So now that I’m a gym bunny, I’ve taken to writing down weights and reps so that I can keep track and push myself. It turned out that I had been going every week and doing the same thing thinking it was more. So writing it down helps. Today at the gym something very funny happened. I pulled the book with pen attached out of my wheelchair bag and in doing so dropped the pen to the ground. “Oh, shit,” I thought, “I really want to record what I’m doing.” I searched for another pen in my bag but it was a fruitless endeavour. I rolled back until I could see the pen. I turned the chair so I was beside the pen.
I have never been able, since I started using the wheelchair, been able to bend over sideways and touch the floor. I’d never even actually gotten close to the floor. But I leaned and as I did so I saw about 8 people in the gym come to a full stop. It was like they were frozen in time and space as their eyes were glued to my hand as I reached down. The further I went down I could feel them willing me to get the pen while fighting their own desire to run over and pick it up for me.
There was a gasp.
My fingers brushed the top of the pen and for a second we all thought, as we were all of one mind now, that I’d gotten it. But it rolled away from me a bit.
I leaned over further my fingers stretching to their fullest length and I managed to roll the pen back.
They were still with me, all of them and a couple more who stopped to see what they were looking at and then decided to stay. I don’t normally like being watched but I didn’t find their eyes intrusive, this was a gym, they all know about pushing to reach goals.
My goal was just a pen on the floor.
But it was goal enough.
Then, pen in place I leaned over, I could feel the stretch, my muscles moving, and I caught the pen between my forefinger and middle finger. I had it. I lifted it up. And it was over.
This all took only seconds but it felt like a long time.
But I have to say I admire those who were their, I could feel them silently cheering me on.
But what I admire more was the incredible resistance they showed. They held themselves back from helping. They exercised restraint, a muscle not so often used these days.
Everyone was all smiles after it was all over.
They wished me well.
And they showed it.
By letting me do well.