Last night, I met a woman named Sharon.
This was after 40 minutes on the elliptical, an hour in the pool, 20 minutes on the treadmill and another heaven knows how long on the bike. I had an appointment with Ryan to set up my shiny new heartrate monitor at 9 p.m., and since I'm not one to just sit and wait for time to pass I spent the entire night moving.
As I walked up to the Personal Training desk, there was a beautiful dark-haired woman seated behind it. When I approached, she stood to say hello, and all five-foot-nothing of her just exuded charm. This was Sharon.
Ryan came over, and we started getting the monitor set up. The monitor I have is technically a running monitor, and I told Ryan that I hoped it would work even if I didn't run, because I simply cannot run. Only if there's a big guy with a knife behind me, or a cute guy with chocolate in front of me - you know me, the queen of self-deprecating humor. Well, Sharon overhears this and comes around the desk to talk to me.
She came up to me, tall enough to look me in the chin, and says "And why, exactly, will you not run?" And I start to make my excuses - bad knees, too much weight, don't want to get hurt ... she won't have any of it. Turns out she's quite the passionate runner, and she starts to tell me about some of the people she trains who are every bit as out of shape as I am but who run, even just a little bit, every time they work out. And then she looks me in the eye (no small feat for this tiny woman) and says to me, "You may be out of shape, but you are also an athlete. You are beautiful, strong and powerful, and you will never tell me about what you cannot do again. Do you understand?"
Mind you, she's not scolding me, she's encouraging me. Her words were intensely powerful, and today I am a believer. If I want to run, I can. If I want to run, I will. There is nothing holding me back, there are only amazing forces propelling me forward.
And one of them happens to be a pint-size dynamo named Sharon.