Conversation In the Checkout Line

The woman ahead of me in the checkout line at Wal Mart had a band wrapped tightly around her upper arm. There was something on it that looked like an electronic device, and it had really small print. The only way I can see anything so small, being as nearsighted as I am, is to take off my glsses and put my nose up agaisnt it. Which I did. I still couldn’t read it and before the woman noticed what I was doing tI thought it might be polite to ask her what it was–before she caught me wt=ith my face buried in her upper arm.

“What’s that?” I asked. That was all she needed.

“24-hour fitness has them, they record all your steps during the day, and then you download it at tne end of the day and see how many steps you’ve taken. I’ve lost 80 pounds and 48 inches using it, and I love it, I went to San Francisco last weekend and walked 11,000 steps in one day….”

I congratulated her, as anyone might. Told her she was an inspiration, and that was quite an achievement.

She kept talking about it for several minutes, even after she’d checked out completely and could have gone home. I learned she’d done her first 5K race last weekend, the Ironlady 5K. She and her daughter had done it, and she had completed the race, her first, in 43 minutes. I learned several times that it had taken her two years to take off the weight. She also said she was going to be running in another 5K race up in San Francisco, I think, in August. She was very excited.

She talked about how her daughter had finished the race before her and had come back to run backwards in front of her, encouraging her. She talked about how exciting it was to run with 3,000 other women up at Del Mar, and how hard it was to run on the racetrack because the ground was so soft and springy. She told me this was her first race and how excited she was to run in it. And it had taken her two years to take off the weight.

She glowed while she talked, and it was so good to listen to her. I was glad I’d asked her what that band on her upper arm was. I hope she gets to be the 24-hour fitness poster child for 2010, that would be neat.

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