Unexpected Inspiration

by Amy Issadore Bloom

There is a woman who is at our gym all the time. She’s great at the step and aerobic classes that I suck at. She wears perfectly coordinated outfits, has beautiful olive complexion, a knock-out little body, and an accent that I can’t place. It’s easy to notice her because our gym is no frills and casual, as are most of the members.

She is pouty, yet friendly once you get to know her. I always assumed she was the wife of a diplomat, that she had a somewhat charmed life.

We were talking about her daughters (now in their twenties), and about raising children in general. That’s when she so casually mentioned her own struggles – a failing business, cancer….

Cancer? Wait. That didn’t fit my image.

It turns out she’s a breast cancer survivor.

I felt terrible – for what she must have gone through, for assuming to know anything about her life. And yes, for recently theorizing that she had implants.

It’s easy to misjudge people, to create a life for them that doesn’t really exist. But it’s much better to actually get to know someone.

You never know what inspiration they might provide.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }


I often remind myself that I don’t “know” anyone. Even lifelong friends may have a secret they haven’t shared for whatever reason. I like to look at people I initially assume I’ve got figured out and imagine that they, like me, are not without happenings in life that have shaped them, both positive and negative, even life-threatening, life-altering happenings.



So true, and really well said.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Arnebya.



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