There's a man I admire greatly that I see nearly every day and I don't even know his name. I doubt I ever will.
Every morning as I drive to work, I see a variety of people out exercising. Most in pairs, wearing fancy get ups. Some solo, iPOD in, Nike's on, trucking right along. I almost never give those people a second glance. Aside from the dancing jogger who fascinates me to no end - but she's a subject for a different post....
This man, however, is different. Sunny and warm.... windy and rainy.... overcast and gloomy, aside from a jacket, he wears the same thing.
A button up shirt.
A pair of khaki pants.
A pair of what appear to be black loafers - though to be honest, they could be all black running shoes.
And he is jogging. He has no iPOD. He isn't 'appropriately' dressed. And yet, he is out there every day, jogging.
At first he struck me as a person who must have woken up and decided that today was the day he would start jogging, regardless of attire. After several days, weeks, now months of seeing him, I know that isn't the case.
I find myself every morning looking for him now. I am silently cheering him on. I am impressed by the fact that his need to jog, for whatever reason, outweighs his need to be 'appropriately dressed.' Maybe he can't afford the fancy shorts and bright shirts and top of the line running shoes. He could wear a pair of WalMart shorts... a joe tshirt and cheap shoes. He doesn't. He just runs. He is doing it for himself. And clothes don't make you a jogger. Jogging does.
I am about to embark upon something new. It will get me out. It will get me moving. It will challenge me. It will hopefully, get me in shape. I didn't realize that at 47, I would be learning how to ride a bike, all over again. It's more complex than I ever realized.
For some reason, it scares me. Not the idea that I could wreck or fall down just trying to get off the darn thing - though to be sure that is it's own fear.
The fear is bigger than embarrassment. It's that I will disappoint. That I will disappoint those around me who know I am going to be doing this. That will disappoint myself. That I will fail.
And I don't even own the bike yet.
I have a plan in mind that I researched that I hope will get me on the bike, and out in the world and back home without too much overwhelming distance or difficulty to start. Striving for small successes to gain confidence. Then build on that to longer, more difficult ventures. A part of me wants to ride under cover of darkness, in the middle of nowhere where no one could see me. I know that's the fear talking.
So I will stand up, grow up, and be vulnerable. And just go do it.
Like my Khaki pants wearing jogging friend.