Inner-U

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An Invaluable Gift....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on June 13, 2013 at 12:15 AM


“Be kinder than necessary,  for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”


The gym seems to be the great equalizer.  And I don’t mean in the way I find that mysterious flab that pops out of the sides of my sports bra while I am working out that reminds me I haven’t spent as much time at the gym as those sleek and beautiful trainers, or when I see some guy squat 200 pounds, 20 times like he was riding a bike and yet my knees buckle and shake when I am on rep 3.5.


It is the great equalizer in the sense that most people (well me) go to the gym freshly rolled out of bed, hair amiss, no makeup, dressed in a t-shirt and gym shorts.  We go to the gym to work out, we may chit chat about the weather, or last night’s game, but we are just people, striving to look good, or be healthy and to lose weight.  Sometimes we never see those people outside of the sweaty treadmills and torturous Nautilus contrapments.


I once ran into a man whom I had done yoga next to 6 days a week for 3 months in a coffee shop.  I said hello and he asked me my name.  Now I know that hot yoga is not my best look, but this man literally did not recognize me showered, dressed and with make-up on. We were strangers.


Today at the gym, as I was re-filling my water bottle, I noticed a newspaper article posted on the bulletin board about a beautiful young girl who had overcome a horrific tragedy and had recently won a teen fitness competition.  It wasn’t until the middle of the article that I realized that this article was about a young woman whom I had seen at the gym almost every day for the last 6 months.  (She too looked different in street clothes and make-up).


As I read the article I was inspired by this girls determination, the motivation behind her diligent and constant work at the gym.  I realized that over the last 6 months, though I had noticed her and had commented to her that she looked great and her development was definitely noticeable, I had no idea who she was.


I had made assumptions about her, based on nothing more than my own imagination.  I could tell she was a dancer by the way she moved. I imagined her as a ballerina or gymnast that was training for a new part.  I wondered if she worked, or how old she was, or how she afforded to work with a trainer every single day.  But I didn’t know her. I didn’t know her story.  I didn’t know her family or her background.  I had no idea that this beautiful girl has suffered tragedy at the most painful and visceral level. I didn’t know that her work at the gym was her strategy for coping with incredible hurt and loss.


And when I saw her a moment later, she looked different. She wasn’t the just the pretty ballerina I had created in my own mind.  She was real, and authentic, with loss and triumph and struggles and victories. She wasn’t a hologram of a person in my perifery, she was real.  I was even hesitant to say anything to her, thinking I may embarrass her or offend her because I had this sense of knowing her now, it was intimate and it was raw.


I told her that she inspired me and confessed that I had no idea about what she had gone through.  And then she did this crazy thing, she shook my hand and she asked me my name.


It dawned on me that she has no idea who I am either.  To her I am probably just that weird older lady who meditates on the stairmaster, listens to spanish music and sometimes sings off key, forgetting she is wearing headphones.  The lady who comes in and says “Good Morning Girls” every morning, but nothing more.


I was like a fish popping out of the water, and becoming aware of the water.  So often we drift through life, doing our things, running our errands, attending to our responsibilities, not even noticing the richness of the people around us or the opportunities we miss to love and grow and learn and experience.  And I for one, trapped in my overworked mind, withold myself and who I am from most of the world, unaware that I am doing so.


Thank you Tiffany.  Not just for inspiring me by your heart and determination, but for pulling me out of the illusion that is my everyday routine and allowing me the opportunity to appreciate the spectrum which is our human community. You have given me the gift of distinguishing how often I am oblivious, playing out my own illsuion and drama while missing out on actual life, happening right in front of my eyes.  That was an invaluable gift.



By: Cherie DiNoia

Visit her at: http://cheriedinoia.com


Categories: MINDFULNESS, STORIES

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