Move it or Lose it

As a woman of size, I am constantly aware of the space I occupy. On planes, at sporting events, in restaurant booths – I am just sensitive to the fact that I take up a little more room than skinnier people. I confided recently to some female friends that I often walk into a group setting and assess whether I’m the biggest female there, only to find I’m not alone in that behavior. And these women are medium-sized, so you can only imagine how ridiculous we are all being.

All that to preface my experience in Zumba class last night.

The class wasn’t especially overcrowded, so I took a spot in the second row and right of center. In walks a new student and creates a new row for herself between me and the front row. I understand that when you’re new, you’ll want to be near the front of the space to see and copy the instructor, but she was completely in my space. And since she didn’t know the moves, I was constantly on the verge of mowing her down or taking her out with a broad stroke arm movement.

Every time I moved back to give her some room, she seemed to follow.

Again, as a larger woman, I am always conscious of my place in the universe, but I felt like a planet with a moon in my gravitational pull. She was an indecently skinny woman, in, I’d guess her mid 40’s. I don’t have anything against skinny people – but she was kind of skeletal and brittle looking. And say what you will – fat though I am, I do have a good sense of grace and movement in the class, and I was definitely getting the choreography last night. This woman looked like she was a Rock’em Sock’em Robot – and a vaguely defective one, at that.

Add to that, she was probably a perfectly normal looking woman until she decided to henna her hair. You know the color I’m talking about - it turned her probably normal brown hair into an unnatural and unattractive magenta. Yes, magenta: – normal enough to wear in a workplace, but definitely not a color found in nature. I really wish that if women felt they had to dye their hair, they’d at least take into account their skin tone, and the hair colors complementing that tone. She was a very pale woman, and so the magenta was definitely wearing her – she wasn’t wearing it.

During a water break, I confided to a friend in my class that if this woman got up in my space ONE MORE TIME – I was going to start throwing elbows.

Of course, she continued to stumble through the moves and get sucked into my orbit. It was still a good class, and I guess the effect of dodging incompetency added a few more calorie burning steps into my routine.

Still, if she’s in there next Monday, I’ll be on the other side of the room. And if she follows, I'll politely tell her that if she gets in my way, I will not be held accountable for any damage.

Big girls have to look out for themselves, too.