The Brutal Honesty Of A Stranger
A little over a year ago while I was running laps in Washington Square Park I was stopped by this woman who I usually just waved to or smiled at while working out. She appears to be in her late 40’s / early 50’s is of Middle eastern descent and I would always see her walking around the inside quarter of the park. I normally don’t stop when I’m running or working out to talk to strangers but something about her demeanor told me it was OK to stop.
“How much weight did you lose?” she asked in her broken accent
“oh…40 pounds” I answered
“well, you look great. I remember when you first started working out and you could barely run. Now look at how you do.”
She then proceeded to tell me how after seeing my progress instead of eating in the park she’d come out and walk for a half hour. She basically was telling me that I inspired her to put down the cheese steak and go for a brisk walk during lunch. I went back to my group and told them what she said. I had a hard time holding back a little tear when telling the story.
Since that interaction I have seen her out there almost everyday. We’d always smile and wave when we’d pas each other. I even noticed she’d start to run during her last lap of walking. Rain, sun, or snow, she was out there, with us, doing her walking and running. I feel bad that I don;t know her name but she’s “my friend” whenever we see her walking about.
It was raining out today during our outdoor Ranger Training Workout but that doesn’t stop us. I actually prefer bad weather because that’s means less people or tourists in the park. After running a few laps I saw “my friend” again, walking with her umbrella. This time, she stopped me:
“How much more weight you lose?” she asks
“Overall? Close to 60 pounds” I answer
“Oh wow! Every time I see you you look skinnier. And now, not only can you run but you now run FAST!”
I was beyond flattered. I had struggled in my own realm to get faster,slimmer and better that I didn’t take into perspective what someone else thought of my progress. Her compliment gave me such a confidence boost that the rest of my workout went smoothly. On her last lap she took off running. I yelled to her “YEAH!!!!! GO GET EM!” I saw her smile as she finished her last lap running.
I suppose the key to this is if you are out there grunting and sweating, making changes to your body by sacrifice and giving up certain foods, someone is going to notice. If you do well enough you might inspire them to make some changes themselves. Of course, those changes will take place within your own body, so why not inspire or motivate someone else?