I went to the community center to work out last week, I don’t have a set schedule that I keep, so sometimes I work out first thing in the morning but I’m more likely to find my way there mid-morning or right at lunchtime. If I wait till much later in the day, I can talk myself out of going. Way too easy to do.
Anyway, I was sick with a chest cough for many weeks, went to the doctor several times and was given shots and prescriptions but ultimately it was time and rest that was needed most to get better. I was unable to work out for twelve weeks. Three months. There have been seasons in my life where that meant nothing at all, but I had been very consistently visiting the gym for the nine months prior, and I felt this absence.
I finally declared myself well enough to hop onto the elliptical, knowing that I would not be able to stay on it for the length of time I had prior to being sick. I was fine with this thought, I’m really in no hurry, but I quickly saw that it did matter to me after all. There was an older man on the machine next to mine, he was at least 15 years older than me, and he had a great pace going, looked over my way and greeted me and it was obvious he had just started because he wasn’t sweating or tired. I got on and felt the familiar movements that I had been missing for so long. It felt good to be moving again, but in no time I was soaking wet and sputtering for air. I made myself stay on for half the time I had been able to do prior, and I was counting down the minutes to accomplish it.
As I was hopping off I looked at my neighbor who was still going at the same cadence with no sign of stopping. He waved good-bye as I cleaned off the machine and I wanted to explain to him all the reasons that I was stopping so soon. Like he cared. This little situation forced me to acknowledge that I still worry too much about what others think of me, when I’m the only one who needs to be concerned about where I am. It’s a lesson that I would have thought I had mastered by now, but obviously not fully. This week I will go back to the gym and climb on that machine and give it my best shot, no matter who else is in the room.
Do you struggle with this area of pride sometimes? Please tell me you do.