If you were to ask me, I would describe it like this:
Blonde girls in black Lululemon yoga pants and tops trimmed in some bright color doing jumping jacks on the green. Their hair pulled back in a pony tail. Their shoes were all new. Brightly colored as it was the current style. All pink, all blue, all orange. Their faces were carefully made up, with the sweat-proof makeup to puff up their cheeks and widen their eyes. They shouted with glee, with intense optimism. Only because the fitness trainer told them to do so. I felt a knot form in the back of my throat, and an uncomfortable ball twist in my stomach.
I shoved my black bag into a larger bag where they claimed that they would watch. By habit of politeness, I put my sunglasses in there. Then I tip toed to the group, letting my fear present myself, but letting it make me too stubborn, too unwilling.
In the 45 minutes, I barely said any words beyond hi i am… (quite often letting the words trail off) and i am ok, really. I became a non-presence, drifting along the edges. At some point, I jogged fast to one side of the green, following the crowd, not wanting to be last as I usually was. I was proud of myself for not being last, but then my vision slightly blurred. The world became less blue, more yellow, then suddenly green. I breathed in and stopped my steps, sensing that I was losing it.
Then it was ok.
In truth, it was a free fitness class taking advantage of outdoor benches, a small grass field, and the odd sunny San Francisco winter of January 2014. Almost everyone was new. I wonder if it’s because I don’t like being around large groups of females. Or was it the workout when I preferred just riding my bike throughout the city? Or was it because I never liked the female camaraderie?