I’m currently going to a gym. It’s a new kind of gym: very small, women-only, slow-but-constant concept sort of thing. I usually go about three times a week and am quite proud of myself.
This morning I was in the changing room. The doors opens and .. in shuffles a nun. A nun. A nun? With a long habit, flat religious-y shoes and a wimple (new word, no idea their head gear had that name). So in she shuffles, feet making a dusty sound on the floor, and slips into one of the dressing rooms. I had the presence of mind to say hello, and she had answered, smiling. I see the curtain in the dressing room, shocking pink, like all the others and most things in our gym, moving around as the stocky figure undresses. The nun. The nun was getting undressed, in a gym. Now, I’m not a very religious person, but I have some fundamental concepts that are clear and this presence triggered a volley of questions popping in my mind, like in the “pop-up videos” that Mtv shows sometimes.
What is a nun doing in a gym?
Don’t they have their own gyms in, like, their…convents? Or…nun-houses?
Is she even allowed to change? To be in dehabillé, without her tunic and head gear, in public?
Will she keep her rosary on?
And then the phone rings. Not mine. Hers. I hear her mumble, then the phone suddenly goes silent mid-tune. She sighs, then very loudly says “No, hoy no tengo gana de trabajar” Which means, literally
“No, I really don’t feel like working today”
More confusion. Extreme confusion. There’s a nun, in the gym, changing into non-nun-clothes and about to work out. She has a cell phone (ok, not too shocking) that she doesn’t answer because she doesn’t feel like working. Religious sci-fi, that’s what I think.
She appears from behind the pink curtain in white leggings, nun-approved shoes (the same that she shuffled in with), light grey t-shirt that matches her messy short-cropped hair. Smiles at my obvious stare and walks out.
Not shuffles, walks. I sneak into the dressing room and take a photo of her clothes.
The confusion remains.