I do my best to stay healthy. I visit the gym at least twice per week, and run or bike five days each week. I’ve done a better job recently eating healthier, and I generally feel quite good (I’m still working on getting to sleep earlier. . . I’ll save that for another post). With all that in mind, though, I still do complain from time-to-time about how I feel, or about little things that end up bothering me which are, in effect, ridiculous to complain about.
Every once in a while, we need to hear something, or see something, that reminds us “how lucky we are.”
So, earlier this week at the gym, I ran into an older couple who tends to go to the gym the same time as I do. They must be in their seventies or eighties and they are clearly committed to enjoying their time together, and a visit to the gym plays a part in that. I always say “Good morning” but that is really the extent of it. They tend to work out for about 30 minutes and then hit the road.
Over the last few weeks they had been missing. I didn’t think much about it until I saw them this week.
The husband was in bad shape. He was walking with a cane, looked thinner and truly appeared as if he was struggling. And yet, they came in, said “Good morning,” and got into their routine. I watched for a few minutes as the husband challenged himself with how to navigate the gym and the machines based on his health changes. His wife gave him space, and he made the most of the time he was there.
I don’t know what happened. I didn’t ask, partly because I don’t know them well enough to feel comfortable doing so, and partly because I was too busy reflecting on my own life.
I’ve been in generally good health for as long as I can remember. And, because of that, I’ve been able to do the things that I want to do and that others want me to do. And yet, here was a man whose health had deteriorated, and he was so committed to the process and the time with his wife, that he was willing to resume his schedule and not let his injury stop him.
As I drove in to the office after my workout, I considered all the ridiculous things I had been complaining about, and remembered how ridiculous they were. I truly am a lucky person. We can all get caught up in the small stuff; the key is remembering every once in a while the big things, and recalibrating to put the emphasis on them instead.