I don’t need a great deal of inspiration to get myself to the gym every day. My thighs are a motivating force, and offer no inspiration, they’re more like a vicious threat, but they serve their purpose well, they keep me at the gym, working out, desperately trying to widen the millimeter of thigh gap that exists.

I do find myself inspired most days I’m taking class because of one woman. Certainly the extremely, almost excessively fit instructor that everyone loves should be an inspiration, but to me she’s more like a crushing blow of reality that no matter how hard I work out I will never look like she does. No the woman who inspires me is a quiet, middle aged, average built woman who stands in the same spot every class next to the glass floor to ceiling wall, her oxygen tank by her side.

I have no idea what is wrong with her, but obviously there is something wrong if she needs an oxygen tank her constant companion. She works out at her own pace, often modifying the moves that are too strenuous to something easier. She never gives up, or leaves early, and rarely is she not in class. I have wondered about asking her what is wrong with her, why she is courting an orange tank of air, but I know there is no way for my question not to appear rude or intrusive, so I have to simply wonder what the matter is…

I did talk to her once, just the one time, right before class, “You are such an inspiration.” I managed to say before my voice caught in my throat and tears threatened to fall, “You are my hero.”

She smiled and thanked me, and then the class began, and we both began working out, me for my thigh gap and her, I imagine because she can.

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