I decided to take a few liberties with this week’s efforts to share a couple of life’s lessons. I have something for those of you who have become couch potatoes like me, and something for those of you who look out of your window and see a tough world.
Some years ago my wife retired and, looking for something to keep the cobwebs from collecting on her mind and body, she joined a universal fitness situation for women only. I thought, “More power to ya!,” and took another bite from my sandwich and settled a little deeper in my recliner. In the dictionary under athlete, you couldn’t find my wife mentioned anywhere on the page. I figured this would pass. After awhile, she would complete the 30 minute workout session and come home and walk eight miles. Weather permitting, she would tack on another four miles in the afternoon. It occurred to me if I had to go 12 miles, I would start looking for my car keys.
A friend suggested she investigate a fitness center close by. She did, and she joined. Afternoon conversations were filled with the benefits of her daily workout. She signed up for a personal trainer, and I began to see a great improvement in her physical prowess. It was then I decided, “Sign me up.”
Some people adopt stray animals, my wife adopts people. If you are under 40 and don’t pick your nose in public, Ms. L will adopt you in a heartbeat. With this in mind, I wasn’t surprised to hear about Michael. Michael is her trainer, and when I joined the program the circle was complete.
To say Michael is fit is an understatement. He won’t give Arnold (in his Conan roles) any competition, but the boy is buff.
As we have grown close, I have become the hammer hanging over his head. To say Michael is carrying a heavy load is like saying King Kong was a cute monkey. Michael has a daughter with his college sweetheart (another Vernice adoptee), his sister is a single mom with two boys and his girlfriend has a son. All of these youngsters are in the pain-in-the-butt age range, but Uncle Mike takes them in tow and sees that they share a decent quality of life. His cousin refers to it as “Daddy Daycare.” Along with this wagon load, Michael starts his day at 4 a.m., trains whining clients (like me) all day and tops off his day as a cooler for a local club. He has managed to answer the call from several NFL teams to come for a tryout. The weight of this schedule would bend the reserve of the average man, but Michael never complains, he just goes about his way quietly.
So, when your 9-to-5 job solicits a complaint because you have to work a half-hour overtime and then sit in traffic, try walking a mile in Michael’s shoes, and when they don’t fit, sit down and shut up. Listen to the quiet man.