Today, I saw a cool thing. I was at the gym, working away, when I noticed him, a boy in the farthest corner walking on a treadmill. He walked steadily, his head bouncing from one side to another as he stepped it out, never stopping.
He was 15 maybe. He was round, and he was short. Plain, with big glasses. He was the kind of kid that you know for a fact takes a lot of crap at school.
I plodded along behind him, off to the side, and I watched him.
He never faltered. He never looked up. He never slowed down or missed a step. He kept his eyes on his screen, watching his numbers. Heart rate, distance, incline, speed, calories burned... And that boy walked on.
I wondered about his life, because I am a curious person ~ sounds much nicer than 'nosy' doesn't it? ~ how a boy with a difficult life summons up the wherewithall to march himself into a fitness center and work out. He was alone. There was no one there to encourage him. He plodded on steadily driven by his own will.
He had been hard at it when I walked in the door. The tips of his hair were already dripping sweat. He finished when I was well over 20 minutes into my own workout. He carefully and thoroughly disinfected his machine, and then he changed his shoes and walked out the door.
God bless his little cotton socks, as they say.
I watched him walk across the parking lot, his head down, his pace as steady as if he were still on that treadmill, and you know, suddenly I felt very hopeful about our future.