You never know how a random trip to the gym can affect you.
I’m going to share the story of a stranger who unknowingly shed so much light upon me. Her blind faith in me has changed my life.
When I got back from India in July (I was there for 4 1/2 months for a series of major surgeries, which you can read more about here), I was more than ready to sign up for a gym membership so I could be active again. My strength and energy levels were still pretty shaky (and they remained so for a while), but I was determined to improve so that I could start training for my next marathon.
My gym gives you a complimentary meeting/session with a personal trainer when you sign up for membership, so I went in on a random day to take advantage of this perk. The name of the PT I was to meet was Kylie.
I sat down with Kylie to ask for marathon training tips and suggestions. As we discussed marathon training, I noticed that she kept alluding to future PT sessions and I started to feel guilty. I finally decided to stop her and be honest about my intentions. I explained to her that I was not in the financial position to afford a personal trainer at the time, but I’d appreciate any help she could give me during the current session.
I then went on to give her some background information regarding my struggles with health and tried to answer any questions she had to the best of my ability. I showed her some of my surgical scars to give her a better idea of my condition, even though it was difficult for me. I told her about how I was intent on running another marathon, and, after what I had been through, that nothing would stop me.
Then something totally unexpected happened:
She started crying. She told me that she wanted to help me and that she would train me at no cost. She said that she felt like it was time for the universe to give back to me for what I had been through, and she wanted to be part of it. She explained that the reason she became a personal trainer was to help people in different situations, and she refused to take no for an answer.
Naturally, her warm generosity and selfless demeanor reduced me to tears as well. We sat there, blubbering messes, so thankful that somehow fate had brought us both to that very moment.
I was taken aback at how willing she was to help me. She seemed to have no doubt that I would succeed, and she wanted to do everything in her power to make sure it happened–she wanted to invest her time and energy in me. A complete stranger believed in me, and that added an invaluable amount of fuel to my fire.
Even when the staff at our gym eventually told her that she could no longer train me during her working hours because I was not a paying client, Kylie was still determined to help me. Because her plate wasn’t full enough as a single mother who worked full-time, she offered to train me on her own time.
Kylie has been one of the most encouraging people to me. I always text her after a run and she will respond immediately with enthusiasm and supportive words. She started out as a stranger, and because of her humility and willingness to help, has not only become part of my support system, but a good friend.
Morals of the story:
1. You never know how a stranger can affect your life, if you allow it to happen.
2. You never know how you, as a stranger, can affect someone else’s life.
3. Kylie rocks.