This is a letter to the Dirty Old Men at my gym…..

Dear Dirty Old Men,

Since I was a little girl, you’ve been lurking around the edges of my life. I remember seeing you sitting in the window and watching me play in my backyard. And I noticed you walking down the halls of my elementary school. Somehow you even showed up to my softball games.

Because you loved looking at teenage girls, you taught in my high school.

I couldn’t avoid you in the workplace because you were my boss.

But now you’re older than dirt and have discovered that the gym is the right environment for you to do what you’ve always done.

You sit on the stationary bikes and stare at the ladies playing racquetball. You plant yourself on the weight machines so that you can watch the group exercise classes.

You should know that we are still aware that you are there. Even though you are old, you still make us uncomfortable. When you stare at us, we feel like bugs are crawling on our skin. We do our best to avoid you when you try to talk to us. And we hate it when we hear you stage whisper, “damn that looks good.”

You used to be young, strong, and powerful. We used to be afraid of you. But not any more. You no longer have the power to stop us from doing what we love. We are younger than you. We are stronger than you. And we’ll outlive you.