"You bought a new pair of shoes, the kind with the big N on them. You decided you had to strengthen the right side of your body. To do that, you needed to go to the gym. You took some of the money you had been saving and you applied for a membership at a local health club, and when you pulled out your credit card and asked if the club accepted it, the guy behind the desk—a big, muscle-bound guy—looked you up and down, at your short jeans and your old jacket and at the smile frozen on your face, and he said, "Well, sure, if it’s your card," and you turned and left. But you didn’t quit…You joined Anytime Fitness, in downtown Rhinelander, and your first time there—after your 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift at the warehouse—the manager showed you around and explained the machines and you nodded, and you got on one of the treadmills. There was a woman on the treadmill next to you, an older woman, and she smiled and saw you were new because you were struggling to set the programs on the machine. She asked how fast you wanted to go. You knew you made people uncomfortable, but she was so nice and you didn’t want to be rude, so you answered, thinking she had asked how far you intended to go. Four. You were going to go four miles. She smiled and nodded, but the truth is, she could see not just that you were new but that you were different, and she thought four miles an hour seemed a little fast. But she kept quiet when she helped you punch the buttons. You nearly flew off the machine and the woman nearly screamed. You recovered on your own, though, and she helped you adjust the machine to a lower speed and you made it those four miles, and that woman thought about how she had never seen a stronger, more determined person in her life."
- Bret, Unbroken by Steve Friedman
An incredibly inspiring story about a man who was mentally and physically injured in a childhood accident and how managed to create a decent life for himself. And then he discovered even more through running. I am feeling all the feels.