The power of kindness at the gym (and everywhere else)

“When you don’t see much meaning in what you do, you won’t bring much value to what you do.”

 

The time I typically check into the gym always seems to be rush hour. Everyone wants to run at the time I do. Creating a packed-smelly cardio room. Or how about the seasonal gym goers? Who decide to experiment a dead lift when I am doing back religiously on a Tuesday? Or they use the 22.5 pound dumbbells when I need them the most. I guess it’s time to move up to 25 pound dumbbells?

The art of prefect timing is something I haven’t yet mastered at the gym.

What is going on here? Is the Lord trying to teach me something…? Patience? I get it. I am patiently waiting to see results of this workout.

Understanding? Well, I understand if I was waiting for that bench- it belongs to me. Now I hope others would understand that.

What can I possible get out of a pack, busy environment? That- honestly, I came to vent. Came to relax. Came to release the stress. Came for peace.  Came for healing. To me, the gym is a time to build- not just physically but spiritually and emotionally.

And when I leave, I generally feel better than how I did when I came in. Unless I am feeling like a sardine in a can.

Or on the 6 train in Union Square.

That is the rush hour at the gym.

When I am in a situation- I tend to find the good. Where is the good? What can I learn from this? Wake up earlier to avoid this mess? Sometimes you can’t avoid the traffic jam. So how do I deal with it? How do I grow from it?  Yes. The Lord is showing me how and when to apply patience. Okay. Okay. You win.

Creator (God) = 1

Creation (Me) = 0


As I sat on a bench in the weight room, shuffling through my music and trying my best to ignore my surroundings- someone had slam their weights onto the floor.

Startled by the noise, everyone stop short to look at the man who just slammed the weights. Then, just as a snap of a finger- everyone continued their work. Ignoring the exhausted man. The gym is back to being busy.

 

This intrigued me. How people were almost robotic. Before I resume my quest for a bench press song- I allowed my eyes to scan the weight room. I like to slowly disconnect before going back into my world.

Then I noticed a janitor.

And just like the silence of when the man who drop the weights, silence came up again. But only to me. I heard nothing. I saw nobody. But her.

She wore a red shirt as she came out of the back closet. Her head hung low.  Her eyes looked at no one while quietly shutting the door behind her. She walked slowly out of the weight room unnoticed and into the elevator.

I continued my workout.

Without any music.

 


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After my workout, I felt great. It didn’t bother me anymore if the gym had crying babies running around. Or older people playing pickle ball- taking up the basketball courts. Or how about this one: The weight room suddenly gets empty when I leave! Ha! Not even that can rub me the wrong way. Why? Because I just bench press my max weight limit. I feel accomplished.

As I walked down the gym hallway with my head  held up high and broadcasting my biceps… I saw the janitor again.

This time she is walking towards me and again: With her head down. This lady looks incredibly depress! Heck. She is starting to make me depress, and I was just feeling great!

Her arms hung by her sides as women gossiped walking by. I could hear her feet drag onto the floor towards her destination of the bucket and mop.

This is crazy. This janitor is obviously depressed.  Somebody has to do something about this! So I did.

“Hey.” I said to her.

She didn’t look up as she kept walking slowly.  She grabbed the mop.

“Excuse me, Ms.?” I tried again to get her attention.

“Oh.” She answered surprised. She now looked at me.

“Keep your head up.”

“Come again?” She asked, puzzled.

“The work you do here- it is important. You keep this gym clean and that is tough!” I told her. Her eyes immediately got teary. “I wouldn’t come here if it were dirty. So thank you.”

Then I left.

 


Monday when I returned to the gym, I brought this janitor a slice of carrot cake. She cried and thanked me.

I never went out of my way to thank someone like this. But something in me felt like acknowledging her. Letting her know that she is noticed. Therefore raising the opinion of herself.

Today the janitor has a new hair cut, has her head up and is putting pride into her work.

By simply pointing out her work with kindness- I had added dignity to her work.

The opportunity of a pack gym allowed me to show someone compassion. Kindness. At a place where it could have easily been ignored.

And in a busy world, I too could be overlooked. But He reminded me that I am not.

 

I think that is what He wanted me to learn in this busy gym.

 

2 thoughts on “The power of kindness at the gym (and everywhere else)

  1. Very inspiring!!! I read this blog on my way to the gym this morning. I believe you just changed the course of humanity by your act of kindness. This blog brings much joy. Fantastic article!
    Peace & Joy!

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