Yesterday I went to the gym, I was early so I waited a little for the kickboxing class ahead to leave. Then innocently enough I set down my yoga mat in the studio and waited for class to start. The fans were blowing hard to rid the room of the mugginess that creeps up when people work their hearts out. Then the incident happened.
I had not been to this instructors class before, and so I was unaware that she sprayed the room with a lavender scented perfume before starting class. This was a massive problem for me for two reasons: the smell of lavender makes me feel nauseous, and perfume makes it difficult for me to breathe, especially in a muggy room. Unfortunately to leave I had to walk through the area she was spraying by the door, and so I made a point to tell her I was leaving because she was spraying. She followed me outside where after breathing heavily for a few moments I told her I was allergic to scents. I also explained the scent free policy that exists at the gym to protect people from this sort of episode. She said that people usually complain about the sweaty smell and not her perfume. To be honest, the room smells a little because people were working hard, but it doesn’t smell that bad. Its a gym for pete sakes! I don’t expect it to smell beautiful, and in fact I think the smell of sweat is kind of encouraging, if they worked hard you can work hard too! Eventually she went back inside.
I ended up spending half of the time I meant to be in the class just sitting on a chair outside the room, feeling nauseous and breathing abnormally hoping the scent would dissipate. So half an hour after the incident I wasn’t feeling my best, but I thought I had recovered enough and decided I would try it out. I made it through the rest of the class which would have been better if I could have taken the whole thing, from what I witnessed I liked her style of teaching yoga. The part that irritates me is that I never got an apology and was not asked if I was okay when the class was over. I just hope that she learned her lesson, and before spraying wildly in a class she asks if anyone has an allergy. It would be a really simple step that in a scent free area should always be taken, and could really have made my day a lot less awful. I know I am not alone in this battle, so I hope that my scent free friends speak up whenever someone breaks the rules – they are there for a reason and others need to learn to be more considerate of scent free needs.