Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Making a difference, every single day

| November 17, 2021 1:00 AM

Each day, I get to make a difference. Every single day, I get to help people on their journey to better health and wellness.

And, while I lace up my sneakers and put my hair in a pony tail — I’m really uncertain as to what the day will bring or who will walk into my life — as we all are. But, I’m one of “those girls” who say a little prayer over coffee ... “who can I help today?”

One particular day stands clear in my memory — a day I would meet an incredible human being that would touch MY heart — more than he will every know.

He walked into the gym at 75-plus years old in what looked like a new pair of jeans, cuffed-up at the bottom, a tan button-up shirt and a similar jacket to what my own grandfather wore and a baseball cap to cover his head.

I offered him a chair and we talked about the importance of starting small and lifting a “little” bit of weight. He got a funny look in his eyes as he was looking directly into mine — I’m not sure if he was going to sneeze or perhaps didn’t really understand what I was saying.

I paused for a moment, then put my hand on his and asked him,“Sir, are you all right?”

The tears began to roll down his face as he told me that his wife had recently passed away after 53 years of marriage — and, he simply felt lost.

Two strangers, hand in hand, sitting in silence. I felt his pain, his loss, his heart ached for the only woman he ever loved after so many years together. And, while he walked into the gym simply to inquire about a new start. I am forever grateful to have been there, in that moment — to listen, to hold his hand, to watch his tears flow.

I share this with you as a simple reminder that there are people who need us — if we pause long enough to listen, to look deep within their eyes and allow them to share from their heart. In a fast-paced hectic world where everyone is on their cellphones and running from place to place with their own crazy agenda, take a moment to have a real conversation with a stranger. You never know whose life you might bring a little ray of sunshine into — or who might bring some into yours.

While “some” of you may think I’m hard-nosed because I don’t put up with excuses and nonsense, in my heart of hearts, I’m just a big softie who apparently needs to wear waterproof mascara from time to time. A “conversation” doesn’t require a bunch of fancy certifications, years in a particular industry or amazing black and pink leggings — you, yes you — are qualified and have everything you need right now. Open your mouth and your heart. Amazing stuff will happen when you least expect it to.

Natalie Dreger is a certified fitness professional and can be reached at nataliedreger.com.