This week the equipment at my Y is a bit askew while flooring is being refurbished. While working out this morning I found myself feeling a bit claustrophobic so I slipped into a small, rarely used studio that contained enough weight equipment to get the job done.  A few minutes later another woman walked in wearing a knee brace. I recognized her but we’d never had a conversation. She asked if I minded her working out in the same room. Of course I didn’t.

I couldn’t help asking her about the knee brace. She told me she’d had ACL and meniscus surgery, the same surgery I had five years ago. She admitted she really had no idea what she was in for regarding the rehab required. I shared with her what it was like for me and gave her lots of encouragement. It turns out she needs to have the same foot surgery I had in February, but she thought she’d put it off since the knee rehab had been so involved and painful. I was able to tell her with 100% certainty and sincerity that if she could make it through ACL surgery and rehab, her foot surgery at PT would be a breeze in comparison.

While I think we both enjoyed sharing our rehab stories, my new workout friend was in great spirits and didn’t seem to need cheering up. But it made me feel good to let her know there’s light at the end of that painful tunnel. Sometimes the one doing the encouraging gets more out of the experience than the one being encouraged.

I think I’ll look for more people to encourage today.

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