I found myself at my daughter’s volleyball game last week at a small school here in the rural Colorado mountains. I tend to keep to myself and am less extroverted when it comes to school activities, probably because we haven’t lived here very long, so I don’t know many of the parents or faculty. Though I was watching the game, I was very intently paying attention to conversations around me involving other parents.

Let me preface this with the fact that I don’t outwardly appear to fit the rural demographic. I am obviously tanned, drive a BMW instead of a truck (though I used to drive a truck, no one here knows this because I sold the truck before we moved), and I don’t wear 1985 Levi jeans and work boots (and PLEASE understand that I am not at all knocking these people as much as I am pointing out the stark contrast between us, at least on the surface). I have it in my tiny little brain that I stand out in situations like this, but the reality is that, at least lately, I don’t.

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Sitting at the volleyball game, I overhear an older woman (older to me is in their 50s even though I am “old” to someone in their 30s) cackling incessantly to another woman, trying to justify her hog-eating of a large pretzel with mustard on it that she got from the concession stand. She is talking about how it is "on her diet", and the other woman is buying her justification, hook, line and sinker (I felt the fishing reference fit with the rural setting). I should also mention that the woman is quite large — both of them are, actually. Not obese but borderline, or what I like to call, “I don’t give a fuck because I am constantly in jeans, a long sweater, high boots, and a light jacket because I am rural Colorado and you can’t see my fat if I cover it” condition. It could also be called “rural-chic”, I suppose, but I digress.

You might be thinking that I am a judgmental dick, but bear with me here and make your determination after reading this in its entirety.

She goes on to discuss her diet with the other woman and I give an inside-my-head eye-roll. On the other side of me, two guys sitting about ten feet away are discussing whether they are going to grab some nachos at the concession stand or go to the local watering hole for a burger after the game for dinner. Another eye-roll ensues inside my head. I say "inside my head” because these rural-types are rough around the edges and I don’t want to get smacked in the throat if they see my eye-roll. I might be a judgmental dick, but I am not stupid and vaguely pussy-like. Getting smacked physically hurts, and getting smacked at my daughter’s volleyball game would probably leave an emotional scar as well.


I continue to sit there judging pretty much every conversation within earshot. However, even though it took some time to come to this, I did finally catch myself and reminded myself that these people don’t train, they don’t care to “diet”, and though they care what they look like (they were dressed as well as anyone else in the gym that day for rural Colorado), they have accepted their “physique”  (or lack thereof) as an accepted part of aging. Upon further reflection, it also occurred to me that I am not currently in great shape, my tan has faded considerably, and I am just as old as all of these people.

In fact, I likely would have considered a burger for dinner as well, because I am not training at this time. My instincts were to correct the woman giving dieting advice before I soon realized that I would have been looked at as a dick (reoccurring theme, you could say) and then they would have looked at me in my long jeans, baggy shirt and jacket (I have worn a jacket maybe five times in the last 10 years) covering my fat, untrained, and sorry-ass-of-an-example bodybuilding condition.

It was at that point that I realized that, technically, I am no different than they are. The same people I was sitting there judging were doing pretty much the same things I have been doing. They weren’t going to the gym that day or that week or month. I have not seen the gym in weeks, either. My prior years of training don’t make me any better than they are.

We, as a sport or industry, tend to sit on our high horse and judge others as to how fat or thin they are, how they eat, and usually how they dress. Sad, really. I have always considered myself someone who doesn’t look down upon others but realized today that I was doing just that as I sat there at the game — when I should probably have been paying way more attention to the game itself. I then sat there and wondered why we do this and came to this honest conclusion: speaking for myself on that particular day, I was doing it because I felt shitty about myself for not being terribly motivated lately and having little to no structure with my training and diet. I have had many obstacles this year, but that is a lame excuse for both not fighting harder to stay on track and also for judging normal people who don’t obsess about always being in excellent condition.

No wonder no one talks to me. Even though I am sitting here and am one of “them”, I’m a judgmental dick and they are not. I need to get back in the gym and work on me. Just Sayin’.