During a cycling class the instructor came to adjust my bike for me. He asked, just as any instructor would, at the top of his lungs over the loud music, “How are you feeling? Feeling all right?” To me this is more of a motivational shout-out than a real question.
“Yeah,” I have an instant answer and a full-on smile whenever someone asks that. It is almost like throughout my day, at work, on the street, I would have this readily affirmative response and long-prepared smile right underneath my face, lurking and waiting to erupt whenever someone pokes me. How is it going? How are you doing? In America this is asked way too much. And the answer is always an assuring, cutting-to-the-chase, great. Great. Doing great. Just to give no one any more trouble. Just to be as pleasing as we can be.
But this instructor was different. He followed with: “Really all right, not just because I asked?”
Not just because I asked. I like this angle.
I still served my habitual “yes”, after a tiny stunned pause, but my readiness is broken.