Walking into a Friendship

2:06 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
So today I went for what I thought would be a regular ol' 2 mile walk here on base (the trail they commonly refer to "golf course"). Little did I know that I'd make myself a new pal because of my attempt to make a change from a very sedentary, and altogether unhealthy, lifestyle.

I left my apartment here on base with my phone in hand and my earbuds in place, listening to an old favorite, "Fancy", by Reba) and set my pace at a very brisk walk. Enough to raise the heartbeat but not enough to be lightly jogging. At about a half-mile into my walk a gentleman, probably in his late thirties or early forties, jogged up next to me. As a courtesy, as I was definitely not going his pace and would definitely be passed, I moved to the side of the trail to let him get by and muttered my usual cheerful "Hello there and how are you?" Normally I get a smile, a muttered response and I am passed. However, this was not to be the case today, Mr. Motivational (as I shall call him) slowed his pace to a brisk walk as well and asked me how I was doing. I was a bit taken aback and searched my head for an appropriate answer. I wanted to be polite but didn't want to drown him in information. So I told him I was wondeful and was out for a walk as I am making a lifestyle change. This intrigued Mr. M. So he asked if I thought I could increase my pace into a very light jog and keep pace with him. I told him that I am definitely out of shape as anyone could see but that I'd try. He then told me that he'd chat with me to make it seem as though we weren't jogging, just having a casual conversation.

Anywho, Mr. M and I continue at this pace and as he promised, we chatted it up like old pals. Mr. M asked me to explain to indulge him and explain what has made me decide on a lifestyle change... and I did. I divulged to him that I had been obese since my chubby cheeks graced this world with their presence, that I have an longing desire to join the Air National Guard and that I want to find a simple sort of satisfaction with the way I look. I know that I shall never be perfect and I wouldn't want to be either, but I don't want to be disgusted by myself either. (After I had diarrhea of the mouth and spilled all this to this complete stranger, I started to feel very silly and began to ponder if he was going to make fun of me as this gentleman was the perfect example of being physically fit) Mr. M once again caught me off guard when he began to tell me HIS story. Mr. M is an AF retiree who still continues to work at Tinker. But his story began over 20 years ago.

Mr. M, alot like myself, was overweight his entire youth and shortly before he went to Basic he found a friend who was a pro in the area of weight loss so Mr. M asked him for help creating a regiment to lose weight. M lost over 100 lbs before he went to see a recruiter. M explained to me that although he is fit and lives a very healthy lifestyle, there is still a chubby 17 year old in side of him and that will never change. He said that when he started losing his weight he had a hard time stopping, but through trial and error he learned that setting a reasonable and attainable goal, and maintaining that goal once you hit it, was the key to not becoming that overweight child again. He told me that he knew, without ever having seen me before today, that I could reach whatever goal I set. I was nearly to tears at this point.

We continued to jog and discussed our careers and before I knew it M tapped me on the shoulder and slowed the jog to a brisk walk again. By this time we had hit the officers club which meant we'd jogged a complete mile in what seemed like seconds to me (which to some is chump change as far as exercise but for this chunky chick it is amazing). He really had upheld his word when he said he'd keep pace with me and keep my mind off of the distance. M walked the remaining half-mile with me. As we were about to part paths Mr. M told me that he'd be here the same time next Wednesday if I needed a pal to keep me motivated.

And to think I had almost pushed the idea of going for a walk out of my head.

The Lord sure does work in mysterious ways...


Miss Adventure said...

This is such a sweet post! You're lucky that you found someone who is willing to motivate you and be a friend. I am also looking to get into better shape, maybe I can help keep you motivated too. =]

very married said...

what an amazing story. there really are kind people left in the world.