Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pennsy Meets a Great Big Man

I have always been a big man. When I meet a man bigger than me, it freaks me out a little. I learned a lesson about that today.

I was still bummed about the weight. Four miles on the treadmill did not change it. Once again, a stranger came to my rescue. This time it was one of the giants from the land of free-weights. If someone told me he was an NFL lineman, I would not be surprised. I’m not sure, but I saw him on the bench press lifting something close to my weight last week. I give these guys a respectfully wide berth. They are serious about their work at the gym.

In the locker room I was changing pretty quickly, partly because Mrs P was waiting, and partly because I was soaked and it was really cold in the locker room. (It’s a pretty cold day in the Bluegrass but no snow in sight - rain in the forecast for Tuesday.)

So my giant neighbor came in and said “Tough to get warm today.” I agreed. Four miles on the treadmill, and my arms were still chilly.

“How long have you been coming?” he asked.

“I’m one of the New Year’s resolution crowd. I started on the 19th.”

“How much weight have you lost?”

I told him my ridiculous story. 13 lbs, then 3, then none. I said I was a little discouraged.

He told me not to be. The big early loss is mostly water, he said. After that, you start building muscle, which burns fat. As you become stronger, you will replace one with the other, and the weight will start to come down.

“You aren’t losing weight, but you are losing inches. Your clothes fit differently, right? A lot of people get discouraged and quit right now. You’re doing great.”

“OK, I’ll stick with it, I joked, but If I haven’t seen any change in two years, I’m out of here.”

“Two years?” he laughed. “You should take a picture of yourself now. If you work the way you are for two years, you won’t even look like the same person.”

We finished dressing and I shouldered up my bag to go.

“Thanks, man. I appreciate the encouragement.”

“Enjoy your time off. You’ll be back at it tomorow.”

It takes so little to build a person up. I’m really grateful for this man and his kindness to me. I may never have his biceps, but I hope someday I can have something like his sincere, generous heart.

Four miles today. Average speed, 4 mph, average incline, .5.


The Steel Curtain photo is from the web site of a child of the Three Rivers who sells real estate in Las Vegas. I don't know anything else about her, but were I shopping for property in CSI territory, that picture would make me call her.

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