I met my friend, yesterday, for a spin class at the YMCA. It’s much more fun to sweat with a friend at your side, don’t you think?
As the class got spinning, my friend and I were chatting and comparing notes on how sore we were from the last class. Then, the girl in the purple shirt, a row ahead of us, turned and mouthed to me, “Please stop talking. It’s distracting.”
There’s no way the purple shirt girl could have heard what we were talking about (the music was way loud, and we weren’t screaming.) But I wish she could have. My friend was saying she had just been to the physical therapist. She knew it would be hard to begin exercising again. She had to take a break this year because of her mastectomy, chemo therapy, radiation, and hysterectomy.
Before her second mastectomy, scheduled for September, she has begun hitting the gym again. But she’s surprised by how taxing it’s been. The physical therapist had nodded knowingly and told her, “This year, your body has aged about thirty years.” How discouraging! Yet here she was, sweating beside me, determined to work hard and gain back cardiovascular strength.
The girl in the purple shirt made me mad. In a perfectly healthy body (I assume), she was claiming her right to a distraction-free workout. Meanwhile, my friend, strapped with the effects of cancer (which can be a bit distracting), is pushing herself to achieve the strength she needs to care for her three little boys.
After I burned off the extra energy the purple shirt girl afforded me, I decided that I’m just like her. Yesterday, I got frustrated with my husband because he came in from weeding and tracked dirt to the bathroom. But I have a husband who weeds! I was irritated that my daughter forgot to fold the clothes in the dryer and put the sheets in. But we have clothes and sheets, and machines to care for them!
I have no rights to claim. No entitlement over the next day or hour or moment. No promise of distraction free living. Yet, I have so very much. I want exchange my purple shirt for a servant’s heart–welcoming the distractions that today will bring.