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Aug 202014


It’s 1:30 a.m. I am sitting on my kitchen counter eating a chunk of watermelon the size of a manual type writer and pondering the elderly gentleman at the gym. What warrants my reflection is not someone of advanced age at the gym, but that he circled the track with a walker. This is a common scenario at malls or parks — but somehow out of place here…not inappropriate, just uncommon.

As I navigate around the seeds, spitting the ones I don’t avoid towards the sink with enthusiasm devoid of skill, it occurs to me that it may be humbling for this man to be the lone walker-user amidst the other track goers, none of which were even just walking. What is his motivation? My first though is rehabilitation or recovery from injury.

Anyone who’s been through physical therapy for anything can attest to the impact of focused and dedicated effort. Objects at rest tend to remain at rest. Conversely, objects in motion tend to stay in motion. We create forward momentum. This gentleman intensely circling dozens of folks half his age will remain in motion long after we sit down if we don’t consistently get back up and again move forward.

Whatever the reason, he had the air of a man on a mission… forget looking humble, he was focused like a laser. You could almost see the reflection of his unknown goal reflected in his face as he intently made progress one hunched but firm step at a time. Perhaps he is aiming for a higher quality of life, extended years of independence, improved health, or maybe just to prove something to himself. Putting away the salt shaker and reinstalling the remainder of the behemoth melon in the fridge, I hope that as an injury free runner I can be just as focused on tomorrow’s long run.

Like many life lessons, the same principle applies to other arenas: relationships, work, school, and other goals. Keep moving forward. Even if no one else knows or understands our goals, keep focused. Don’t worry if and when others pass us…just keep moving forward. Maintain forward momentum.

p.s. I WILL finish that watermelon…and tomorrow’s long run.

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