THE LOCKER ROOM FOUR MONTHS LATER
After sleeping until 7am yesterday morning which meant that I slept through my 6:30 am beach boot camp, I decided to head back to the Y to do my own workout. This was just as well with me since it turned out that it was freezing out yesterday in this early month of June. The beach would not have been fun except for the badge of honor it would have given me for showing up, but this double m life I lead has released my need for that type of glory.
As I walked into the Y, a place I seldom go to but am quite happy that I share my partner’s membership. The Y is an easy place to get a workout in and they have a sauna and I love a sauna. I love even more a sauna in the buff. Of course I am conscious of the other women who may be in the sauna and always have a towel handy to wrap myself, but if I am solo in there, I am home free.
As I walked into the locker room with my bag in hand needing to change into my gym clothes, I realized that the last time I had been in this very locker room was the beginning of February. The first time I posted a writing was THE LOCKER ROOM dated February 4th. Back then, there was not even a thought that my breast cancer had returned so standing in the locker room yesterday contemplating my last four months was a bit of yet another catharsis.
The first item on the agenda was changing into my workout clothes. I always change out in the open, after all we are all women and we all have bodies. I have these crazy scars on my back now and my boobs are obviously fake and weird to the average Jane. They are more normal to me as is my back, but the other day when I was helping one of my new team members with a back treatment I realized just how disconcerting my back is. Comparatively speaking to the first week after, my back is amazing, but to a young woman seldom exposed to scars and breast reconstruction it was a bit of a shocker. This was going through my mind as I began undressing. The Y is filled with women of all ages, it is also filled with little three year olds getting ready to go with their mamas in to the pool for their morning swim lesson. I was hyper self aware of my body in an almost self conscious way, but also a, “Go ahead take a look,” way which was interesting to me because usually I do not even think twice about taking off my clothes in the locker room.
So here I stood, consciously aware of how my body may look to someone else and changing with much more deliberation. As it so happened, I must have caught the locker room in between swim and aerobic classes because there was not a soul in there. Ahh divine intervention. Always comes to the rescue at my dark times when I am open to its kindness. My hip was still killing me and my hot upright stationary boobs and I limped our way to the treadmill hoping that some walking may help loosen it up. It just had to be a pulled muscle, right? It couldn’t possibly be cancer all over my bones, right? So I did my very painful walk for only ten minutes, did some weights on my upper body and then stretched and rolled for at least a half hour.
There were a lot of people in the gym and the thought crossed my mind, “Doesn’t anyone work?” I made my way back to THE LOCKER ROOM and stood at my locker waiting for a kind grandmother to change into her suit while her patient two year old granddaughter waved at me. I realized that my body means nothing to anyone. The world does not in fact revolve around me as Ann always liked to remind me in my childhood and frankly no one was looking at me. Even if they were, why would I even care? I am a warrior.