Dennis M. Ayotte, Jr. is La Prensa's resident Writer-at-large with many of his own MAN issues. Follow his column as his shares his tales of success, his failures, insecurities, unique views on life and occasional rants.
S.A..- Dennis M. Ayotte, Jr. is La Prensa's resident Writer-at-large with many of his own MAN issues. Follow his column as his shares his tales of success, his failures, insecurities, unique views on life and occasional rants.
By Dennis M. Ayotte, Jr
I hate summer. It’s hot, I sweat profusely (forcing me to double up on my deodorant) and the physically gifted walk around half naked with no worries.
When I was younger I can remember being the one guy at the pool party that didn’t take off his shirt. I was consumed by the insecurities of what other may think of my “man boobs” and “jelly rolls.” I would sit on edge with my feet in the water till eventually I would have to get in the pool. I always wore my shirt though and came up with clever excuses such as; “I don’t want to get sunburn” or “I brought an extra shirt, no worries.”
If I felt brave I would take my shirt off while underwater and hang out in the deep end so my upper body wouldn’t be exposed. Getting out of the pool afterward became an art. I would strategically place a towel near one of the edges so I could nonchalantly make my exit and cover up while I sprinted to my extra shirt.
Winter and fall were much more kind. I was able to wear my favorite scarves, sport coats and jeans. They allowed me to cover up which made it was easier to blend in with those who had better physiques. Winter was always kind to my husky figure. It was a chance to conceal the extra baggage I toted around and suppress my insecurities from being overweight. Then summer would rear its ugly head and all my insecurities would flood my mind. I wore my winter gear through mid-summer until friends would remind me I was crazy and say things like “Bro it’s 100 degrees out, what’s with the jacket?” or “Seriously? A scarf, WTF.”
I was pathetic, and I knew it—so I made a change. I got in the gym and worked on all the areas of my body I didn’t like until I felt more comfortable in my skin. The gym can be an intimidating place but what I found out is that everyone was there for the same reason—to better themselves. Whether it’s the guy trying to chisel out his abs in order to look like his idol, the Jersey Shore’s “The Situation”, the “cougar” doing an extra set of squats so she can snag the attention of the 20-something year old guys across the gym or the 400 pound guy who knows if he doesn’t act now he might not live through his 40’s.
Strive to free yourself from your insecurities while in the gym or on your daily run. Let the gym be your sanctuary where you can be at peace to work on your goals and liberate yourself from all the negative thoughts you bear.
Insecurities are like the hideous multi-colored sweaters stitched with bells, fuzzy snowflakes and reindeer our grandparent’s give us at Christmas—we all have them but never want to be caught dead wearing one.