How do you feel if you have a coffee date with someone who may not share your zest for exercise? Do you dismiss him summarily, even if he has a viable excuse like a recent injury or surgery? Perhaps he’s not obese, but clearly isn’t an exercise fiend. Do you bid him adieu, or give him a little slack, thinking you can include hikes, walks, dancing and other physical activities in future dates to help him get in shape?
I am on the other side of this scenario. Frequently I receive emails from men whose profiles wax on about their everyday fitness regimen, perhaps accompanied by pics of their shirtless, buff selves. I am intimidated by these guys, thinking they will reject my midlife-looking body, which gets regular exercise, but has not been whipped into bathing-suit form.
So if a gym rat, marathon runner, century-riding cyclist or mountain climber inquires, I may respond, but not enthusiastically. I am afraid of a repeat of that horrible feeling when you first meet someone and you can see on his face he’s disappointed. A perfunctory, requisite 20-minute coffee chat ensues, sometimes painfully, as you know you’re marking time until one of you excuses him/herself gracefully.
What if a buff babe wants to keep seeing you and you know you’re not his equal when it’s time to reveal all? Do you put off the event as long as possible until you’re sure he won’t be repelled by your less-than-taut thighs — or other body parts that have been shifted by gravity? Or do you talk about your different fitness levels and invite him to do physical activities that will help you become more fit — even if you know it will be a lower pace than he’s used to?