Saying I have had a hard time getting motivated to eat and workout lately would be the understatement of the year. After getting home from work, I just want to relax. Life’s stresses make me want to eat anything and everything in sight. I’m sure many of you relate.
Today I managed to pull together some motivation to ride my bike to the neighboring town. I have been riding a couple times a week — the longest ride so far being 16 miles. Today’s route wasn’t far — only about eight miles — but it required me to climb the steepest hill I have faced so far. As I was very slowly climbing the worst part of the long hill, a Jeep came up behind me on the highway. A college-age man hung his head out the vehicle, yelled “fatass” and threw an empty beer bottle at me.
The beer bottle shattered on the pavement next to me, sending sharp shards of glass bouncing off the road, hitting my legs and bike.
Physically I wasn’t hurt, but that action by a complete stranger hurt emotionally. It completely took the wind out of my sails for a couple minutes at a time I needed it the most.
Being overweight for most of my life, I have never been a fan of working out in public. I always worry about what other people are thinking about me. Every time someone looks at me, I just know that they are judging me, wondering why I even bother. Whether that is true or not, that is what I convinced myself was happening. Today’s incident pretty much confirmed that.
Eventually I worked my way to the top of that hill, and I was proud of myself. The downhill on the other side was amazing, relaxing, and gave me time to think about what just happened.
For a minute or so I was pissed about the jackwagon who thought it appropriate, or even fun, to try to discourage me from bettering myself. Once that passed, I actually felt bad for him. He must lead a pretty sad, pathetic life if actions like that are how he chooses to entertain himself.
I will never know if he was trying to discourage me, make me feel bad about myself, or just trying to get a laugh out of his buddy who was driving. Ultimately it doesn’t matter. What he managed to do was motivate me.
I had a revelation while on my ride. I don’t care anymore what people think or say about me while I am working out in public. If people have a problem with me working out in public, that is their problem, not mine. (For those of you who have telling me that for years, yes, it finally sunk in.)
Right now, I may be a “fatass,” but I don’t have to be. I can eat right, work out, and continue to improve physically and emotionally, and I am taking steps in that direction. I can change.
The bottle thrower is a pathetic person who clearly can’t or won’t control his actions. The highlight of his day is putting other people down. That is no way to live.
I can can change, but in my experience, people like him don’t. He is the one I pity.
So thanks for giving me the motivation I have been desperately searching for. If you’re reading this and you ever see me out, I owe you a beer.