The gym stinks – why some people avoid public spaces
Posted: 20 May, 2016
By: Annemarie Lombard
I took my two sons, age 13 and 8 to the gym last week. As we walked towards the entrance my 13-year old son asked me: “Mom, do you know the gym stinks?” Obviously being the sensory intelligence expert I immediately knew what he was talking about. When prompted for more information, he said that it smelled like people sweating. As the doors opened, he immediately raised his voice and pulled a face saying: “Mom, now it really stinks, you MUST be able to smell it?!” Obviously as we were moving from outside into the gym, the smell was more significant, but I could not really smell it. I mentioned his low sensory threshold assessment saying that he has a special nose that can smell a lot of things while others can’t. He has a sensitive smell, taste and tactile system. He is the more serious, sensitive, intuitive, responsible and structured child who picks up vibes, emotions and discomfort a mile away. He is the more contained child needing space on his own and fewer activities. Smell is a very strong and favourable sense for the brain which often has immediate and massive impact.
People smell things straight away, they comment, withdraw or avoid straight away but then luckily smell dissipates quickly. We could carry on and had a great time fooling around on the gym equipment. I don’t have much of a workout with them, but hopefully am teaching them some healthy lifestyle tips and habits. At the same time, his 8-year old brother and I did not smell a thing. You could possibly kill a cat in there and we will most likely not notice it. We have high sensory thresholds. My 8-year old is creative, boisterous, loud, busy and energetic. He needs to be occupied, doesn’t need that much quiet space and gets bored easily. I need to ensure that he has more activities than his brother to keep his brain and systems stimulated. What a blessing it is to understand their core needs so well. Knowing when to stimulate, withdraw, do less or do more. It makes managing them easier and I can observe their individualism and choices developing from their core sensory assessment. There is true magic in understanding ourselves and our family members to this core foundation level. Live life sensationally and think twice before judging next time. You might be dealing with a different sensory assessment in family member, friend, colleague or child.