Community//

More Aware Than I Want To Be

Okay, so I have been on this forty plus and fine kick, going to the gym, watching my carbs and all that. Today was a little bit of a different experience for me. Generally, I go workout early in the morning and since my husband goes earlier than me, I am generally by myself. Who […]

Okay, so I have been on this forty plus and fine kick, going to the gym, watching my carbs and all that. Today was a little bit of a different experience for me.

Generally, I go workout early in the morning and since my husband goes earlier than me, I am generally by myself. Who goes to the gym at 5am? Apparently, a lot of men. I am always aware of my surroundings even when I go out to eat. I don’t put myself in dangerous situations and am always ready just in case.

Lately, I have found myself counting the number of people in the gym with me. Particularly, white men. If you know me, you know my husband is a white male so it is not like I am afraid of white men. However, with the videos and news, it is obvious that black people, especially black women are under attack. Some people may disagree with that statement, but I am a black woman who is very aware of my blackness. When you see me, you see a black woman there is no question in that.

Normally, I do the treadmill and/or the elliptical before doing weights.

Normally, I drink a whole bottle of water and a small cup of coffee before going to the gym.

Normally, I have to pause my workout to go to the bathroom.

Today, wasn’t normal.

My gym is one of those 24 hours gyms that have no type of 24-hour staff. The bathrooms are in the back with no door lock on the main door and a crappy one on the stall. The gym has windows in the front where you can see out, but not in.


When I got to the gym there was one older white man who is always there when I go. No biggie. Went to the bathroom (water kicked in). When I came out of the bathroom, a few minutes later another white man came in. I still had time on the treadmill so I could use the windows to keep an eye on everything. Then another one came in and I got a little uneasy. All the videos of black women being followed and attacked started flashing in my mind. I turned my headset down just in case there was a plan going on I needed to hear. I got on the elliptical and then guess what?

A fourth one came in. Hell naw! I promptly got off, grabbed my stuff and left out of the gym hurrying to my car. I was mad at myself for being scared. But was I scared or just aware? Would I have felt different if it was black men instead? I don’t know.

Nobody that ends up attacked ever plans on being attacked. These incidents are random and happens in unexpected places. I’m sure if I googled it, I can find a gym attack on a black woman, or just a woman period #Metoo, right? The sad part is, it doesn’t seem like the world is getting safer for people who look like me or my gender. I refuse to feel vulnerable living my everyday life so I have taken Krav and kickboxing. But today, I did.

For the first time ever in my life, I am getting my own personal weapon. I have always opposed guns due to my mother’s murder. Literally, guns make me have an anxiety attack. Guess I have to get over that.

When I got home, my husband hadn’t left yet. I told him why I left the gym early. As a man, I know he feels like he should be able to protect his wife, etc. But he isn’t always there and I am not willing to get up that dang early for the gym. So what did I do? I immediately ordered wrist pepper spray that I can wear at the gym and a stun gun.

I don’t have the solution, this is not a solution post. What I am telling you is this.

  • Be aware, but stop watching so many videos.
  • Be safe and ready to protect yourself.
  • Be ready and take self-defense classes.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Most of all, if your intuition tells you to leave, leave!

    The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.