Today was a normal Monday for me. I woke up and got my son ready for school. I did a few things around the house for my wife. Then she took him to school and I went to the gym.
When I got to the gym I went on the Stairmaster like I have done for a couple of years. Some people hate the machine but I love it. I love it because I could not climb stairs when I was 420 pounds. I could not do a whole lot when I was 420 pounds. But I worked real hard at the gym just to be able to get the courage to go on that machine. I will never look back.
When I was on it I was working out next to a woman who I have seen before numerous times. She always smiles at me. She works out very hard. I would say she is about five foot ten and maybe 120 pounds. She always wears Ironman clothing and shirts from marathons, so I know she is a serious about fitness.
But while I was working out next to her today something weird happened. She took out her headphones and looked at me. So I took of mine as well. Then she said the strangest compliment I have ever gotten……
“Are you training for the Boston Marathon next week?”
I am not going to lie. At first I got a little mad. I thought she was being funny with me. But I realized that she was not. She was serious.
“Um, no. I do not really run. I just like this machine.”
She told me that she tries to run three a year and the Boston Marathon was her special one. When I asked her if she did the Disney Marathon (We live in Orlando) she told me that she liked to travel to other cities and that the Disney was not as competitive as she liked. She told me her time was three hours and something. I do not remember because I was in awe that her time was three hours anything. I told her that was amazing but she gave me a weird look.
“I have a long way to go.”
Then she told me how she was in the top 12,000 people out of 27,000 people at the last Boston Marathon. That was not good enough. I told her we came from such different worlds because in my world, just even attempting to do a marathon is the most incredible feat ever.
She told me how she did not like stickers on the back of her car with her marathon accomplishments. She told me how she hated the treadmill and she could only run outside. She told me how the Stairmaster is a beast but it helps her on hilly areas. She told me how she sprained her ankle at the five mile mark at one Marathon in Chicago and kept going. She was telling me all of these stories when it hit me….
She thought I was training for the Boston Marathon.
She really thought it. She has seen me workout at the gym and she said that it was similar to her workout (minus the running which she thought I did outside). She has seen me lose some weight in 2013 (Now down 220 pounds for over four years).
And she was a pretty hardcore athlete. She did not know that I could not go on the treadmill for a minute five years ago. She did not know that I battle food every day. Why would she know? She told me that she does not use Facebook.*
* That one she had to tell me a couple of times because I still cannot believe that some people do not use Facebook.
It made me feel good. It was one of the most random and most wonderful compliments I have ever received. A guy who has been called fatass by numerous people. A guy who has also been called inspirational my numerous people. A guy who has fallen so many times but luckily has gotten up one more time.
When we were done working out I told her good luck at the race next week. I honestly did not know what else to say to her. She then asked me if I was training for something else?
“Not really. I just love working out.”
I am training to be a better person every day. And I refuse to stop trying to be my best.