Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hunchback Of...



I may be someone who is out of the ordinary when it comes to telling people, especially ones that I don't even know, things they should change or things that happen to be wrong with them. Only my closest family and friends will ever get my true opinion or find me telling them when they have a booger in their nose, their fly is open, they have a hair growing somehwere it shouldn't be...

Today I was a bit shocked, to say the least, when I was confronted by an older trainer at the gym. She definitely has to be on the "got nards" list of people I know, or somewhat know. This lady has no problem with these kinds of things. She has corrected me a few times when she sees me on one of the weight machines if she thinks I'm not exactly doing it correctly, or if she thinks I should change one thing about how I'm doing it to work a different area or something. I know she probably knows what she is talking about and I have taken her advice before but today I was a little taken back at her comments to me and didn't know whether to thank her or what. Don't get me wrong I totally agree with what she was referring to, BUT I could have never gone up to a stranger, so to speak, and given them an ear full like she did me.

First, I need to set up this scenario. I had just gotten off of the treadmill, where I had been the last 40 minutes and 4 1/2 miles. I went over to the free weight area to do the bench press and work on my abs. I needed a drink of water so I walked over to the water fountain, and got the feeling I was being watched. I got my drink and then turned to walk back to the weights when Olga (this 60 year old retired trainer) said something to me. I was jamming to my MP3 player so I couldn't here anything she was saying. I took out my headphones to hear her say, "Do you mind me asking how old you are?" Of course I don't mind! I'm thinking, she's thinking, I'm alot younger than I actually am. I replied, "No, I'm 34". She continues with, "OH YOUR STILL YOUNG"! She seemed a little caught off guard. So was she thinking I was older than I actually was or what?

She precedes to ask me if I ever work out my back. I said I sometimes have and occassionally still do but I'm more worried about a fat butt than a "toned back". She looks at me with this very concerned mother look and says "you know you need to because you have terrrible posture!" "You are way to young to be walking around looking like you look." I know I have terrible posture. It runs in my family on my mom's side. My grandmother was so hunkered over before she passed away she probably shrunk several inches in her heighth. My mom has the same slumped shoulders and I have had them most of my life. I remember as a teenager wearing this back strap thing to help me remind myself to stand up straight. It has always bothered me but I thought it wasn' t that big of a deal. I just assumed this is how I was and I would continue to be this way. Well, Olga assured me I was still young enough to strengthen my upper, middle, and lower back muscles so I would have "beautiful" posture. The only real compliment(well I almost take it as a NON-compliment since it isn't true), she gave was that I hardly have any body fat. WHOA OLGA! You haven't seen me in my birhtday suit! I do have body fat and it is quite sickening! I was glad she told me these things, but in the same way I was, upset, embarrassed, sad, and shocked that it was that obvious. I know I slump and would love to have better posture but I don't make an effort to think about it constantly.

Maybe now I'll try and take Olga's advice and work on my back muscles and not worry so much about my butt, hips, and thighs. Well, I won't go that far, now I'll just be at the gym longer working on my slump after I work on my booty! I assume I have no other choice since am now labeled as the "Hunchback of Spectrum!" and she is there practically every day! There is no escaping her!


Do you think this was too harsh? Has anyone ever walked up to you, while you were thinking "I'm about to get a compliment", when in reality you get a slap in the face?

15 comments:

Bridget said...

I so remember Olga. She is a bit CRAZY! I took an abs class from her and it was very weird. Does she still wear those big belts or whatever around her waist? Honestly, I have never noticed your posture. I am very surprised she would just come up to you out of the blue. I would be so bugged. I might even say something to someone (or I would have Jim do it for me).It is not as if you had hired her. Just shake it off! :)

Anonymous said...

I think you should have given her an ear full back about your husband being an ortho (bone) doctor.

Would you really tell me if I had a booger in my nose? Or a strange hair growing in an odd place. hee. hee. I hope so.

Anonymous said...

I have the worst posture also. I would love to hear any tips you get about how to strengthen your back.
I have had experiences where I think I am going to get a compliment but then it is something else all together.

Julia said...

dang, that was harsh.

I have to admit that I sat up a little straighter after reading this. I always worry about my posture, and this is really embarsing, but sometimes I put tape along my spine so I will be reminded to sit straight when I slouch.

Anonymous said...

