Sunday, July 31, 2011

I am selfish

I went to the gym to go swimming. 
The need to exercise had been building for days.

So much so, that when I saw a friend I wanted to talk to, I kept one eye on the clock; I had a finite window before my next commitment.

When I got to the locker room, I overheard that someone had passed out, so paramedics were coming. 

The locker room is atwitter about the woman who's passed out. She'd apparently been in the hot tub for about an hour. 

Suit on. No paramedic sightings. I shower and stride towards the pool. Two lifeguards are beside an older woman on a stretcher with an oxygen mask.

A little background: another friend who belongs to the same gym told me she'd been horrified when she'd gotten faint when trying to sweat out a cold, because when someone saw that she was feeling unwell, they called 911. 

So yeah, maybe I was a bit brazen about the woman who'd passed out. 

Since I wasn't able to wait with a runner's block for the pool to open, I stomped into the sauna. I could tell that my impatience was putting people off. 
And then the tears came. 

The other woman left and then tears turned into sobs. 

There's something freeing about throwing a temper tantrum - you've already gone to the worst place, may as well crack it open. 
What I found were deep cries from my belly. I'd been pushing through everything without even talking to myself. 

Once I was able to purge all the piled up frustrations, I could be a person again. 

When I got out of the pool, I saw the woman who'd passed out. Her daughter was helping her bathe. This moving gesture and my hot shame for not seeing her in a human situation made my tears brim again. 

I was about to inquire after the woman when I heard the daughter say...

 It's an ongoing lesson. 


cath said...

Eileen I love your posts because they are so full of insight and humanity. Thanks for this post. I've been in the same place before (and I'm not talking about the Y!) :D
~cath xo

Eileen said...

Cath, thanks for the encouragement. This one felt a bit uncomfortable to post. My sentiment / point around this is that if we aren't taking notice of ourselves, that disregard spills out onto others. But I'm also always curious to see how others interpret. Thanks for reading!

David Mangene said...

Thank you so much for digging deep Eileen. If it's uncomfortable to post, it probably means it'll grab us. This one sure got me. I must say, though, I've never sobbed in a sauna. Must be pretty hot doing that. And what would happen if anybody else showed up? Would they come in? Would they try to help you? Would they attempt to ignore you sobbing just a few feet away? Lots of comedic possibilities.

And do you really own an orange one piece bathing suit with a blue swimming cap? Hi-la-ri-ous!

See you in Amsterdam.


Eileen said...

Full disclosure: I don't own an orange swimsuit. But it was part of the overall color scheme I wanted to use in this post. Now you know.

David, see you in Amsterdam!! How cool is that?

Celebrity Photo said...

Woo what a excellent post. Thanks for your nice sharing.

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