Always trust your gut…
I was 15 or 16 years old. I was in 9th or 10th grade. Athletes had to get a yearly sports physical done in order to be able to participate in sports. I missed the sports physical that year when they had them at the school, so I had to make an appointment to get one done at the clinic. No physical, no gymnastics.
At that age, as most girls are, I was vulnerable and self-conscious about everything. I was self-conscious about everything, but mostly my body. I was very nervous about having to go to the clinic for the physical. They usually just put us in a line and we rolled through for the ones at the school. Super easy. Super chill. At that age everything mattered and everything was a big deal.
At that age adults were supposed to be on our side. They were supposed to protect us.
I was really upset I had missed the one at the school. I have no idea what I was doing that I missed it. But, there was nothing I could do about it and had to go to the clinic.
I went to the clinic and was to see a Physician’s Assistant, or PA. I was nervous. My pits were drenched and I could feel sweat running down my sides. Awesome. I waited. I’m not sure what I thought was going to happen. I didn’t like going to the doctor anyway and now I was there to get a sports physical. Ugh.
I felt like I had been waiting forever. It was finally my turn. The person called my name. I followed him down a short hallway. He told me to go in the room and take all my clothes off. I made sure to ask about the physical itself. I specifically asked him, “You only check the same tings as what they do at the school, right?” He said, “Unless you want me to check something else.” I was mortified. I was even more nervous now. Why would I have to take off my clothes? My gut was warning me. It was telling me. My thoughts were going crazy. I didn’t understand why I would need to take my clothes off. It didn’t make sense. The intuition was real. There would be no reason for me to have to take off my clothes.
That day, I listened to my gut. I didn’t take off all my clothes. I didn’t take off any of my clothes. I sat there on the table waiting for him to come back. I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. It felt like forever. I was a huge rule follower and I felt like I was going to get in trouble. I thought maybe he wouldn’t sign the form and I wouldn’t be able to participate in the sport I loved. I was scared and nervous and I wanted to do the right thing.
The right thing to me was not taking off my clothes. The right thing to me was having the courage and intuition to know something bad was going to happen to me if I did what I was told. The right thing to me was sticking up for myself.
The wrong thing for him was thinking every young girl was going to take off all their clothes just because he said to. The wrong thing for him was abusing his position. The wrong thing for him was being so arrogant to think his motives couldn’t or shouldn’t be questioned.
He came back in the room a few minutes later and never said one word about me not being undressed. At that point in time, I knew I made the right decision. I was right to listen to my gut. I was right to listen to my intuition. I was right to stick up for myself. I was right to question authority.
I couldn’t wait to get out of that place. I couldn’t wait to get away from him.
I think back about what happened. I think about it step by step. I think how it could have been a lot different. The thing is though, I shouldn’t have to think about how lucky I was. He never should have done that. He never should have said those things to me. He should have made me feel safe and he didn’t.
Always listen to your gut. If the voice is warning you, listen to it.
And there will be haters who will say, well nothing happened to you, but that would be missing the whole damn point now, wouldn’t it?
If anything like this has ever happened to you, I’m sorry.