Today in the locker room of the gym…
I meet this beautiful elderly woman. Both of us are getting ready to train our muscles. She sits there wearing her surgical stockings and a pair of black leggings after getting rid of her pair of beige jeans. She is looking for something in her bag and then starts a conversation with me. You know, when you get older not everything goes the way you want it to. I washed my clothes today and in the heat of the moment, I forgot to bring an extra shirt. Oh, I answer, no worries, that is the same at every age, I just forgot to bring my badge to get into the gym some weeks ago.
Now, she asks me, do you think I could exercise just in my leggings? I normally always also wear trunks, but they are so hot, she says while showing them to me. Of course, I reply, of course you can go just the way you are dressed now! Actually, almost everybody “just” wears leggings in the gym. But at my age? She wonders. Of course, why not! I reassure her.
She looks at me with her eyes wide open and a little smile on her lips. You know, she says, I am always ashamed and afraid of what people would think, if I am showing up like this. I always wanted to ask somebody, but it is not a given to talk to someone like you. I am ashamed of walking around like this since I was young. Now I am so grateful for your answer and relieved that I can go without trunks, for I sweat so much and they are so hot. Thank you, thank you, thank you, she now gratefully smiles at me.
It is my big pleasure, dearest.
She goes on telling me that she is 89 years old turning 90 this year.
I am in awe. You see, I tell her, not everybody at your age goes and/or is able to go to the gym, so you should rather be proud than ashamed. I am ready to leave anytime now, she continues, but I don’t want to be a burden for my daughter, so that is why I come to the gym and train my legs on the indoor cycle machine.
I joke around asking her where she rides to with the bicycle, to Geneva maybe? (which is a four hours train ride from where the gym is, so quite far). The moment she gets my joke, she answers, oh, I ride to England where my grandchild lives. I wish her a good ride and all the best, before we bid farewell.
Of course, we consistently meet in the gym. She never misses to thank me for the go-ahead to work out without trunks and just in her leggings and surgical stockings. As luck would have it we finish at almost the same time an hour later and meet again in the locker room. Sure enough, she once again expresses her gratitude for me saying, yes you can.
It made such a difference to me, she goes. It was so much more comfortable like that and you know what… nobody stared at me or made me look ridiculous. Thank you! – You are really welcome.
Did you get to England? I wonder. No, not today, maybe in about two weeks time. But I sent a telegram and I made sure she is home when I get there. :0)
Oh my, we had a blast together that wonderful woman and I. We bid a final farewell for today and who knows we see each other again, she adds. That would be so nice, I said seeing her off.
I immediately knew that I wanted to share this heart-warming story with you. I hope it touches you the way it touched me.
I give thanks for stories like this and that they happen to me out of the blue.
I am also grateful for you! You are here and interested in my stories, even though there are only words today and sort of no photographs. But I am pretty sure, you are picturing this in your very own way.