On July 28, just after dark, me and my two road dogs, Izzy and Bailey, slipped out of the back door of our apartment building and stealthed our way into my waiting, over stuffed vehicle. We never looked back. At 10 pm, we swung into the La Quinta Inn in Somerville. This would serve as our cross-country launching pad.
That was two months ago. In six days, we covered New York, Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and finally Phoenix. Arriving on Thursday, August, 3. It was 110 degrees. A good, soul cleansing heat.
With barely two dog bones to rub together, never mind a job or a place to live, we aimed to tread water until our ship came in. Bailey taught me to dog paddle. Oh me of little faith.
Back east, I was more frustrated than frightened. When BMS transferred me back into the home office in 2003, I swore I would get back out west one way or the other. Of course, I took the other.
When my business went bust and my finances took a turn for the worst in 2016, I had to hole up in a depression era, furnished apartment in the hardscrabble town of Ayer. Penance.
My marriage was kaput! It just ran its course. No hard feelings.
With my head in my hands I tried to think my way out. It took almost a year. In early September of that year, as I was walking Bailey, I stumbled across a large warehousy looking building next to the railroad tracks. When I looked in the window, I saw and heard the all too familiar grunting and clanging of serious iron being hoisted, squatted, and curled.
My heart jumped. I had been taking my iron pills for years and craved the feel of muscle soreness again. Could it be? Right next door to me? Open 24 hours? Yessss!
Frustration and bankruptcy are mighty catalysts when you are beaten down. My first day at the gym, the person behind the front desk approached me and said, “You tryin’ ta kill yourself?” I replied, “You got a better way?”
At 70, and nowhere to turn, I turned. I leaned into it with a passion. I created a split routine where I could pulverize one muscle group a day. I could barely brush my teeth some days. It hurt that good.
The rest of the time you would find me on the Nashua Rail Trail making the two hour and change ride to Nashua, New Hampshire and back. It helped me sleep. Sleep was a commodity.
It was a Spartan existence. I ate, trained, read, rode and slept. I watched my body change. When you start following the owner’s manual, shit starts happening. People started commenting at the gym. The change was in.
At seventy, we think we can only slim down and maybe lower some blood pressure. Nay, I say, we have evolved.
My clothes started getting loose in some places and tight in other places. The right places.
One day, someone at the gym asked me if I was a personal trainer. I laughed. They didn’t think it was funny and asked me to train them.
It was then I found out you need liability insurance to train at a gym. Any gym. And one other little item, certification from a reputable organization, like the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
No problem, I says, give me a week and I’ll get back to you. Boy, was I naive. This was serious business. As I would soon find out. We’re talkin’ science. Hard core science.
It would be a year of hitting the books and combing the internet to find out “supraspinatus” wasn’t a Greek. Oh my head! The book was so big, I would put it in my trunk so I wouldn’t get stuck in snow.
If I studied this hard in school, I would be writing opinions for the Supreme Court.
When I made it out here, I had three chapters left to study. The second day here, I joined LA Fitness. On the fourth day, I was working for them. Truth be told, there are probably lots more jobs back east but it doesn’t feel like it. Maybe it’s the geographical thing but it’s working for me.
Now that I’m a certified fitness professional, anything can happen. I can do Corporate Wellness, take on private clients, start an online business, or a mix of all three. Sooooey, here piggy, piggy!
A year ago, when I felt froggy, I took that leap.
Now, I just need to muscle in somewhere. 🙂