Imagine you are meeting someone for the first time. You want to tell them about yourself. Instead of reciting a laundry list of what you do or where you're from, please give us a scene from your life that best illustrates your true self. Word limit is 600.
Walking the mountain early with the dogs, it was Monday and time to head to the Y. Arriving at my normal time and hanging up my jacket, my iPod and workout gloves seemed ready. Passing the stationary bicycles and seeing "the General" peddling away as usual, I stopped, smiled and said, "Good Morning, General!" As always, he said, "Why hello there, young lady." While chatting, I reached around his neck and tucked in the tag of his sweatshirt. Acknowledging the gesture with a nod and a smile, I continued on.
Selecting my elliptical program, donning my earphones and picking a favorite play-list, something wasn't right. To my left, a woman I'd never seen before was attempting to start her elliptical and set the controls. Walking her through the steps, she began peddling and thanked me. I smiled, introduced myself and told her if ever she needed any help to simply ask. If I didn't know the answer, I would find someone that did.
During my thirty minutes, a few of the regulars stopped to chat. Dismounting and cleaning the machine, the weight room was next. Dorothy was standing with her hubby, Harwell. We hugged tightly, exchanged "good and yous" and as they headed toward the track, I noticed the crippled elderly gentleman. Attempting to hang up his jacket, each time he would try to reach up to the hook, he would loose his balance because of his braces. "Would you like me to do that for you?" I asked. He nodded and smiled.
Focusing on the remaining machines, I saw another member struggling with one of the adjustments. I bounced up off the seat walked over and asked, "need a hand with that?" He smiled and said, "why thank you, PJ." "Oh no," I said, "it's not PJ, like pajamas, it's JP. Do I look like a pair of pajamas?" Heading back to my machine, he laughed as did several others in the room.
The resistance room was next. Passing the coat rack, I saw one of the old timers struggling to put his coat on. He has one full arm and one arm that was amputated above the elbow. He is such a sweet, dear fellow. For years, I called him "Ed." When I found out that I'd been calling him the wrong name and apologized, he smiled and shrugged saying "that's OK. It made me feel good that you even said hello." Helping him put his jacket on and patting him on the shoulder, I told him I' d see him on Wednesday.
Using the adductor, another member was sitting on the abductor next to me. I said, "And where have you been?" He explained that his MS was plaguing him recently. Listening intently and sharing a story with him about a close friend who has the same disease, the moral was clear. He agreed not to give up.
Before I knew it, it was time to head home. Starving, I had been there two hours and headed over to hug Lucy. "See you Wednesday," I said, trotting down the stairs.
As I drove, I thought I wonder what people think when they meet me.