The timer buzzes after a hard workout, and I sit down, sweaty and out of breath. I look at the person finishing up beside me and wonder how much time they have left. I get more invested with each rep, excited to cheer them on. You’ve got this! Try to finish it off! Before I know it, I’m clapping and shouting (still out of breath), encouraging my classmate to finish.
They do, and I go in for a high five. While we’re chatting, someone else helps me clean up my equipment. Just like that, a workout that seemed like a burden becomes an uplifting moment in my day.
When I leave the gym, I never think about how fast I finished a workout, or how much weight I lifted. Instead, I reflect on those small moments of connection and camaraderie. It’s a privilege to watch someone push themselves, and fun to connect over a common pursuit.
When I leave the gym, I know I’ll come back again. It’s not just because I want to get stronger, faster, and better, but because I know that if I were to ever lose any of my capabilities, those moments of connection – cheering and being cheered – will keep me going. Focusing on those little moments are what keep me and the other people in this community motivated and returning day after day.