He crawls on the elliptical next to mine. He summons a huge breath and sends out a slow, I’d-love-to-seem-determined-but-I’m-here-against-my-will exhale.
“Well,” he says it to himself, but doesn’t mind when I turn my gaze toward him. His gray hair matches his mustache. He wobbles. “Gotta get after it, even when you don’t want to, right?”
“Yep, then you can go home and enjoy a beer,” I laugh.
“Oh yeah, good point. You’ve got your head on straight.” We grin through the next few minutes, then our smiles fade. He digs in. I cool down. I give him another encouraging nod as I wiped down my machine like any good citizen. Then we share a call of “Cheers!” as I depart.