Lunch was calling my name, but the elliptical machine wouldn’t hear of it. Let’s just say it didn’t take long before I began second guessing my decision to go to the gym. After all, who was I to deny a calling for lunch?

While winding down, a young woman approached me, peeking over my shoulder with every step. Not having children in the gym nursery I was oblivious to the fact that a one-way mirror was poised on the other side of my machine. Clever!

The mother peered through the mirror to see if her adorable chubby-cheeked two-year old daughter had budged since leaving her behind. To her dismay, she had not. Her little girl stood statuesque, moving only to her tip-toes when another mother walked by, hoping it was her mommy coming to pick her up. But alas, it was not.

Like any good mom, she questioned aloud if she should forego her workout, make her way back to the nursery to pick up the daughter, and head home. I pointed out that she wasn’t upset or crying and most importantly, she was in a safe environment. It was obvious the words soothed her conscience, but had not totally swayed her decision.

The pain of this guilt-ridden mother served to remind me why I began exercising more regularly several months ago–it was for my family. In order for me to be the best wife, mom, mom-in-law, and perhaps grandmother one day, I knew wiser choices needed to be made.

With that in mind, I shared with every bit of confidence I could muster, how the best gift she could give her daughter would be a healthy mother. The minutes spent nudged alongside a partitioned door would soon be forgotten, but the countless memories created as a result of that investment would not.

She thanked me for the wise advice (thank You, Lord!), and then walked away with a smile that assured everyone, especially herself, that she was doing the right thing by taking time to exercise.

In fact, it was the best thing she could do.

A poignant reminder for us both.

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