I was remembering a woman I used to know at an elite (a.k.a. very expensive) gym I used to go to in California. It was a monstrosity; with a running track built around the main floor, rock climbing, huge heated pool, a 20 person jacuzzi in both the men’s and women’s locker room, a juice bar, a spa, a beauty salon and of course valet parking.
That was the first time I experienced hot yoga and workouts with gloves, a boxing coach and punching bag. I enjoyed that place tremendously but one of the things that stands out the most to me isn’t the place itself but who I met there.
The saleswoman that signed me up was an amazing woman. She was about my age now. She stood out like a sore thumb. Not in a bad way but in a way that made it very obvious people didn’t understand her very much. She was so unique and seemed so happy with herself and in her world.
Even though it was clear she really didn’t fit in with the snobby orange county vibe, she seemed oblivious to it. I could sense others thought she was crazy but I enjoyed talking to her very much and made time whenever I saw her to do so. She seemed so genuine and unpretentious to me and I enjoyed her bright spirit, that didn’t seem to take into account that she didn’t much fit in where she was.
Of all the things we talked about I remember two stories she told me very vividly. But let me preface by saying she was a very religious person. I don’t remember what religion she subscribed to exactly. I believe it was a Christian based one though. Anyway.
One night she woke from a deep sleep in a panicked sweat. She had dreamt that two children were caught in a fire. She got right to her knees and prayed for these children she didn’t know because it had shaken her so deeply. The next day she heard on the news that two children had narrowly escaped a house fire the night before. She attributed her praying as part of their saving and who was I to disagree?
The next story was that she had been very sick at one point many years earlier. She got to the point where her body would no longer function and was hospitalized. Her children would come and cry at her bedside. The doctors didn’t know what was wrong with her. I can’t remember exactly how long she remained this way but at one point she said God told her it was time to get up and be done with that and she literally got up from the hospital bed and was absolutely fine from that day forward; with still no idea what happened to her or why.
I find it very lovely in life that people feel comfortable talking to me, from young children to octogenerians. I find it a deep blessing that people find it easy to connect to me. It makes life very pleasurable that way. So you can imagine the stories I’ve heard. I realize people sometimes like to tell tall tales. But here is the beauty of that. It’s not my place to judge or figure that out. All I have to do is listen and take anything I can from it. Help if I can and mostly I do that by just truly listening. Seems to be what people most need. There is the win/win to that. So whether this is true or not is of no consequence. I like to think it was. It truly seemed to be told with purity of heart to me.
But hey….. what do I know.
I’m just happy to be here.