Fitting Words

By Christie Buie
Texas, USA

Fitting Words

Six months ago I decided it was time for me to get fit and I joined a health club. Having never belonged to one before, getting started was intimidating. Even with the courteous and professional staff, the motivation had to be my own.

Originally, I had joined the club along with my sister and sister-in- law. My plan was that we would encourage each other to keep at it. For a while, the plan worked. Soon though, the newness wore off and my sister- in-law dropped out. Then my sister couldn’t make every session and I started having to go alone.

It may not seem that big a deal to some, but for me this was an important commitment. Going alone was difficult. One particular night I had a lot to do and was making every excuse in the book not to go. I felt it would be a small victory if I even just showed up. After a very difficult workout, instead of feeling invigorated and pumped up, I felt beaten down and tired. I wanted to quit.

As I was about to walk out the door, one of the trainers was also leaving. “John” ran up to me and said, “Hey, great workout tonight! I’ve seen you here regularly and you are doing a great job. Keep it up!” With that, he insisted on giving me a high five and said he’d see me the next night.

That little bit of encouragement motivated me to come the next time. John was there — and once again, encouraged me to stick with it.

Since then, whether I work out alone or with my sister, John always makes it a point to say something encouraging. His words may seem like a very little thing to him, but to me they are a huge motivation. And it seems like John’s words are always there when I need them the most.

In case anyone thinks this guy might just be flirting with me, I am 5’3″ tall, and when I started working out I weighed almost 300 pounds. Even after losing 50 pounds in the past 6 months, I am still a big woman. This guy truly is just being nice to someone who obviously needs a kind word from time to time.

John is partially responsible for the fact that I didn’t give up on my fitness goals. He helped get me over the rough spots before exercise was a daily habit. I have a long way to go, but I have made it to the point where I have made permanent lifestyle changes. Considering the risks that go along with obesity, it is very possible that his kind words are helping me to save my own life.

Originally published as HeroicStories #279 on Feb 14, 2002

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