Getting the most out of your workout

Today I walked into my regular 9:30 AM workout class. I watched the other women, like creatures of habit, take their “assigned” spots on the floor as they casually greeted the woman to their left and the woman to their right with a smile and a hello. I did the same. In fact, I time it every day so that I arrive to class with exactly 30-45 seconds to spare so that I can quickly grab my spot, say hello, and start the workout.

The instructor began but instead of following her, I kept my eyes focused on the woman directly in front of me, like I do every day. She doesn’t know it, but she’s my motivation. I try to keep pace with her for the full 60 minute class. I silently think to myself how amazing it would be if I had half of her strength or even a quarter of her endurance. I’ve never spoken to her because, well, she’s in front of me and I only exchange pleasantries with the woman to my left and the woman to my right. She presumably does the same. Again, we are all creatures of habit.

Finally the workout was over. While I was huffing and puffing, the “inspirational woman of fitness perfection” had barely even broken a sweat. She’s like a flippin' superhero!

I walked toward the bench to grab my water bottle. I was taken aback when a woman I had never noticed before approached me out of the blue and said “Your hair is so thick and beautiful; a real sign of health.” Now it’s hard enough for me to receive compliments as it is, but this one was completely unexpected, as my hair was half-way falling out of a ponytail and disgustingly drenched in sweat. I stood there speechless as she went on to explain that her hair had gotten thinner with age and how she watches my ponytail bounce up and down every day with envy.

Every day? She’s behind me every day? Talk about perspective! I had never even noticed her before because I was always so fixated on the American Gladiator ahead of me, and all this time she’d been watching the back of my head.

So today after my workout I went home with extra sore muscles as well as some personal goals that are NOT at all fitness related:

1) Realize that everyone has insecurities.

2) Learn to take a compliment, already!

3) Remember to look behind you. Or rather, in the famous words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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