Where I lift, there’s a circular walkway for people to walk or jog around the gym. One afternoon, a woman was lead into the gym in her wheel chair. She eventually stood up, placed her hands on her walker and with plastic braces running up both legs, this woman slowly dragged one foot in front of the other.
Speed was definitely not on her side. Neither was being able to walk straight. It was more of moving diagonally forward with dragged feet. I stopped what I was doing and just observed.
What would have taken me 20 seconds to lap, took her 5 minutes. And as she moved passed people, they gave her cheers and patted her on the back. I kept observing not realizing what was happening to me.
My mind wasn’t thinking anything as I sat there. Not even aware, I was biting my bottom lip harder and harder. It was coming. I jumped up and ran to my truck just in time to close its doors and burst into tears. Just painful gut sobs.
Why was I crying? Was it sympathy I was feeling? Pity? Sorrow? Was I just being present in her challenges? I honestly hope it was for compassion. But after pitching my tent at the self-awareness campground, I realized the smoke was from a wild-fire of an ego.
I’m relatively new to fitness. Only a few years under my belt. But man, have I loved the transformation. And more than that, I raise my hand and admit…..I love the compliments. To your face, I’ll pretend humbly decline the compliment, but I eat them up. I’m not naïve when it comes to the types of shirts or jeans I wear. Of course I throw the ones on that make my arms big and compliment my ass. I claim it.
The best thing….hire an amazing trainer to take things to the next level of fitness and size……welcome compliment heaven. Humbly show the progress pics on my phone to friends waiting for more compliments. Que the hashtags: #bringit #flex #throwbackthursday #flexfriday #nevergiveup #lifestyle #fitnessmotivation #killingit #fitnessmodel #fitnessislife #blah, blah blab blah……..barf.
How does all this link back to my crying in my truck? I try to be emotionally aware of myself and others. But when I let me ego grow from compliments, successes or talents, goodbye emotional awareness and sayonara to compassion for others. The subconscious is powerful and can give us gut-feeling reminders of things we’ve already know. For me, my subconscious did an “ego” check as I watched this woman with her walker and my ego didn’t like.
It’s easy to criticize individuals and tag them as “in to themselves”. Well, with my head down and eyes embarrassingly looking up, I realize I’ve become the person I’ve projected onto others. So back to the drawing board of self-awareness and character development. Just another area of my self-development that needs cleaning and some TLC.