The end of January has arrived. I spent the month focusing on getting healthy to prevent another broken bone. For those of you who didn’t see my last post, I am lifting weights 3 days a week and swimming 5 days a week. My day begins at 4:20 am in order to be at the gym when it opens at 5:00 am.
Recently, I was lifting weights and noticed that I was crying. Not the ugly cry, just a couple of tears running down my cheek. I didn’t KNOW that I was sad, so I paused between sets to do an emotional check-in. What I realized was that working out is a LONELY activity. Yes, I was at a gym surrounded by other like-minded people, but I was still lonely.
I transitioned to swimming laps in the pool and my mind wandered back to the feeling of loneliness. I realized that although I was not alone, my journey to health was an INDEPENDENT activity. Others could cheer me on, but I had to do the work. I had to wake up, go to the gym, and put in the effort.
Several of my friends have been walking their own journey to health for a year or longer. I wrote to one of them and asked if her journey to health was lonely and she said yes. That got me thinking, how many people do we encounter each day that are experiencing loneliness on the journey to health?
Lately, social media has been filled with strife. What if we changed the conversation to find ways to help those who are experiencing loneliness. Think about the person who is recovering from illness or someone who is the primary caregiver for an elderly parent, the journeys are different but the loneliness is real.
Perhaps we could use our social media time to encourage people who are walking a lonely road. We can’t DO the work for them, but we CAN offer a ray of sunshine on a dark day.
It is cold and dark out when I leave home for the drive to the gym. Yet when I arrive at my destination, I am greeted by smiling faces who know the road and who make me see that I’m not the only one on it. My next step in Tinkering With Success is to help someone else see that I am on the road too. I can’t do the work for them, but I do UNDERSTAND the loneliness in the journey. Sometimes understanding is enough.