Inspiration Can Be Found When You Least Expect It

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Sunday morning I hit the gym just after it opened. I usually go early to get it out of the way, but this time I wanted to be there first thing. There’s a group of older (in their 60s??) gentlemen who congregate in the weight area. They seem to not have a plan, wander between machines unpredictably, and they hog equipment.

Unfortunately I seem to lift in the weight range of an old man when I work my back, so they always have my barbell held hostage by the time I get there. They stand around said barbell like it’s an altar and no one can get easy access to it. This week I even had to step over a folded newspaper and reading glasses. I guess they like to read between sets.


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I got creative and decided to use dumbbells instead of my captive barbell. Go me for stepping outside the box! I hauled my dumbbells over to the lat pulldown and did my supersets. As I was doing this, I noticed an older woman working on the cable machine. She was clearly older than the guys. I’d guess in her 70s for sure.

She was on the cable machine the entire time I did the lifting part of my workout. She moved the arms, wrote down her weights, worked different muscle groups. Never once did she crack open a newspaper or sit. Just about the time I was heading upstairs for cardio, she walked over to the rowing machine.

At the risk of seeming stalker-like, I was quite curious as to what she was going to do. I hate that rowing machine. It’s horrid and make me feel like I’m ready to die after 2 minutes or so. I watched her row away for 25 minutes. Slow and steady, but TWENTY FIVE minutes. After she finished, she met up with a woman I hadn’t noticed before. I assume based on age, the other woman was her daughter.

As they walked out together, I got a big smile and hoped that would be me and The Kid years from now. That woman is my inspiration. She could kick my butt any day in a rowing challenge, and I hope to be in half as good shape when I’m her age.

Do you have someone who inspires you?


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