Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Kill 'em with Kindness

So a couple weeks ago, I made a mistake.

I over extended myself with workouts, I didn't sleep enough, and I didn't eat enough.

I was just go go going from one thing to the next, and when I got back to the gym to teach my second of 3 classes that day, I let my exhaustion get the best of me in the parking lot. A woman in another car and I had a non-verbal misunderstanding about a parking spot and I threw my hands up in frustration. I knew better, but I was tired and my filters were down. I didn't flip her off, just threw my hands up. 

The problem with parking lots is, everyone can use them. And everyone can stop in them. And wait for you to get out of your car to demand an answer for why you made any given gesture. And then comment on your apparent sense of entitlement to a "god-appointed parking spot" and alleged insufficiency as a human being. 

Suffice it to say, we both overreacted. 

The problem (and actually saving grace - I kept my temper under control a lot better because of this) is that we were in front of my place of work, and I was about to go teach spin. There was a very real chance that this woman, who actually did follow me into the gym, was about to be in my class. I kept my words as civil as my low blood sugar would allow, but she still got to me. I ended up shaking in the back room for about 5 minutes before I could go back out to the spin room and hope that she didn't show up in my class. 

She didn't end up coming in (she didn't even have workout clothes with or on her), but ever since then I've been sort of wary that I might end up running into her again. I don't know this woman from Eve, and I can barely even remember details about her...glasses? Short brown hair? That narrows it down. 

But this morning, when a woman matching that description came into the bootcamp class I subbed, I realized that there's a shift that happened at some point in the last couple of weeks. Instead of dreading this mystery parking lot lady, I've started teaching every class as if she *is* going to show up, and I have a point to prove. 

She judged me off of a 5 minute interaction at the middle-end of a VERY long day, in which I felt cornered and defensive. That's not my best side. Not even a little. It makes me angry that she got that snapshot of me in her mind. 

So now, every time someone who could potentially be her comes in (and that's pretty much every woman roughly 50ish years old with short brown hair and glasses...so like half the class) I find myself becoming obnoxiously encouraging and positive. Because if nothing else, I need to prove to myself that what she saw when I was (literally) backed into a corner wasn't me. That was a bad moment and I'm not going to let it happen again. 

So thanks, random parking lot lady. You've made me a better person. So there. 

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