I recently joined a gym- again. With my priorities in other places, I had been struggling with finding time to exercise. I stubbornly forced myself to go one morning, determined to at least not let the fees go to waste.

On getting there, my nerves had formed an alliance with my bladder against me, so I ran to the ladies’ room.

When you walk into the gym bathroom, you pass a section of lockers and benches on the way to the toilet stalls.  These lockers and benches allow ladies who used the shower to get dressed.

Unfortunately for me, my eyes spotted a very naked lady seated with her legs very wide open, chatting happily with some other ladies.  I know I am a female, but even for me I saw more than I needed to see. (What are towels for?)

For someone who has lived in various female hostels and dormitories, I am used to seeing naked females, but that scene left me visually scarred. It was as though I had walked in on very private gynaecology session with bits I was not meant to see.

Maybe I was so shaken up because I expected her to be partially covered or at least close her legs enough to keep her ‘V’ area out of full view, or maybe it was because her mammary glands seemed like they had fed their fair share of babies and were in a drooping competition to reach her waist. 

 I only saw her for a few seconds, split seconds in fact, because I would have closed my eyes and kept on walking if she was not in my line of sight and I needed to see where I was going. Maybe there was nothing to be embarrassed about, maybe I am blowing things out of proportion, but I really wish I had seen a bright light, or a plain dull colourless screen instead.

As I went upstairs, I headed straight to the ladies’ gym room (like I had not had enough of ladies only for one day), but fortunately for me they were fully clad and on the verge of leaving. In a few minutes I was thankfully by myself, enjoying my workout in solitude.

A lady walked in and greeted me. It is unusual for an average modern lady to greet in gym room full of strangers; and when I greet, the ladies seem to have a hearing problem and do not reply.

A simple hello from this mystery lady seemed so refreshing. What struck me was the tone of the greeting, it was not just civil, but warm and friendly.  It was like she was reaching out to me offering the possibility of a beautiful friendship. It seems corny to say such things about someone who merely greeted you and said nothing else, but that is exactly how I felt.

A few minutes after she said,

“How long have you been coming to the gym?”

“Not too long” I replied.

Are you seeing results yet?

No.

I took a good look at her and felt she had no business being at the gym, if anything, sometime at a fattening room will do her good. I noticed she fluidly did her workout routine like she was shooting a television show.

I must confess, this made me a little jealous, considering that she told me she joined the gym literally a few days ago and I was fumbling through the equipment and losing my breath in between workout routines.

Good body, great workout skills, why was she here exactly?

“I want to firm and strengthen my muscles” she said coyly. I know many a woman who would have given an arm, a leg and plastic surgery to have a figure like hers, but here she was still pushing for an ‘upgrade’. The life of women!

 I received a call to remind me about an appointment I was running late for, so I had to leave. As I walked to the parking lot, I noticed she was walking to her car as well. I walked as slowly as I could manage so she could see me and all but screamed her name which by the way I did not know what it was.

As I was about to reach my car, she finally caught my eye and smiled.

This was my cue to walk up to her and ask her name, where she was from, what she does for living blah blah blah, but I did not.

I really wish I did, but I simply smiled back and waved goodbye.

 In my line of work, friends are hard to come by and even harder to maintain, so loneliness and solitude have become second nature with time (or maybe it has always been my personality).

There was something about this lady that seemed very special, and I imagined us becoming good friends, maybe even starting a lifelong friendship (the loneliness must have peaked that day, or maybe I have watched too many movies). But at the same time an apprehensive reality checked in, what if we did not share the same values? What if I were too socially inept to nurture what could have been a promising friendship?

So, instead I stared into space, seated in my car, imagining what could have been as she drove away, forgetting that I had an appointment to get to. I started the car and slowly drove off, having a perfect conversation with her in my mind.

I thought to myself: Who knows, maybe, we will meet again and maybe, we will connect and be good friends. But I never saw her again at the gym till this day. As the French would say: “C’est la vie”!

Do your best to ensure that you seize every moment, every opportunity that comes your way. It is better to try, than to regret and always wonder what the outcome would have been. Always promise yourself to pull out all the stops and hold back no punches in the fight for your dreams.

You must succeed!