Hello everyone,, I suffer from chronic depression, and some related complications such as low self esteem, body image issues and insomnia. Some months ago I heard a noise outside of my bedroom, like the sound of someone running. So I get up, a rare moment of curiosity. Sure enough, at 3am there's this hell fat dude jogging, he's got a jumper on and headphones, looks like he's out there jogging for fitness. Probably too shy to jog in the day, little did he know I was up and awake and watching. I thought to myself, heh, he'll probably give up tomorrow. The next day I didn't see him, didn't think much of it, to be honest I forgot about it after that Three days later I hear some jogging outside my window, again in those ungodly hours of the night which have become my solace. Sure enough, it was that guy again. Again I thought he'd give up, but the next day he was back, and the day after that as well. At this point I was still skeptical, but I was like good on you dude, you've exceeded my ability to commit at least. Over the next week he kept returning, he only missed two days. I have to admit, I became way too invested in this stranger's journey of self improvement at this point. I came to calling him Danni in my head, dunno why, he seemed like a gentle dude and I liked that name for him. I found myself looking forward to seeing him run every morning. Now I have to mention that when I say run, I mean he runs for like a minute or two and then walks until he can breathe again. Most would laugh but I found it admirable. I could run way further than this guy if I had to but I'd go home the moment I lost my breath or felt uncomfortable, Danni is repeatedly exposing himself to this, over and over. He's on a mission, he's also the most meaningful thing in my life at the moment. A month passes from when he stated, and to be honest I kinda lost interest a bit. I found myself resenting his orders more self motivation than what I have. However just as I was becoming aware of this feeling he stopped running. To be honest he had not really lost any weight and his only sign of progress was that he could now run further than the view from my window could afford me line of sight. After a few days when I noticed, I genuinely felt sad. Another month passes and my sleep has drifted further and further into the morning hours, this is pretty usual for me. One day I stay up particularly late-early and as I go to close the blinds because the God damn sun is killing me, i spot Danni running! He had not actually stopped running, he'd just started doing it at normal hours! This was the first time I felt joy in about 2 weeks, I felt elated, I wanted to shout out to him, I didn't. Now I was enthralled. I had to see him every day. And sure enough he did keep showing up, almost every day. There was this one period of maybe 4 or 5 days where he didn't, but after that he started up again and my respect for him was solidified. Here is this man, a painting of what society would describe as soft, a loser, at the bottom of the social ladder, but that's not what I saw. I should say though that it might sound like my admiration was becoming romantic, but it really wasn't like that. I admired him from a distance as a sort of role model whom I'd never want to meet less that illusion be shattered. In my mind he was the embodiment of hope, if I met him he'd collapse like a quantum particle or whatever and become a very real very flawed human. After this roughly two more months pass, he has his ups and downs, days skipped, days where he's just walking. All the while he's started losing weight, but he's still got a longgg way to go to looking healthy. Then one day , around the time he'd be running by my house I hear the giggling of a girl. Now at this point I was more checking in once a week to see if he was still running, he didn't have a perfectly regular schedule, so I would have to watch through the window from my bed for a while whenever I wanted to see him otherwise I might miss him. On this day though I had to go check what this girl was laughing at. I'd be so heartbroken if Danni was being bullied, I mean who would just openly make fun of someone for being fat and trying to do something about it today? Instead I see Danni walking alongside this girl. Wow Danni! She's like wayyy out of his league. I don't really buy that league thing entirely but damn this girl is pretty and she's wearing all that tight fitting sportswear, she seems like she's got that amazing sense of style where she always looks great, I've always envied that. I hear Danni talking to her, and that's the first time I heard his voice. He's just chatting, she seems like a really bubbly kind of person, nothing he's saying is that funny, but when she laughs you can see him beaming with pride. Her laugh clearly makes his day but tbh it's pissing me off. At the same time I feel really happy for him, but I can't help but feel cynical, he's probably never going to be with this girl. She's just using him because she's deeply insecure (like me) but instead she seeks attention to try to fill the void, while I guess I embrace it like that old friend you love to hate and hate to love. Over the next weeks this girl occasionally joins him, out of 5 weeks she joined him maybe 8 times, while he was now running every single day except weekends. Occasionally I could glimpse snippets from their conversation when they happens to walk past my window instead of running, sometimes they were just quietly walking but mostly she was her bubbly self and either chatting away about nothing or listening to him, occasionally laughing and giggling. I have to say, and this completed surprised me, but at first Danni, who's still obese at this point was able to run further than the girl! She had a gorgeous body , like most days she'd wear a top that revealed her midriff and it's not like you could see her abs or anything but her stomach was quite flat, I guess she was unfit though! She quickly caught up though and was able to run as far as he could as she stated to come more regularly. Two months in and she was joining him three times a week. I still don't know their relationship, I think they are friends, I saw them hug one time when they were both super out of breath, but that's the only time I saw contact between them. They'd taken to sharing earphones with like a splitter thing, I thought that was kinda cute. Usually I fucking hate cutsie couples but thinking they weren't a couple let me see past that I guess. During this time the girl also spotted me watching them and I stopped watching them, but I could still hear them outside sometimes. I had changed my mind about her though, she seemed okay. The thing about my depression is that sometimes you go long periods of feeling nothing, and then out of nowhere emotions return in this flood like an enormous dam has been holding them back and now they are out, so one morning when she mentioned her boyfriend it hit me way harder than it should have, I wasn't ready for it! She said "oh my boyfriend and I are going up north for the long weekend so I won't be able to come on Monday." I couldn't hear Danni's response. I've been in both of their positions, assuming he's madly in love with her. It sucks. Another month passes and the girl is now only showing up twice a week. I've started watching them again but now it's more of a habit. I'm happy for the guy, he's starting to look healthy, he's still got a bit of fat but man has he come a long way. She's looking amazing as always. Then on day I spot the cutest moment. It seems like they'd been pushing each other to run further and faster, and on this day I see them in the park that's about 100 meters or so from my house, at first she's bent over seemingly heaving for breath, he's pacing around, looking up, trying to catch his breath too. They have one of those chats where it's far more breathing than words being spoken, but I can't hear them, only see them. Then he gently grabs her hand and holds it to his neck, I guess he asked her to check his pulse, she shakes her head and smiles while holding her fingers under his jaw. He then does the same to her, and it they look at each other for a moment, just standing there for a second index finger or each other's pulses, breathing. I thought this was super cute and I wish I had been closer and taken a photo. That was 17 days ago. I decided to write this story because yesterday I watched them both finish their run in that same park, totally out of breath. The girl sat down on the grass and after a minute the guy offered her a hand to get up. She took his hand and as soon as she got up she went for a hug. They hugged for a good 20 second kind of slowly swaying. When they broke apart he held her by the shoulders, and then they got close again and kissed. Danni, I'm going to stop watching you, I wish you the best of luck and if you're reading this please know that you've been the only meaning in my life for months now, I'm so happy for you and I sincerely hope things work out for you and the girl. Perhaps you were doing this all for her from the start, but even if it doesn't work out with her please don't stop running. I'm not even slightly jealous of you two, or your progress. 9 days ago I started running at 3AM and I've not missed a day. Edit: Thanks for everyone who has read, and all the up votes and comments and awards! I honestly thought this post might die in the weeds as many of my others have, I didn't expect this kind of response. I created a new account because discrimination against those with mental illness is real. Anyway It fills my heart with joy that I could inspire even one person to get out there and make their life better for themselves, and I think Danni would feel the same! At first I started by up voting and reading all your comments and replying to every person who rewarded me an award or made a comment, because you all deserve to be noticed! It does get a bit overwhelming though, but I will still read every comment even if I don't respond, that's a promise!