One of the faithful seniors who comes to my Silver Sneaker's class every week took the time to talk to me after class and tell me that she started the class doubtful that she'd be able to do it, sitting for most of the workout, doing what she could, etc. But now she can stand and work behind her chair for longer and longer periods of time, something she never thought possible.
Of course, I have noticed that she has been standing more often, but in order to be sensitive, I didn't point it out. Seniors can be especially sensitive about their weaknesses, I have found. She was radiant in her joy over what she has accomplished. She looked so youthful in that moment and I was thankful to see that and be able to share in her joy.
This short conversation did two very timely and significant things for me.
#1- It put my own physical accomplishments and goals into perspective.
By that, I mean that what she has accomplished may actually be more significant than all that I've accomplished so far. I started my journey strong enough to stand and work out for hours if I wanted to, so compared to her, I've only ever given to God out of my strength. Like the widow who gave a mite and gave more than all the others, this woman has come out of such overwhelming weakness, one can see how she has actually accomplished more. I'd like to lose all my belly fat and do all the tricep pushups in Bodypump 89 on my toes. :) I'm still going to work as hard as ever and honor the Lord with the body I've been given, but my physical goals seem somewhat trivial compared to hers and I realized I already have a lot to be thankful for.
#2- It taught me that I have this job for the people.
The reason I go to work instead of popping in a fitness DVD and working out alone is for the people. I enjoy every aspect of my job- and there are many aspects of the work that don't involve any one else- the music, the choreography, the actual exercise- being used to facilitate physical blessing in peoples' lives and connecting and celebrating with her like I did today- that's definitely the best part of the job.