I saw something happen at the gym this morning and I couldn’t help but turn it into a much bigger picture than what it appeared to be at first glance.
I was finishing up my workout on the mats, just stretching and minding my own business. It was arm day, and there’s nothing greater than being covered in sweat, looking in the mirror, and knowing that you worked so hard for the past hour. I looked past myself for a moment, and saw a man with a white cane in the reflection. He was reaching for one of the stationary bikes, and it was clear that he was blind.
I continued stretching, trying not to stare, but I honestly couldn’t help myself. He reached for the bike, adjusted the seat, turned on his walkman, and felt for the pedals as best he could. No one was around to assist him, but it didn’t look like he needed help. About two minutes passed, and he was on the bike, listening to his music, smile from ear to ear, in his own world of exercising.
I looked back at myself in the mirror and realized something.
We spend so much time focusing on exercise to be a direct reflection of how we look, instead of letting it be a reflection of how we feel.
Here is a man, from what I saw probably in his late-sixties, who will never be able to see his success after working out. However, he is able to feel his strides, feel his progress, and ultimately feel good. So at what point are we going to stop finding a correlation between exercising and looking good, and start paying attention to everything that is going on inside.
My mom might be embarrassed if I bring her into this conversation, but I can’t help but think of her. She’s recently been exercising really hard. She wakes up and on some days, is in the gym by 6 AM. She’s been eating right (except for holidays), and she’s honestly trying to live a healthier lifestyle. But the other day I was sitting in her room helping her get ready for an event she was attending. All she could say was, “I’m not seeing any results. I still don’t look as good as I want to.” She neglected to acknowledge the way she has been feeling — having more energy, getting better sleep at night, and overall just living that lifestyle that she’s striving for. My mom may just be one example, but I know she represents a majority of people dieting.
So I guess all I’m trying to say is that we should stop focusing so much on the superficial results, and do more things simply because they make us feel good. This doesn’t just go for eating right and working out, but it goes for everything. Don’t date someone simply because they look better than the next. Don’t work just because you make a lot of money. Remember to focus on how doing things makes you feel. Because there are some people that don’t have any other choice.