The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Two Cheers for Staying Cheerful

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.


Photo courtesy of Joe Kuharic. Thank you, Joe! :)

Photo courtesy of Joe Kuharic. Thank you, Joe! 🙂

5 comments on “Two Cheers for Staying Cheerful

  1. araneus1
    May 4, 2015

    you let him get away??

  2. davecenker
    May 5, 2015

    There’s always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow after the storm. Or, um, a frosty brew at the end of a workout. I can’t figure out which one I’d enjoy more. I’ll take both please – Cheers to you Paige 😉

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