Face the Fear


She stands there, a half-frozen water bottle clutched under her left arm and her off-white gym shoes with the frayed laces in one hand, set of keys in the other. She surveys the room; it mechanical smell and rows of grey machines seem to stare at her. They judge the pooch along the line of her stomach and the little squishy layer of fat around her hips. She knows that the machines can see this, everyone can. She sets her shoes down on the floor in front of her, takes a deep breath and closes her eyes for only a second. It isn’t easy to rid herself of the voices. These voices scream at her from the bathroom mirror, layered with shower steam. These voices whisper as she pulls on a pair of jeans, wiggles to squeeze together the top button. But these voices do not have control, she won’t let them. She opens her eyes and surveys the room again. The rows of grey machines, she will conquer them. She steps one foot into a gym shoe, then the other. She is slow and deliberate. She takes her time and tells herself words of encouragement. One foot in front of the other, she begins to face her fear.

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