Questions fill my head like a swarm of bees as the gym stands at the end of the street reminding me of a hospital and suddenly I start to panic. I dig my nails into the palm of my hand and white my lip as my inner voice babbles away.
What if I’m not good enough? What if my fitness levels have decreased so much I don’t even meet the requirements to enter the race…what if they just send me away?
“Honestly I don’t know whether I’m more nervous or scared” I squeak realizing I spoke aloud as Nadine mumbles a distracted ‘what was that’ but she’s glued to her phone screen anyway; not paying attention to me.
Come on girl, your worrying about things you cant change. My fitness isn’t going to be like it was, I know that, not going on a treadmill in almost five months does that to a person. I haven’t practiced in five months…The thought taunts me; how much weight I will of gained and how much progress lost.
Luckily before I could cause damage to myself, my best friend calls out to me and brings me back to reality. She motions for me pull into the car park, smiling brightly as always, I used to walk to the gym before my accident. Today being the first day of training requires participants- no matter your sport- to come in, get weighed and registered etc and spend a minimum half an hour doing your activity. Nadine wouldn’t have been able to walk to the gym and do her exercise so we took the car…Just another hundred or so calories not lost.
We’ve been friends for years now, Nadine and I, and along with letting myself tell her everything, I also have the pleasure to go to the gym with her. The only downside is that she can’t train at the same level as me as her weight causes her a lot of health problems, one if them being low blood pressure causing her to collapse if she pushes herself to hard. I know its not right and I really wish she was better and healthy but I would be lying if I said I didn’t envy her. Imagine the perfect women, that stereotypical head cheerleader or model, that’s Nadine. She’s got thin, slim and defined hourglass body with this long dark, glossy hair and big blue eyes and she doesn’t even have a rubbish personality. She’s kind and caring but independent and headstrong; everyone who meets her wants to know her, be her or be with her. It’s like because she knows everyone likes her, so she makes no effort impress anyone. At least on the surface she’s this perfect girl, everything perfect comes at a cost and in her case its her mind. She trusted me with her secret and I’ve kept it for nearly 10 years. She’s a professional when it comes to hiding things, but what she doesn’t know is I’m even better. In some ways it was Nadine who educated me on the topic, but she didn’t start the fire. The demons inside of me started the fire she just poured gasoline onto it. I mean, just because she has bulimia, doesn’t make it okay for me to tell everyone her secrets? Does it? No, of course not, but I had only heard ‘child-approved’ information on it when she first came out and told me and I was scared for her and a part of me wanted in on it. I’ve never been happy with my body, when I was running I always challenged myself and kept strict living to maintain weights but it never satisfied me.
We walk into the gym flash our membership cards, the receptionists pops her gum and waves us through. I cant help but give her my judgmental once over, shirt puled at the armpit because its struggling to hold her arm, three or four rolls, no gap and I can decide whether her cheekbones are make up or actually there. We turn off into the changing rooms and sort our stuff into our lockers. The changing room is bright and filled with criticizing autocrat’s and displeasing mirrors. Silently racing we slam or lockers at the same time and she clicks her lock on seconds before me, it looks like we have the same idea because she’s darting to the little glass square that dictates the type of day I will have. I head straight for the scales after her, peaking at her numbers with desperate. I want to know exactly how much I weigh before I start and some man finds out.
I stare down at the scales as I step onto them. It feels like I’m fifty feet in the air and my heads all lightheaded. My chest tightens and my palms string as my nail digs into the same spot.
That’s a whole 65lbs heavier than Nadine; then it hits me, I’m jealous of her.
I must be lighter than her.
I WILL be lighter than her.