the lost man chronicles
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The Satisfaction of Sacrifice

I was the last one in the gym tonight.

I had just come down from my desk thirty minutes earlier and had an intense twenty-minute workout, challenging myself to occupy every minute, every second with movement that pushed the limits and made my muscles cry for mercy.

Although the physical intensity was wholly gratifying, it was really the solitude that I appreciated the most.

The mere half-an-hour from weighted leg-lifts to cold shower were empowering. It reminded me of my college days when I was often one of the last in the library. Hell could have opened its gates and advertised free admission, and I would have stayed in my crickety-old wooden chair, despite the temptation to join the fun and everyone else who had forgone any thought of opening a book on a Friday evening. There was simply something in me that compelled me to study just a little more.

The attendant almost locked the door on me in when she came over to the studio to close up. I gave her a puzzled glare, after she saw me and retrieved her poised key, she responded by smiling back through the thin window at me.

We joked about it a few minutes later, as I remarked, “For a moment there I thought you were going to make me workout all night.” She snortled in reply.

As I sat down on the bench in the locker room, I reveled for a moment in the serenity of how good it felt to be alone. I know I could-have, should-have gone home much earlier, but I decided to stay and write a little longer, and then workout, so that I might be a little stronger—if only tomorrow.

For in 36 years I know one thing is true—perseverance pays off—and it gets you where you want to go, albeit sometimes rather slow-ly, especially when contrasted to all the others who are quickly moving in the opposite direction.

And thus, I suppose in addition to this consoling solitude, its also the satisfaction of demonstrating discipline which also piqued my joy as well. For the will to sacrifice, to stay the course, despite what everyone else might (not) be doing otherwise, has long proven to me to be one of the more meaningful ways enjoying this short life.

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