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?”