There’s nothing worse than people who make fun of someone who is struggling. A Reddit user called JohnSnow1982 recently shared his story about his friend witnessing an overweight woman be mocked in a public fitness center. Thankfully, the friend decided to step in and change the woman’s experience. Now, his Good Samaritan story is going viral.
“Well… it happened,” read the post. “I was at the gym this morning and a group of two women and a man were very obviously laughing at/talking about another woman who was clearly new and nervous about being there. I didn’t realize that this was happening at first because I had my headphones in, but then I saw one of the women pull out her phone to take a video. The woman they were making fun of knew it was happening and was almost in tears… she got off the treadmill and went back towards the locker room.”
It’s hard to imagine trying to navigate your way through new workout equipment, all while people point at you and laugh.
The man was horrified at the woman’s distress and quickly decided that something had to be done. So, he stopped his own workout and made a plan.
“I put my weights back and followed her, told her to wait right there, and reported the group to the manager. When I went back to the locker room, the woman was crying and she quietly told me that she didn’t know what she was doing but was trying to learn. She explained that she had recently lost her parent to a weight-related heart attack, and the doctors said that she was headed down the same path if she wasn’t careful.”
It was already an emotional situation for the woman, and her bullies had only made it worse.
Just imagine how scared and heartbroken she must have been, thinking about her late parent and worrying about her own future. It took a huge amount of courage for her to even go to the gym in the first place.
“I told her that we all start somewhere, and after talking for a bit, I told her that her somewhere starts today and helped her up.
I asked her to finish working out with me and that I would help her learn what I know, because I was in her place a year ago. For the remainder of the workout… she had a smile on her face. In the end…three members got permanently banned today, and I made a new friend.”
The poster’s kindheartedness and willingness to reach out changed that woman’s path, hopefully for the better.
He had compassion for her because he himself had been in her place and knew what it was like to feel frightened and overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to start a workout routine.
“The point of this is simple. I know we all get frustrated when the gym is busier at the beginning of the year, but it’s hard to really understand how much of an impact we can have on other people’s journeys. I have no doubt in my mind that this woman would not have returned to the gym if her only experience had been being made fun of.”
It was amazing that he immediately recognized that he had to do something if he was going to save that woman’s experience.
Instead of being mocked and gossiped about, she left the gym with new encouragement, new hope, and a new workout buddy. Hopefully, she returns soon to meet with him again and learn new ways to stay healthy and prove her doctors wrong.
“Please, PLEASE help others feel welcome… you don’t even have to talk to them.
Just give them a smile or a nod. We’re all there to better ourselves, no matter how quiet or busy the gym gets. Spread the love and positivity, y’all. You could be changing somebody’s life.”
The internet was quick to respond to the story, expressing outrage at the bullies’ treatment and gratefulness for the poster’s outreach.
Some people shared their own stories of struggling with health and weight loss and being unsure of how to use the gym equipment. Others told about the times they received or offered encouragement that made a difference.
One poster called TheRamazon even said the prospect of meeting bullies like this keeps them from ever starting a workout routine at a local fitness center, but others were quick to offer encouragement. They said that in their experience, people were always ready to help those who were just starting out and that kind of rude behavior would never be tolerated, even by those who are professional weight lifters and know the equipment inside and out.
It’s a great story to start out 2019, with a built-in resolution for all of us.
No, the resolution isn’t to work out more, unless that’s something you want to do. It’s to always reach out to others with compassion.
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