Dear Asian Guy at the gym,
Why do you wear hiking boots and dress pants to jog at the gym? Your heavy plodding feet confuse my ears. Based on your slender physique, I would expect light and cat-like steps but instead I am bothered by the thudding of your boots on the rotating treadmill belt. Do you realize I can hear your boots pounding the rubber of your machine through my ear-buds and the latest edition of This American Life? While your poor decisions regarding appropriate gym attire do not directly affect me, I am further disturbed by the thought of working out so vigorously in dress pants that I assume have been recently dry-cleaned and pressed based on the sharp pleats and cuffs.
Actually Asian guy, your noisy boots and nice pants give me cause to reflect on my own judgmental hang ups and human nature. I can only speak for myself and from what I’ve observed in others, but it seems that we go about our lives in various states of fear. We are afraid of what others will think, afraid that we don’t have enough or are enough of this or that, afraid of the past and more afraid of the future. If we could find ways to walk away from that fear, we would be happier in our ability to do more and try new things, meet different people and embrace the person we are today. Maybe walking or jogging, in this case, away from that fear could lead to a greater level of understanding and tolerance for others. In any case, thank you Asian guy for the lesson in living fearlessly in doing what you want, when you want, and in the way that works for you.
Your new sort-of friend because you smiled at me,