I think we all have moments in our lives that seem to be teaching us a lesson. Some of us listen in those moments. I’m trying to.
I was at the gym this morning, jogging on the treadmill. A fat woman – a really fat woman – was put on the treadmill next to me by a trainer and told to walk for 20 minutes. So, a few minutes pass, and the woman increases her speed. Then, a few more minutes pass, and the woman increases her speed some more. Now, she’s obviously going too fast for her level of fitness. So, a few more minutes pass, and she increases her speed some more. Now, she’s holding on for dear life, tries to take a drink from her water bottle, and nearly slips.
At this point, I think, “She’s going to fall. She’s going to fall.” And thinking of her falling, all I thought about was how it was going to affect me. I thought, “She’s going to fall and I’m going to have to help her – have to help her – have to help her!” It made me so angry.
And, sure enough, she fell. She increased her speed some more and she fell. And I stopped my treadmill and hurried to her asking if she was all right. She said she was but she wasn’t. She was mortified. She was nearly in tears. I told her it was okay, don’t feel bad; what was most important was that she was okay.
Her trainer came over and asked what had happened, which was kind of clear but I said, “She fell.” The trainer got angrier than I was inside, and inside I was fuming because my workout had been screwed up. But seeing this trainer get so mad, nearly to the point of shouting, it suddenly flashed on me that what I thought I was supposed to be there for – to work out – was NOT what I was supposed to be there for. Dumbass, I thought, THIS is what you’re here for!
It all took only about thirty seconds. The trainer took the woman away from the treadmill to get some water – but it was clear she was just taking her AWAY FROM THE TREADMILL. And I stopped my work out early. It was ruined not because of the woman falling but because I felt ashamed for thinking that was more important.
Hopefully, I’ll remember this in the future.