Nancy Roman

Not So Scary

I went to Zumba this week – how I love to dance away a few calories – although I probably need to Zumba about fifteen hours a day for the next month to make an impact on Christmas cookies.

The class is conducted as a separate entity inside a very nice and busy workout gym. But I don’t really like the gym and all those weights and machines, and the noise. And especially – the muscly men.

There’s something about these big-armed, big-thighed, big-necked men that has always disconcerted me. My husband is big and strong, and I like it, but these guys are something different.


I’m not sure why. I think perhaps I feel judged. That I have an ordinary, slightly old body. (maybe I should change the title of this blog from Not Quite Old to Slightly Old. I’m certainly getting there.)

As I was leaving my class – which is mostly all women, except for one older guy who has no sense of rhythm but is very determined, and so therefore I love him), I had to walk through the scary-guy-filled gym. And my way down the aisle was blocked by two big blocks.

Two muscle-bound tattooed, shaved-head guys. Half my age and four times my size.


And as I tiptoed around them, I heard their conversation.

Big Muscles #1: “How was your Christmas?”

Big Muscles #2: “Okay, I guess.” He paused. “This was the first Christmas since my Mom died.”

BM #1: “Oh, I know how bad that feels. I been there, too”

BM #2: “We all got through the best we could.”

And there, in this noisy, busy gym, I got teary. Teary and ashamed.

Why in the world do any of us judge each other?

I worry about these tough guys judging me. But I had judged them.

I thought they were different.


But they are just like me.

As I miss my Dad this Christmas.

Life is scary.

People are not.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.
Theo was afraid of this scary guy at first, but he turned out to be pretty nice.


  1. We all seem to judge on occasion, but you have reminded us of why it isn’t a good idea. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Everyone has a story. Everyone fights a battle. But, we are human and not perfect. Happy New Years!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I do that sometimes at my gym too. Maybe it’s because they are different. That in itself is scary.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. One never knows what someone is going through. And we shouldn’t judge. I can’t do zumba…no coordination! I would be totally embarrassed.


  5. lindafawcett5741

    Thanks so much for thi article. It is so true, life is scary. But we get through it the best way we can.


  6. Pam

    Aww, what a sweet post. For the new year I resolve to not judge.


  7. Such an important message here Nancy. We could all use a reminder now & again when it comes to judgement. Thanks for sharing!


  8. Yes, the theme ‘scary’ is nicely explained. Thanks!!!


  9. Great message and so very true. I think we all feel judged at times but we do it too. Definitely a good motto to take forward.


  10. jaxxplorer

    Great post! Really makes you think.


  11. Great post


  12. I don’t think I would be automatically intimidated by big muscly men (my hubby is 6’5″ and not scary at all), but it is easy to assume the worst of people who seem very different from us. For me, people with expensive clothes and highly-driven careers make me feel judged, when they’re probably just as insecure inside! A good reminder that we’re all human (or canine of course!)


  13. What an excellent post! We really do spend so much of our time worrying about being judged, and don’t realize that means we are already judging others: assuming they are mean people who are going to judge us. It’s complicated and very negative. Thanks for pointing this out!


  14. I try not to judge people, some people may look scary but are anything but


  15. Roxanne Brennan

    Nice. Reminds me of the movie Home Alone…the scene with Kevin talking to his scary neighbor in the church. Know it?


  16. fivecentsmatter

    You probably rocking your Zumba harder than anyone else in the class, you go girl. Don’t worry about judging. It happens to all of us and only some of us are aware of actually putting a label on it.


  17. Great post. Teary over here too.


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