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My Workout Inspiration: If HE Can Do It, I Can Do It

He arrived at the end of my workout. His foot gingerly, almost in slow motion, came over the top of the staircase landing, followed by the other one. His eyes squinted as he concentrated on his right hand releasing the railing as he transferred the cane from his left to the empty hand, his weight shifting to the cane. I could now see that in the hand with the cane, he had been holding a CVS drugstore bag which rattled with prescription pills? Vitamins? Obviously elderly, although I couldn’t tell his exact age, the man hobbled in my direction before finding his destination: the recumbent bike one unit over from me at the gym. Squinting with determination, he carefully dropped the cane to the floor beside the bike before inching himself into the seat. The CVS bag was hung over the bike’s water bottle carrier and from his pocket, he took a pair of ear buds which he plugged into the television unit of the bike. Slowly, with the pace of a turtle, he pedaled.

This was the end of my workout and I was covered in sweat. I HATE working out, but I know it’s the healthiest thing I can do, even if I just do a tiny bit more every day. By comparison with my venerable gym mate, I spring up those stairs to the second floor of the sports club. I, however, am out of breath when I arrive, just by climbing slowly. My new “friend,” was not. Like me, he didn’t wear the latest in workout gear. He donned a sports coat and baseball hat; I was in stained sweatpants, unmatched socks, and my son’s old soccer shirt. He didn’t seem to care what he looked like and neither do I. It’s not out of neglect, it’s just that as you get older, you don’t dwell on what others think of you. Hopefully, we are comfortable with who we are.

Watching him, I experienced an epiphany: if he can go through so much effort to get to that recumbent bike, so can I!

Who knows how long it took this gentleman to get out of the house or what kinds of aches and pains he has at his age? He, of the generation that thought smoking was healthy and the consumption of red meats essential, came here, inch by inch, in an effort to get healthier. It doesn’t matter how fast he pedals or whether he works up a sweat or not. He’s HERE, NOW.

He’s inspired me. Instead of subconsciously trying to talk myself out of going (by the way, I am proud to say I HAVE gone 5 days a week for the last two weeks!), I should be embracing the opportunity to workout! I should count my blessings that I can afford to go to a beautiful, clean, inexpensive gym. Every little bit of motion makes me a tad healthier every day.

My elderly gym mate, a complete stranger, has shown me that no matter what shape you’re in, it’s never too late to exercise. Every day I haul my butt to the gym, my body is getting better. If this man has the determination to go, so can I!


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