There's a trainer at my gym, Mike, who I have befriended over the years of pumping iron there. We both attended Western; he is a few years older than I. It took me a while to build up the courage to say hello - as the gym culture is passive and quiet, especially during the non-peak hours. And to be honest, Mike is an intimidating fellow at first - with his guttural noises and loud encouragement with his clients. I often run into him in the Olympic platform area and we have had quite a few exchanges over the years. The ice was broken over box jumps a few years ago - as he is a big fan of plyometrics and he was curious what sport I am training for.
Since returning from my adventures abroad this past winter, I've been putting in some serious hours in the basement of Sound Mind and Body. And I've run into Mike, a lot. He's usually with a client and doing his thing, so we often just say hi as we work.
But earlier this week, we crossed paths while both working out, sans client. We had a heart to heart, which probably doesn't happen every day amongst bar bells, squat racks and bench presses. Between reps, he asked me how I was doing. My immediate response was, I'm great! But the look on his face revealed he wanted to know how things were really going, you know, since losing Ryan.
I took a little longer recovery between my sets and answered him, truthfully, that I was okay. That time, the ultimate healer, is doing its job. And, be as awkward as it may be, I was thankful Mike took the time to ask what a lot of people may be wondering, or are too afraid to say - how are you?
I am doing just fine, thank you.
Mike's funny. He said his response would be to someone asking him the same thing, "there's a big gaping hole in my life. How do you THINK I'm doing?" We laugh, at the seriousness of our conversation and get back to our reps.