Wednesday, July 09, 2008

work out, cont. (for Mike)

I went to the gym this morning again. My triceps are screaming at me, and I pass myself in the mirrors and realize I'm a little chubby middle aged lady in sneaks and ill-fitting shorts. But it's ok...I need to be there. I jumped on the treadmill as I do first thing, and I'm doing better and better. I may even be running at some point, which I'd love and figured I could no longer do. I finished a 40 minute, 2 plus mile stint on an incline. And then I waited for the trainer, Mike. And waited, and waited. I decided I'd better leave and try to call him, and so went out to my car and he zooms up.

So back in we go to kill my poor triceps again-well, being they're attached to my arms and my arms are attached to my shoulders, which we worked on...Lord, I'm a weakling, even if I don't weight 90 pounds (far from it). He explains why he's late, and in the course of that explanation and other conversation we've had thus far, I realize he's a single father who lives with his mother...and then in further conversation about how he struggles to sleep at night...a 93 year old grandmother with dementia who can't care for herself. Plus he runs his own car finishing and detailing business and is in the gym, of course. He says the gym is his only real recreation. He doesn't go out, and focuses most of his attention on his multi-generational family. Oh, he's adopted and so says family means everything to him.

To see this man standing in the gym you'd never know. And I ask myself, am I here for more than a work out? I will be drawing a portrait of his 2-year-old son, which means I will come to the house and meet the mom and grandmother and see how Mike lives, day in and day out. Surface appearances are so deceiving. He apologizes for the 20th time for being late as I leave the gym and reminds me to bring more of my business cards that he can take to put in area businesses that he deals with. I think he taught me more about strong shoulders today than any exercise I could learn.


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