Thursday, August 03, 2006

Maybe I'm crazy...

Funny how the universe works. A post over at Robb’s today reminds us all that time is precious and it is worth a few moments to tell our family members how much we love them…

Today I did something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while… but hesitated, not wanting the person in question to think I was crazy… or hitting on him (which I wasn’t).

A little over a year ago, when I first started going to the gym, I was overwhelmed with terror. Those of you who have been following this blog know all about that. I kept my eyes downcast and tried to blend into the wall, not wanting to be noticed by anyone.

Well one day, I was sitting on the bike, huffing and puffing away and the guy on the bike next to me just started to chat with me – out of the blue. I had seen him in there before. He typically chatted with the staff (I wondered if maybe he used to work there or something, since he knew them all).

He was hot. We’re talking ripped beefcake… That’s never really been my type (still isn’t), but he also had this amazing smile which he managed to share while dripping in sweat, chatting away.

I was dumbfounded. I had no idea what to say, really.

I am not the kind of girl that gym beefcakes tend to chat up. Ever. Especially not when I was nudging 200 lbs.

But whatever.


That day, that guy talked to me. And I never forgot.

I’ve seen him around since, but we’ve never really chatted again (most likely because I was too stupefied to have an actual conversation with him in the first place).

Today, I saw him at the gym again. As usual, he was chatting with various staff members as he did his own personal Tour de France on the stationary bike… dripping and smiling.

Finally, as I was almost done… stretching on the mats, and I saw that he was alone, I went up to him and said, “You probably don’t remember this, but about a year ago, when I first started coming here, you chatted to me one day while we were both on the bikes. At the time, I needed all the positive encouragement I could get… I was totally overwhelmed and intimidated… And you made me feel great that day. I don’t even remember what we talked about… Don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not hitting on you. I just wanted to say thanks. You made my day that day.”

Naturally, he was shocked… Of course he didn’t remember talking to me. He may think I’m some kind of freak… who knows?

The point is that I have been wanting to thank him for a long time… and I never had the guts… too shy (hard to believe, I know!) or maybe just didn’t want him to take it the wrong way.

But
Robb is right. Life is short… and when people make a difference to us in a positive way – however big or small, they deserve to know about it.

I took a risk walking up to this fella today. (I don’t even know his name… Never occurred to me to actually introduce myself!) Like I said… he probably thinks I’m a lunatic… but I’m guessing that even if he does, he’s secretly pleased that someone told him he made them feel great one day… even if he doesn’t remember doing so.

18 comments:

backofpack said...

Sarah, that was very brave and very nice.You probably made his day!

Arrogant Polyglot said...

I can assure you he doesn't think you're a lunatic. In fact, there's a very good chance you made his day! Though he may not remember your initial conversation, he'll never forget your thanks.

Now that you've made your mark on him, sweets, work on that phone number. I want to see pictures of those abs!

PS - Leaving for Toronto in 2 weeks. You'll get an address update soon.

Granny said...

Robb expressed it very well. We never know if we'll have a second chance to say something.

Good for you.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and brave, indeed. Good luck, Sarah.

Anvilcloud said...

I have been thinking about gratitude lately. You did a good thing.

madcapmum said...

About a year and a half ago I got a phone call from someone I went to highschool with, telling me that I was one of the few people who didn't treat him with pity b/c of his family situation, and thanking me for always holding him accountable. I hardly knew what to say. Honestly I didn't even know about his family situation (his mum was a drug addict and prostitute), so it wasn't an intentional virtue.

I was a little embarrassed, but not seriously, and later on, thinking about it, I was very touched and humbled that I'd made a difference in his life with so little effort on my part.

Because of his call, I contacted several people who'd made a difference in my life and told them so.

I think you did a great thing, and I'll bet he'll be encouraged to keep chatting up strangers. We could all do with a little more of that sort of friendliness in our lives.

craig said...

I think that many of the small acts we do on behalf of others that we think of as being insignificant have more profound implications than we realize. I can imagine that your conversation with this guy will make him conscious of what a powerful thing encouraging words are. This in turn will make him conscious of the need to speak them more often with intentionality. Who knows how many others may be changed by this encounter?

angie's pink fuzzy said...

yay, sarah, that is awesome!!!!

Janice said...

Hi Sarah,

That was nice a thing to do, even if he was puzzeled by it. I believe if can--tell the people who help you what it meant to you.

I had the chance to thank some people that helped out when I was younger: my favorite and the best teacher ever Mrs. Bozzio--who helped me get my academic act together, my second favorite teacher Miss O'Kane-the only teacher I had that thought I could write, and a upper class high school student-who help a awkward freshman not feel quite so awkard.

I just feel previleged that I had the chance to thank them, and tell them just how much they meant to me.

Janice~

Susan said...

How wonderful is that! Nicely said Sarah.

Turtle Guy said...

Your post reminded me to acknowlege some very special people in my life. Thank you.

robtherunner said...

You're definitely not crazy Sarah and much braver than most of us when it comes to stepping out and giving thanks when it is uncomfortable to do so. I am sure you made his day.

Jeremiah said...

Very cool of you. You may recall that I blogged about a young lady who did the same for me one day. She was the first and last person to ever talk to me at the gym, and, yes, she made my day too. I see her on and off too, but she never glances my way, so I never say anything else to her, for fear of her thinking I'm hitting on her. But, you give me courage, and I think that saying something might, in turn, make HER day this time. So, I'm going to risk a funny look and do it...

Vee said...

Hi Sarah,
I keep thinking on and off about how people take others for granted. How appreciation seems limited. To come and read a post as yours is refreshing. Keep up the good work.
- Vee

Ginger Breadman said...

I doubt he thinks you're a lunatic. First off, you did a really cool thing. It was healthy for you, and spreads good will around. Second - put yourself in his perspective. He sounds like the guy who does what he does and works hard at it. His personality is obviously a natural thing for him, and often goes unthanked. Imagine him going home, involved in some trivial task, and pausing to think about what you said to him, and how it shocked him, and how good it made him feel. You did that.

Robb said...

First, thanks for credit. People do need to hear praise these days and I know that you touched this guy. You should feel good for that. It's a challenge to step outside of the comfort zone and approach someone the way you did Sarah. Very good...that's very good work.

wthenrest said...

Unspoken words stay lost. Good on you for spitting them out.

flyme2themoon said...

that is so brave! everyone is right; he won't forget you!!!