I had an awesome encounter with a "perfect stranger" yesterday. I'd finished up my workout, took the kids swimming for an hour at the gym, and then we decided to head to our favorite store, Bob's Produce Ranch, for brats and fresh corn-on-the-cob for dinner. We love Bob's! They're a very small, local store that has the freshest fruit and veggies and a fantastic butcher department. And lots of locally-grown stuff too! I'd just finished gathering our groceries and decided to pick up a few peaches while we were there. I turned to grab a bag for them and noticed an older woman looking at me, kind of like she knew me. I had no clue who she was and honestly, have never noticed her before. But, she and her daughter were busy picking out corn and I decided to be friendly and said something about Bob's being the only place we buy our corn anymore. And then, she said the absolutely most wonderful things to me that I have heard in a very long time! She explained that she sees me at Lifetime Fitness all the time and she's noticed how I've changed over the months. She says, "You are my inspiration to keep on going and to keep on working." I'm tearing up again just remembering it! I thanked her profusely. I don't see myself as being all that inspirational, but to read all of your comments and to hear things like this from complete strangers is just a phenomenal thing! Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who comment and keep me going!
Now, on the flip-side...I had a less than positive encounter with a stranger today. Well, not a complete stranger. We've never exchanged words before, but you'll remember this individual as the Stork Lady (the one who lifts one leg up, bent at the knee, and rides the elliptical on one pedal while pushing with her arms). I've noticed over the last couple of weeks that the Stork Lady doesn't like to work out next to me. I can't really blame her. When I'm doing the sprint-training sessions, it can be pretty annoying to work out next to me as I burst into the speedy, all-out, I-think-I'm-going-to-die 30-seconds. I was almost at the end of my sprint-training portion of my workout today when she came up and started setting up on the elliptical next to me. As she noticed me and started to pack up to move, I thought I'd be nice and let her know that I was nearly done with it. Yup, I'm rethinking that urge now. She lit in to an admonition about what I was doing, how it wasn't the best thing for my body, and I should be working out in the same way that she works out (far as I can tell, she does 90 minutes on the same elliptical equipment every day of the week, nothing ever varies). I cut her short. I explained that sprint training is something I've discussed with my doctor and it's meant for cardio-fitness. I stuck my earbud back in and burst into another speed interval. After my workout, I did stop by her elliptical to apologize "if I came off as being rude" and I briefly explained what the sprinting was meant to do and affirmed that yes, I do know that it can be annoying.
So, here's the thing....I know that working out next to someone who is using a varying speed can be really annoying. I know. I purposely choose an elliptical that is not right next to any other occupied elliptical. But, it's what I'm choosing to do for my health and my training and if you find it annoying, you can choose a machine somewhere further away from me. I've obviously become a familiar face to others at the gym. If you know you don't like working out next to me, why in the world would you choose an elliptical next to mine when there are 8 others open? But, that doesn't bother me nearly as much as someone trying to discourage me from exercising in the manner in which I choose. If you make it to the gym and are exercising, the only time anyone should ever criticize your choice of exercise methods is when it puts your life or the life of others in danger. No one should be discouraged from exercising, no matter how they choose to do it! And unless you're a certified personal trainer, you're not qualified to tell others how they should work out! The mean person inside of me is really tempted to delay going into the gym for the next few days so that I can be sure that I arrive later than she does and hop right onto whatever elliptical is right next to hers! I'm resisting that urge, but I might give in to the one that is telling me to print out an article or two on sprint training and it's benefits to hand to her the next time I see her at the gym. If any of you want to read up on it, there's a great article on the benefits of sprint training HERE.
Okay, something fun for my confession tonight....I have a serious crush on Vin Diesel! Incredibly serious crush on him! I'm guessing he's probably not the nicest person to meet and my crush actually doesn't have much to do with his face, which is just moderately attractive. It's not even because of his phenomenal physique. It's the VOICE! Oh, his voice just sends chills down my spine! Mmmmm....love that gravelly, rough, manly sound!