You Disgust Me.
These are the three words that I heard as I wiped down the elliptical when I was finished using it to warm up my muscles before last week’s workout with my personal trainer. I just knew they weren’t directed towards me because I had not said nor done anything to anyone in the cardio section of the private, boutique fitness center that I attend.
You Disgust Me.
I heard those words again. This time I looked up in confusion at my trainer who was standing nearby but she was looking back at me and I felt a slight look of concern in her eyes. So in that split second I turned and saw this old white lady on a recumbent bike looking straight at me with those words dripping fresh from her tongue.
I was stunned.
I was frozen.
I was raised to respect my elders, and I honestly didn’t know what to do with this old biddy. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me — had left the building. I was ready to give her consequences for her words, but I knew I couldn’t fight her because I would end up in jail…So I stayed silent for about 30 seconds, which felt like I was frozen in time, trying to process what was happening and figure out the best solution considering I was the only black person across all 3 buildings… And then she looks at the elliptical and says…
YOU MADE IT LOOK SO EASY. YOU DISGUST ME.
Yoooooo! Everything in me wanted to slap this lady! She had me trying to process real life potentially life or death consequences to responding to a derogatory statement that she made about a stupid elliptical machine! Like for real! I’m like half her age and have been in this fitness life for a minute and she salty because I MAKE USING THE ELLIPTICAL MACHINE LOOK EASY?!?!?!!
Ma’am, choose your words better.
Read the room.
NOW is NOT the time to be telling a black person that they disgust you.
I couldn’t make this up if I tried…