Hot Yoga: it's a strange and kind of cruel sort of exercise we put ourselves through. Sure regular yoga is a wonderful exercise just by itself, where you can calm yourself down and just clear your mind, but for some reason people thought that it could be made even better by stuffing yourself in a 108 degree room with 20 other strangers. Now before I go on let me just say that I did try it a couple times and discovered it is not at all for me, if Hot Yoga is something you do everyday I gladly applaud you on your endurance because you are a tougher person then I will ever be, because I am just going to stick with regular yoga. For anyone who is thinking about checking Hot Yoga classes out, here are some things/thoughts that may happen during your first class:
4. Alright, you got this it's just like regular yoga right?
First of all, screw you.
I don't know you, but you tried talking to me anyway.
You thought you had a right to raise your voice and call to me--as if I'm a dog, as if I should listen when you speak. You don't deserve my attention.
Unfortunately, I heard every word that passed through your lips.
You went out of your way to make me feel small. I pretended not to hear what you said, but I carried it with me the entire way home.
You probably forgot about it, but your words echoed in my ears for hours. Your stupid comment caused me more pain than I'd like to admit.
How dare you take a few seconds of your life to waste hours of mine.
You made me feel dirty in my own skin.
I went home and didn't want to look at myself in the mirror because all I could feel was shame.
I wondered if I could've done something differently to avoid you--wore less makeup, maybe; anything to avoid comments like yours.
It's not me that's the problem, though. It's you. What kind of man behaves the way that you did? Your words were hurtful, whether or not you intended them to be.
You took my self-confidence and my peace of mind away from me in a matter of seconds.
Before you, I felt good.
I wasn't doing anything to deserve your attention--I was just waiting at a traffic light.
It doesn't matter what I was doing, really. You had no reason to call out to me, to speak to me with no regard for my humanity, but you did it anyway.
You've probably already forgotten about me, but I can't forget about you.
The amount of time I've spent thinking about what you said is far more than you deserve.
You don't deserve a letter. You deserve a kick in the balls.
Regardless, this is a message for you, or men like you, who think that catcalling complete strangers is okay.
Attention all assholes:
I am female, but that does not mean that I am fragile.
My body is not yours. It is no one else's. It is mine.
Sexualizing my body is not a compliment.
I am more than a body. I am a person. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lover.
I don't deserve to be talked to like a piece of meat.
I am not here for your pleasure.
I am tired of being just a body. Women are tired of being just bodies. We are more than that--we are smart, we are strong, we are worthy of respect.
If you cannot speak to women with respect, you do not deserve to speak at all.
I hope you think about what you said, even for a moment.
I hope you never speak to another woman the way you spoke to me.
I hope you realized something from this experience, like I did.
Because you catcalled me, I remembered my worth.
A Woman Who's Tired Of This Shit
When I was a little girl my grandfather and mama taught me how to swim. I fell in love with the water and frankly, swimming was something I excelled at. They taught me how to swim before I could walk. Once I was a little bit older my parents quickly enrolled me in Red Cross swim lessons at a local pool. By the age of four I was swimming on a summer league team, and by eight, I was swimming competitively year round.
The water is where I feel at home. I’m not clumsy or awkward. I move fluidly with strength and speed. When I’m in the water, the world disappears. I get to be in my own head, working towards a goal while not worrying about my surroundings. So, I’m headed back to the water.
I know I will not be swimming the way I once did. I’m not looking to be a competitive swimmer again. I have no desire to wake up before the crack of dawn to hop in an icy cold pool. I’m going back to the water to find myself again. To find the girl who had a lot more confidence than I currently do. To find the girl who trusted her body to make the right movements and get her to where she needed to be. I’m looking to find the physical strength and endurance I once had that has since been lost.
When in the water, I feel safe because of the confidence I have in my ability, but also because I trust my body. I’ve never been scared that I would drown because I knew my body would get me back to the wall or would automatically bring me to the surface. I don’t place the same trust in my body while on land. I’m much more clumsy; it doesn't matter if I’m walking or running. I’ve fallen down the stairs, up the stairs, and tripped over my own feet.
When I stopped swimming, I lost myself. I think it’s time I find myself again.