Ok i've been blog jumping and happened upon your post. I just have to say this exact thing happened to me with a lady at church. She touched my arm and gave me this "I feel sorry for you look" and said Katherine, I have to be brutally honest, you have the most horrible posture I've ever seen", in this super soft, condescending voice. I her visiting teaching companion, so I know her fairly well. However She's a personal trainer too. She gave me tips to improve my posture, and like you, I'm sure it will help me if I follow them. But could these people please bring it up in a different way! Like compliment before the attack or something. I went home feeling hurt and self conscious.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you would think you are a negative influence on me. You keep me SANE. I really have missed our morning walks and I am sad to see that the cold doesn't look like its coming to an end any time soon. I ran this morning in the rain....it was pretty cold and I probably looked like an idiot. Don't ever think that for a minute!!!

michelle said...

Oh my word. I would think if she felt compelled to help you, she could bring it up in a kinder way!

I had perfect posture when I was a child, I don't know what happened. Now I am a lounge lizard.

Kristi Brooke said...

my theme for the year is "hard to offend and easy to please"
although it may have seen like something you may not have done, i bet she honestly thought she was helping you. i have learned there are so few people out there who want to hurt us, that it is how we choose to take it. Elder Bednar's talk taught me that this year. I have people say the weirdest things to me and i have learned that often after the fact i wish i could go back and find them and thank them, even as rude as they may have come across.
like the guy in high school who told me to wax my upper lip... thank goodness for that one.
have a great day!

Angela said...

It sounds like her approach to you may be a tell-it-like-it-is generational thing. I haven't seen you in person in (gulp) 5 1/2 years, but I don't ever remember you having a hunchback problem! But I know how "Olga" feels...I often wish I could go on a Good Posture Crusade for the young generation. So many teen girls are slouching around looking downtrodden, weak, and 10 pounds heavier. It is amazing what standing up straight can do for one's tummy (smaller), boobs (bigger), and confidence (more). It is funny that Clayton's first memory of me is the girl sitting in the front row of Freshman Comp with amazing posture and crazy clothes. I guess at 5'11" I can't afford to have bad posture and it was lovingly ingrained in me by my father.
I'm sure Olga thought she was putting the icing on the cake of an already beautiful young woman. Next time she just needs to use more tact!

Jill said...

I haven't ever been told something like that before, but I have had some seriously back-handed compliments in my day.

I suppose she was trying to be helpful, but that was a rough way to go about it. Then again, how would she ever bring that up in conversation? It's kind of funny really.

Anonymous said...

I love honest people. I prefer it a little sugar coated, but I really appreciate honesty. Even though comments like that can hurt, she was not being malicious; she was trying to help you be better. You can always find people to tell you the good stuff, but people that will be brutally honest with you are hard to find.
I have really bad posture, I need an Olga!

Anonymous said...

I think that is totally rude! I think I would take it with a grain of salt because Olga sounds like she is probably blunt about everything to everyone! She probably didn't overtly mean to offend you (most people with that kind of personality don't).

I have to tell you a story that reminds me of that situation taht happened to me last week: I work with lady named Shirley who is from the Caribbean. She is very nice but also very blunt. She walked up to me last week and said, "Have you gained weight Janet?" I replied, "Yes" (I have and I hate it) And then she preceded to say, "You have a butt and you used to not have one." I think she kind of meant is as a compliment but I realized that it is obvious that I gained weight and it offended me a little bit!

pam said...

Wow, she is a bit ballsy (that's my made up word). I have found that sometimes women get to a certain age and lose their verbal filter or think that they can say anything to anyone in the spirit of "I just want to help". I'm sure she didn't mean to be rude. Chin up.

Syd said...

Wow. I would never have the guts to say something like that to a stranger (or probably friend either). I have horrible posture too. I would love to hear her tips on strengthening the back, even if I would not have liked to hear the comment. :) I remember wearing a brace for a while too, I hated it. (As I am sitting up straighter typing now). I get people making comments about my height all the time (I'm 6' without heels) and most times I think it's kind of rude. I would never tell someone how short I think they are - lol!! Oh, and I loved your shot of the frozen basketball hoop!! Too funny!! Hope you thaw out soon!!

Claudissima said...

wow...one thing for sure...i think she meant well and I think this shocking will go a longer ways that if she would have been nicer....thank you for sharing...much needed advice for all of us women