Persevere: To continue in a course of action in spite of difficulty or lack of success.
Instead of going to my gym, I decided to workout in the shared facilities in my building. It is a simple gym with the basics, such as a bench, free weights and a few cardio machines. Andy uses the facility daily and has made acquaintances with many residents. Little did I know that in this little condo gym was a big lesson. Many of the residents who utilize the gym come with a story, physical set backs and a strong desire to exercise despite the odds. As I completed my last few bicep curls, an elderly couple entered the gym. The man sat in a wheelchair, his wife pushing him to the ballet bar at the front of the gym. She pushed him to one end, as he got out of his chair, walking to the other end, the bar as his support. There his wife met him, waiting with the wheelchair for the gentleman to sit and take a short break. They repeated this over and over again. “See this guy,” Andy whispered. “He had a stoke not too long ago. He has to learn to walk again.”
There is another gentleman who uses a walker. Andy tells me he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He trembles uncontrollably at times, as the debilitating illness targets his nervous system. However, I hear that everyday he is in that gym, using the supported stationary bike. He has a huge smile on his face, making banter with the residents and telling war tales of his time in the second world war. A true hero.
A lovely young woman, with fiery red hair, perhaps in her thirties, walks in the gym with a limp and a cane. Her hip looks a little disjointed. She goes on that elliptical trainer until sweat glistens on her brow. Singing along quietly to tunes on her iPod. She stays on the machine longer than I do on the treadmill. We exchange smiles and sighs in unison as if we are both thinking, isn’t it great to be able to move and sweat? I am not sure of her story, but her hair is not the only thing that is fiery about this young lady.
The people that were exercising, moving, doing good to their physical well-being are not focusing on their debility, but are focusing on their ability and they have inspired me more than they will ever know.
(definition provided by The Oxford Dictionary. 2001 publication.)