Sweat Hog Part II

Now that I’ve beaten down the traffic gods and made my way to yoga class, I hurriedly gather my belongings like a nameless forest creature scurrying to avoid getting eaten by a bear.

While other yogis have fancy mesh and recycled hemp bags slung across their backs like Katniss Everdeen, my yoga bag is a third generation camping backpack better suited for last minute dooms-day survival in the woods than serving as a sexy post-work-out satchel. While it does the job, the three-foot metal frame is often hard to cram into my tiny cubby hole. I often find myself cursing loudly in the silent locker room as I violently try to jam my survivalist backpack into the confined space. “Screw you backpack! Don’t make me late to my class that’s going to calm me the hell down! Get! In! There!” I grunt as I fist-punch the edges of my bag into submission.

The irony of taking yoga is that it’s supposed to be this mental and physical escape from the rest of my day-to-day woes. But it’s hard not to notice the blaring elements forcing me to examine my place in the world, and my pantless place in a locker room full of perfectly shaped, glistening naked bodies.

I have a feeling this particular studio, which rests in the heart of Hollywood, attracts a certain ilk.  Both the women and men look like they’ve been carved out of butter and Formica; polished, chiseled, and ready to have a steak cooked across their abs.

I watch as the other women slide their perky butts into matching leggings and criss-cross bralettes plastered with images of the solar system and rainbow tigers, resting harmoniously against their tattooed skin covered in angel wings, Chinese sayings, and numerology.

I then climb into my off-label soccer shorts. A sentimental carry-over since college, I would wear them while hanging out on Farrand Field in front of my dormitory. There I’d watch boys play guitar while I’d tap along in my Birkenstock shoes, singing and making bracelets out of blades of grass. Back then, those shorts gave me the look of an androgynous, sporty, hippy-girl going through her, is-she-or-isn’t-she-gay phase.

Today, they are exceptionally practical to wear, considering the room is heated to 102 degrees and kept at sixty percent humidity. In these classes, you sweat. And I mean, everywhere. Like, from your eyelids, behind your ears, in between your fingers and from every nook and cranny north and south of your belly button. So I wear these shorts because the idea of sweating like a football player in my crotchal area is neither sexy nor practical and wearing suffocating tights seems absurd and possibly hazardous. That, coupled with my flesh colored sports bra and 1997 neon orange hair scrunchie, make me look like a woman who when you see her you think, “I bet she owns a lot of cats.”

Or, “I bet she’s a hoarder.

Or, “I bet she takes a lot of baths.”

Or, “Ooh (with a sympathetic tone) I bet this is all she has.”

It’s like junior high all over again. The cool kids have the stylish clothing and I’m still wearing the imitation designer clothes my mom claimed, “fell off the truck”. I remember when my mom scored a fancy-ish pair of “Guess” jeans for $20. The trick was to not look too closely as they weren’t Guess Jeans at all, but “Gass” jeans. When we called her out on this, she responded with, “What’s the letter “a” among friends? Also, no one should be looking that closely at your tushie! So wear your “designer” jeans proudly.”

That mortified me at the time. But today, being an uncool adult is fine by me. Someone has to represent the underrepresented weirdos. And at this place, I am the equivalent of a Kroger brand yogi. Less flashy, but certainly reliable and always visible front and center. My packaging may be bland and lacking fancy font, but you know I’m going to be around for a very long time. My top knot may be sideways and drunk but I’m determined to yoga my ass off.

Suited up and proudly wearing my Nykee shorts, I enter into the sweaty oven, ready to get my yoga groove on.

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/3wVZhqOL-ZQ

10 thoughts on “Sweat Hog Part II

  1. Love your story. Keep writing. I am so out of shape I just joined LA Fitness in Hemet because my med insurance is paying for it
    What a beautiful place I feel very blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, how I relate! Kmart van knock-offs were my prized shoes in junior high. Lol I am filming a music video and most are so excited for me. Im terrifed, and want to run for the hills. Fake eye lashes, hair extensions, gobs of makeup. Good grief! Your story made me laugh. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You captured a vibe with this one! I’m in my 30’s, and two years ago, with no prior experience, I decided I should learn to tap dance. I mean, I’m an actor who does musical theatre, so this isn’t quite as strange as if a non-artsy guy decided to do it, but it was a definitely a change for me. Granted, my scene is a bit different. My mind stereotypes your situation, thinking there some beautiful people in that yoga class that go simply to show off themselves and their fashion. Yoga may be the secondary reason some that some of them are there if you’re in Hollywood. Anyway, some of the women in my tap class (if I’m lucky, there’s one other guy in the class) have their cute dance outfits and their dance bags. I walk in with my baggy basketball shorts (I haven’t played basketball in years), a hat backwards, and a bright red/orange/yellow bag. It doesn’t fit, and sometimes I have the same struggle shoving that bag into a cubby. Overtime I’ve gotten to know everyone, but I’m pretty sure that some of these suburban dance moms and my classmates used to think I was a drug dealer when I first started. Any threat I might have been in some of their minds was washed way last week when we did our showcase number and I landed on the edge of my tap and ker-splowed, falling flat on my butt in front of 120 audience members. Good times. Gregory Hines, eat your heart out.

    Thanks for capturing the same feeling used to (and sometimes still) have. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rock on! Your story made me laugh too! I bet you kill it on the tap dance floor! With and without falling 😉 And if you’re having a blast then you are totally winning. Thank you as always for reading my stories. Have a great weekend! I’ve just posted a new story too!

      Liked by 1 person

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