I was riding the elevator to my apartment after biking home from a hard workout at the crossfit gym near my house. Streaming sweat, I tried to move very little, fearing that my body odor might be unpleasant and noticeable to the older woman riding the elevator with me. I’ve seen her before, and I’ve always gotten the impression that I make her uncomfortable.
She looked at me sidelong, and said something quietly.
“I’m sorry, what?” I asked.
“I run,” she repeated with shy pride, toying with the swarovski crystals looped around her wrist.
“Oh?” I couldn’t think of anything else to say.
“Not very fast,” she added quickly. “I probably run as fast as most people walk! But I can do three miles. You know, slowly.”
“Three miles is great!”
“Yeah, but it’s slow. It makes me feel better, though.”
“That’s what’s important,” I said, as she got off of the elevator at her floor. I wish she hadn’t torn herself down, but I’m glad she’s running, glad she’s proud, and glad she told me.