This article hasn’t been sanctioned. In fact I considered not publishing it at all. But I thought this story was a too powerful reminder of the impact you have on the people in front of you in case you forgot.
In case you forgot when you had the shits when you went over your download limit at Quarterly Release time. When someone yells at you for the music being too loud. The air-con being too cold. When the Quarterly Workshop was the other side of the town. When that early morning class just felt so. Damn. Early.
But then the wake-up call.
I’ve had a loyal participant in my BODYPUMP class for as long as I can remember, and bless, she sets up and packs away my equipment every class (God forbid I set up for myself). She is always in the same spot and always responds when I ask questions and woo-hoos. Halleluiah! I also knew she has serious health issues in the past, and amongst lengthy hospital stays, she is always in class doing what she can manage. On Monday. Oh on this Monday just past. She had a compression bandage the length of her arm and delivered me the news that her cancer had returned and was still unclear on whether it had now spread. She told me she was unable to use her arm and would do what she could holding a single weight plate “I just love the music and coming to classes – I can’t do much but I’m here” she told me through tears. Don’t cry. Don’t cry (and in four attempts at writing this article – I’m in tears at my desk every-time). In 2-mintues I had to stand in front of 50-members, cheerily greet them and proceed to deliver 55-minutes without bursting in to tears.
I did it. Just.
I could barely look her way in class and when I caught a glimpse of her it just stabbed me in the chest; one arm chest flys, single arm plate clean and press, singing along to the tunes.
In that moment in that very moment I don’t think I’ve had more profound clarity in 12-years of teaching: this is my why.
And here’s the thing. She is the one individual that I knew about. What about the other 49? Or the other thousands that have come through our doors that we’ll never know about. And they will never tell us.
That is my why. She, and the others she represents in our classes are why I give and will continue to give 100%. When I’m tired, grumpy, inconvenienced – that’s small change and that memory will remind me.
She still packed up my equipment.
By Marie Anagnostis - Marketing & Communications Manager LMAP. And Instructor.