So now that I’m a gym bunny, I’ve taken to writing down weights and reps so that I can keep track and push myself. It turned out that I had been going every week and doing the same thing thinking it was more. So writing it down helps. Today at the gym something very funny happened. I pulled the book with pen attached out of my wheelchair bag and in doing so dropped the pen to the ground. “Oh, shit,” I thought, “I really want to record what I’m doing.” I searched for another pen in my bag but it was a fruitless endeavour. I rolled back until I could see the pen. I turned the chair so I was beside the pen.


I have never been able, since I started using the wheelchair, been able to bend over sideways and touch the floor. I’d never even actually gotten close to the floor. But I leaned and as I did so I saw about 8 people in the gym come to a full stop. It was like they were frozen in time and space as their eyes were glued to my hand as I reached down. The further I went down I could feel them willing me to get the pen while fighting their own desire to run over and pick it up for me.

There was a gasp.

My fingers brushed the top of the pen and for a second we all thought, as we were all of one mind now, that I’d gotten it. But it rolled away from me a bit.

I leaned over further my fingers stretching to their fullest length and I managed to roll the pen back.

They were still with me, all of them and a couple more who stopped to see what they were looking at and then decided to stay. I don’t normally like being watched but I didn’t find their eyes intrusive, this was a gym, they all know about pushing to reach goals.

My goal was just a pen on the floor.

But it was goal enough.

For everyone.

Then, pen in place I leaned over, I could feel the stretch, my muscles moving, and I caught the pen between my forefinger and middle finger. I had it. I lifted it up. And it was over.

This all took only seconds but it felt like a long time.

But I have to say I admire those who were their, I could feel them silently cheering me on.

But what I admire more was the incredible resistance they showed. They held themselves back from helping. They exercised restraint, a muscle not so often used these days.

Everyone was all smiles after it was all over.

They wished me well.

And they showed it.

By letting me do well.

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