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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I Met An Angel on The Treadmill - Remarkable Inspirations in Unexpected Places!

Last week I had to push myself to get to the gym.  Spring break had proven to be quite effective in depleting my energy.  In the process of  making sure my children had plenty to keep themselves occupied I had also challenged myself beyond the scope of basic motherly duties.  We started off our adventure with my Middle School child asking her friend to spend the weekend with us.
 
The girls are good kids.  When their limitless sense of humor and zest for all things dramatic, the weekend became a marathon of activities including Bowling (I had to be dragged kicking and screaming but ended up having fun), grocery shopping, movie watching, a "fashion show" (after they complained of being bored and I strongly advised them to conjure up some type of entertainment), painting, and creative snack preparations in the kitchen.  

My role was to run interference so the younger male siblings stayed out of their way and also had activities to keep from feeling like they had been abandoned on a deserted island without their electronic games and super hero gadgets.  Not an easy task!  All children managed to be kept alive and well throughout the weekend. I only threatened to run away twice and change my name to Gertrude. 

So it was with great relief when I was able to get to the gym to release some much needed endorphins.  I dropped off the boys at the Kid's Club while my daughter and I proceeded to the "Cardio Cinema."  To our delight it was empty, so we had our choice of equipment.  I was only 10 minutes into my workout when a gentleman who was probably in his early to mid 60's arrived.  He decided to use the treadmill next to mine and asked how to start it.  Perhaps he didn't know how it worked, but I began to suspect that he just needed to talk.

Turns out that talking to someone significantly shortens the time it takes to complete a workout.  During my 30 minute cardio session this gentleman proceeded to tell me about his work, that he just needed something to do since his retirement, and that the gym was closer to his job than the other gym where he had gone for several years.  I ended up talking about my writing projects and my career prior to becoming a stay at home mom. 

I was surprised how uplifting it felt to talk with someone who expressed an interest in my goals.  He encouraged me to continue with my projects and purse my dreams.  This was completely unexpected and was just what I needed.  I think he needed to talk too...sharing that his teenage daughter didn't really listen to what he had to say.  Perhaps this angel on the treadmill was placed there at that moment because I really needed that neutral person to lift my spirits.  It's not that my own little family doesn't care.  I think sometimes people closest to you are unable to truly see your vision or support your dreams.  Heck, I've even had supervisors who discouraged my dreams of becoming a published writer.

So the moral of this story:  Sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone and find inspiration in unexpected places.  I once attended a conference given by an amazing Inspirational Speaker, Mikki Williams.  She gave us several examples of opportunities that presented themselves because she went out of her way to engage individuals in conversations.  Doesn't matter how they look or where you meet.  Networking and just being open to interactions can open doors and lead to great things.

When I went to the gym I never expected to leave feeling so energetic, encouraged, and inspired.  Perhaps it was coincidence.  But I'd like to think that I had just met an "Angel on the Treadmill."  You see...angels are not necessarily those cute, cherubic entities with wings and chubby cheeks.  An angel can be anyone who offers encouragement, a few kind words, and a genuine smile that radiates beyond their eyes.  When we left the gym, my daughter looked at me, smiled, and said, "Mom, I think you really needed that.  You look so happy that you got to talk about your writing today!"

Hope you find ways to be inspired and to encourage others.  You could be someone's angel and not even realize it.  Taking time to reach out is beneficial to you and to the one with whom you share a few moments of conversation.  Have a wonderful week!

 
On My List of
Favorite Inspirational Speakers
 

 
Mikki Williams