Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Awareness of Fairness

I was just finished my workout on the arm ergometer at the gym and rolled off the platform. I turned to head towards the cable machine, which had not been in use when I checked before shutting down the machine. Someone, a fellow I'd seen before, was there about to start. He glanced over and saw me and said, "Were you wanting to use this?"

I said, "Yes, but you go ahead and I'll use one of the other machines." While it was true there were other machines but one I use only for a few minutes and the other is really hard to use because of the height I have to reach. He said, "Go ahead, I'll come back later."

"No, no," I protested.

He said, "I've seen you here many times, I know you use the cable machine when you are finished on that one. You've only got a few options here and I have a lot of options. I'll just do something else."

I was really surprised that he'd noticed that while the gym is accessible enough for me as a disabled person, all the running and rowing and biking and stretching machines are not possible for me. My legs don't work well enough for them. I use the upper body machines at the gym and do low impact lower body workouts at home. So he was right. I had fewer options. He was also right that he had way more options than I did.

So I thanked him and moved over to set up the cable machine.

This kind of help, or consideration, I like. Not because I got the machine that I wanted, although I was pleased at that, but because the offer was made based on his understanding of fairness. He - many options. Me - few options.

Although his act was kind, it's not the kindness that  I appreciated most, it was the awareness of fairness and an offer to level the playing field a bit.

I left feeling like I'd done a good workout and that I'd experienced an interaction with a really good person.


clairesmum said...

Glad there are strangers like this man to offset some of the injury done by those who are intentionally or unintentionally unkind.

Ron Arnold said...

In my experience, a lot of gym 'regulars' are like that. You get to know what other folks are doing and where they go next from day to day. ("Bob's on a three day split and today's Tuesday so . . . ") Sometimes they even get to know what weights / resistance other folks use too. I've had guys leave weight on the bar for me when they knew where I was going next. It's nice when everyone goes around the room with courtesy and bonhomie. You're a regular too then.

Sounds like a cool dude to have in your gym.

ABEhrhardt said...

The best part, for me, was listening in on the two of you holding a civilized conversation as equals. EXERCISING equals, whatever your current status is.

Because, of course, you both are equals in the gym.