated between real boys and me. Despite the physical truth, I feel like a fraud. I know it’s fiction, but it’s a challenge for me to not operate within those boundaries.

In July my trainer gave me a new habit to practice, talk to the serious trainees (one of whom I aspire to be). I can squeak out a hello, but not small talk. Once again today I disappointed myself.

I workout early. There are not a lot of people in, let alone serious trainees. But there is a guy I can’t bring myself to talk to. He trains hard and intelligently. His emphasis seems to be on size and shape, so I suspect he’s training his physique, not simply for fitness. I would love to ask him. But the barrier is there. I am afraid if I ask him what he’s working towards he would just say “don’t” meaning, don’t weezle into my world fag, you have no place here.

On paper that seems so unlikely.  If he were to react according to my fears, wouldn’t he be the jerk, not me? That ugly view I have of me and other guys needs to be smashed. I’ve claimed a bit of territory in the weight room, but not a full sense of belonging. I need to make that happen. I am resolved the next time I see him, no matter the situation, I will walk up to him and say “Your training inspires me, are you working towards anything in particular?”

10 thoughts on “Resolve

Add yours

  1. I want hug you right now!!! It is so hard to go up to someone you don’t know and ask for help. If you do find a gym mentor to work with, I think you’re right, it could be really helpful. Getting past the inertia, of doing nothing, is the hardest step. I wish you luck!!!!!! If nothing else, do what I do. Imagine you ARE the kind of person who isn’t shy…and fake it. If you pretend that you belong in a room, no one will question it. Yes, this is a crutch, but it works. It’s not dishonest to pretend to be brave when you’re scared. It’s just being human.


  2. Hi friend
    Working towards your goal of body building and reaching your long term goal a great goal. As I see it the two are separate, you’re working towards your goal physical goal and goal of becoming more comfortable with small talk. Learning small talk will help you in everyday experiences. To me, (me) your goal of having that level of conversation with the other guy training may be to high a goal for the first conversation. You’ve overcome hurdles your life and continue to move forward. You have a great deal of negative talk which doesn’t help your reach the goal. Negative is real, negative talk drove my life for the longest. I hope shutting down the negative talk is a part of your Therapy plan.
    I’m not judging, I stand right beside you, my background is similar. Everyones pain is different and overcoming trauma is no different. Maybe talking to someone at gym that doesn’t make you nervous is a good start.
    You may overcome your fear of comments, chances are they will not be anywhere as negative as you think.
    Build your confidence at the gym in the environment you want to feel most comfortable, listen to other chatter by maybe going at different time, the more you hear people talking about training, you get comfortable to reach confidence to talk to the guy you mention.
    I know you’ll reach your goal, it has to happen when you almost comfortable and stretching not based on a date you give the conversation to happen. Life doesn’t groove that way. You’re determined, keep working on your body and who knows someone make ask you a question.
    Reach out anytime.


    1. Hi Melinda,
      Thank you for the thoughtful advice.
      I believe I misrepresented my situation. I am incredibly good at chatting. Though I have suffered social anxiety, no one would ever suspect, I seem so at ease once I start. In trying to respond I see just how powerful the negative crap is in my head.
      I am in the weight room everyday. I do talk to everyone BUT the guys I admire most.. There is such a strong line in the sand.
      Growing up I thought I was less then the other boys. I didn’t feel like a real boy. I was sexualized early and thought of myself as a perv (fuck, almost typed “knew I was a perv”). I had so many arguments/reasons (weak, nervous, sensitive…) to keep myself apart from the other boys

      So who is this horrible guy I am hiding from them? Me, I am a 58 year old fitness enthusiast who’s changed his focus to body building. Sounds pretty damn creepy doesn’t it.

      Yesterday I talked to him as I promised myself. Turns out he’s just working out to blow off steam. But a thought occurred to me. By noticing his effort, maybe my simple question may encourage him to go further. Isn’t that what exchanging thoughts is about, rolling on, changing and growing. Maybe I have something to offer the other guys?

      Thank you,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are an intelligent man with a ton of negative self talk. I understand to well, I’m 54 and my journey continues to heal from past trauma. It took courage and setting a goal to ask him a question and to your surprise no nasty comments back. We are the only ones who still see the nasty traumatic parts, not others. I was hesitant to leave such a long comment, I don’t have it all figured out. We’ve talked before, I know you have a good heart. Time and Therapy will help you jump the hurdles as they come.
        I’m proud you ended the conversation with positive thoughts, positive thoughts you can build on.
        I’m here if you need a hand.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: