Instigation Inspiration at the Y

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The most amazing victory occurred yesterday at the Y. No, I didn’t achieve new heights of accomplishment like lifting 100 pounds over my head or doing 100 pushups. No, I didn’t try an exercise I thought I’d never master. But I did achieve a goal that I’d had for the past year, and that was to inspire someone to work out, right along with me.

For several months, a group of volunteers from my church have taken turns setting up the machines so I could use them, adjusting the seat height and the weight I was to lift, push, or pull. This is something I can’t do independently, so my friend Regina recruited these spotters for me. Thanks to Cindy, Liz, Bill, and Pat. Once a week, one of them meets me at the Y or even drives me there herself, and after making the adjustments, stands by while I sweat and strain. I had envisioned them all working out on another machine while I’m on mine, but it hasn’t happened until lately. Regina, my first helper, has done exactly that. It makes me feel good that she is making good use of her time. Usually, the gals don’t make a comment about the amount of weight I use, but the guys like to tease me with “Only 10 pounds? Only 50 pounds? You can do better than that.” to which I reply, “I’m a woman, and I don’t have the upper body strength you guys have, so leave me alone with my puny 50 pounds.”

Yesterday, Cindy put me through my paces and would occasionally try a machine while she waited for me to count to 30 and sigh in relief that I was done with that one. But here’s the part that makes me rejoice. After she escorted me to the pool and found an empty lane for me, I thought she was going home and would return in an hour to take me home after my swim and my soak in the hot tub. When I was done with my routine, and I stepped outside to wait for her to pull up with her car, I was delighted to learn that she had never left the Y at all. She had gone back to the machines, had done my routine with the same weights, walked on the track, and then gone out to get the car. She was pleased with herself, and so was I. I was proud of her, but also happy with the extra benefit of our going to the Y together. Finally, I had inspired someone to do something good for herself. I hear the adulation all the time, “Oh, you’re such an inspiration.” It always annoys me to hear that, because unless I inspire you to actually do something and not just admire me for doing it, I’m not an inspiration at all. But yesterday, I was either an inspiration or an instigation. Either way, good for us.

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