Back in 2008 I signed up for and took an exercise course called Boot Camp. The creator of this course was *Lisa.
And I hated her.
I hated every single minute of her Boot Camp too.
Then again, I hated every single minute of everything back then.
My mom was dying, and I was fat.
I was fat, and my mom was dying.
Those two irrefutable facts made up my existence.
So my experience in Lisa’s army-esque obstacle course boot camp class was doomed from the start.
Being overweight was bad enough. But to make my life even more intolerable, Lisa required me to wear hideous army fatigues while working out.
By required I mean I signed up for and paid Lisa for a six-week course that mandated certain clothing be worn and certain exercises be done, like the rope swing. There were also monkey bars to climb, hurdles to jump, push-ups to do and walls to scale.
I signed up for her class with my friends and my sister. My skinny friends and skinny sister. I was the fat girl with the dying mother in a sea of skinny girls.
I hated Lisa.
I thought she was mean in part because I hated the clothing she forced me (I agreed to) wear.
And I was furious that I was unable to hoist my heft over a hurdle.
I felt insecure, loser-like, foolish, angry, nervous, sad and desperate.
And somehow all of this was Lisa’s fault.
I don’t remember the moment I decided I hated Lisa. I just know that I did.
Eight years later and sixty-seven pounds lighter I see Lisa from time to time in another exercise class.
We don’t speak.
My friends adore her. They think she’s great.
I think nothing. I just have this yucky feeling from back then.
Well, eight years later and sixty-seven pounds lighter, I found out that Lisa has been holding a grudge against me for the past eight years.
Back in 2008 I emailed a former instructor of hers and said some really mean things (about Lisa.)
I didn’t remember this until she told me. Today. As we were both signing into an exercise class.
Lisa remembered because she read the emails I sent back then.
She hadn’t had the appropriate opportunity to mention them to me up until now.
The past eight years whenever Lisa has seen me anywhere, she’s been feeling angry and hurt.
She thought she tried to help me jump over the mini moat and mighty hurdle. I thought she was mean because I couldn’t do it.
I am cringing as I write this because I am so not a mean girl. And yet, when I went searching through my old emails, I found the emails and the unfortunate realization that I was such a mean girl. I trashed Lisa in two emails. I am embarrassed. And I am sorry.
I let my sadness and my insecurity dictate my perspective and my behavior. I was an asshole. Being sad inside can do that.
Today, when someone is overtly nasty to me, I understand it probably comes from a darkness within that person. And usually has very little to do with me.
I know this because I’ve been there. And hope to never be there again.
*Lisa’s name has been changed.