Like many others, when I go to the gym, I pop in my ear buds, turn up my tunes and zone out on fitness for the next ‘however long.’ For the most part I don’t talk to any one, but Saturday was different. So I’m on the Arc machine doing my thing, and mind you, their are at least 10 other machines open all around me, when a lady (maybe in her 50’s) decides to do the Arc machine RIGHT besides me. Like, right next to me. Now, I keep my head forward as to avoid eye contact, but underneath my music I hear a lovely faint voice say “hello.” So I look over slowly and say hi. She proceeds to ask if I work out at this gym often, how long have I been coming and what I usually do. At first I was slightly annoyed, only because I was pressed on time, but then she turned into my motivation. What a wonderful and pleasant woman this Arc machine lady was. I found out she raised her family in this area, she loves the outdoors, but she has been recently diagnosed with MS. I noticed when she got on the Arc elliptical she could not stand straight and looked slightly in pain, I asked if she was okay. She said it can be tough for her to get to the gym because of the pain she is now in, but she knows working out is good for her health. And as she kept talking, the time went by and before you know it she was on the machine for 8 minutes. She looks at me with wide eyes and a subtle smile and says “thank you for talking to me, I was only going to do 5 minutes but now I’ll do 10.” She continued to say that every time it’s time to go to the gym it’s a real struggle, but she kicks her butt out the door, goes, and by the time she is finished her work out, she is proud and she knows it has helped her muscles. I told her she looks wonderful; that it’s encouraging to see her here and to see her fight her illness. She flattered me and said it’s people like me who help her to keep going. But little does she know, it’s people her her who help to keep me going.
So be the rose that blooms from the thorn bush. Don’t allow your surroundings to hinder your mind, body, and soul.