That was how our conversation began.
While I encounter many fellow runners along the canal, I rarely have an occasion to stop and chat for a moment. Thursday, however, was different. I had just dropped off Zooey after six miles (the last .25 was rough for her) and was headed out for four more, and, like usual, I had to stop and wait at the traffic signal.
Usually I'm alone, but today, another runner was headed the same way I was.
"I used to be fat," he said. "And my doctor told me just to get my heart rate up."
Fifty pounds later, here he was, running six miles, to his grandmother's old house and back home.
While we waited, we talked about how we're crazy to go run on Thanksgiving, but here we are, enjoying the sunshine and the gorgeous morning. And how it's not really crazy at all, and if it weren't for running, he might not be able to walk to the door without losing his breath. Now it takes a few miles for that.
"My girlfriend goes to the gym, but I keep telling her the gym is outside," he huffed a minute later as the light turned green, and we set off down the road.
I nodded, timing my response to when I figured I'd have the most breath. "Exactly," was what I was able to gasp out a few seconds later.
I am not a multi-tasker, obviously.
As my new friend peeled off into the next neighborhood, I continued down towards the canal, alone again, but not at all lonely, even in the absence of my intrepid hound dog.
It was a brief conversation, but it was one for which I'm thankful. Because at the end of the day, it's not about whether I fit into that old dress or get rid of my muffin top. It's about taking each step and being able to enjoy it.