July 22 – U

363/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  Wow, only 3 more gratitude posts left including this one!!  When I started this journey a year ago, I was a little nervous as to if I would have 365 people to thank.  I didn’t want it to come down to posts such as thanking my mailman for the flyers he delivers in that they were the ones that led me on to some awesome deal!! ; )  Early on in these posts, I started hearing from friends that so and so had made “the list”.  I didn’t understand what that was until I was told that it was my “gratitude list”.  That put some pressure on me to say the least as there was now a “list”.  I didn’t want it to be a list and I didn’t want it to be some type of contest.  Then I heard that some people mentioned they were in the 80s and others were in the 200s!  I do have to make it clear that I haven’t had an order as to who I thank and thus whatever number gratitude post it was has no relation to ranking.  Most posts are the night before or a couple of days before.  Yes, I saved my dad for his birthday as I did with my children for theirs, my mom was first because well she is my mom but save for them and the final two gratitude posts, no one had a day or a number.  The list by the end of Sunday is far from complete.  I could thank another 365 people who got me to where I am today and this is what today’s gratitude post is about – to all of the people I didn’t name and there are hundreds of you that have impacted me!  So many former students, co-workers past and present, family members, inlaws, bosses, professors, fellow students, random strangers, neighbours past and present, friends, backhanded gratitudees (bullies and the like), service providers, celebrities etc, etc – just so many people who have made me who I am and to all of you un-named in this past year, you are part of this gratitude journey just because you were not personally mentioned here doesn’t mean you weren’t recognized by me.  To all the new people that will come in to my life, thanking you in advance as some of you will change and influence me in new ways.  Thank you to all of you who came along with me on this 365 day journey as well.  Your encouragement and support has gotten me to this end point.

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May 19 – the lady at the gym

299/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  Do you ever have moments when something clairvoyant-like takes place and you are trying to get an understanding of the logic behind it?  The other day I was thinking of a woman that I would run into back in my 20s and 30s when I used to work out at Fitness World.  I was wondering whatever happened to her.  She was a Punjabi woman who was well over my mom’s age (probably by a decade or more).  I was fascinated by her because first she was working out lifting weights.  Second, she had short cropped hair – growing up Indo-Canadian, all females sported long hair and older women had auntie-buns – but not her.  Third, she was made up to the nines (yes, she was working out but damn, she did it in style).  Fourth, her English, although accented, was impeccable.  I recall her sitting on a bike next to me striking up a conversation with me and of course, small world – she knew my mom and my extended family.  She started giving me hugs when I would be at the gym and I met her once at the temple where she just grabbed me and told my mom that I was her other son and we had only talked casually.  I admired her and how she really got me to see older Indian woman in a different light than what I was used to growing up.  The evening after she had popped into my head earlier this week, my mom phoned and asked me if I remember a woman who used to work out at the gym.  I was floored as I told her that I was just thinking about her.  My mom got all quiet and then told me that she had just gone to her husband’s funeral that day and that she (this lady) was asking about her “son” (me)!  To say I was weirded out would be an understatement.  I guess I also affected her on some level.  I made a promise to my mom that in the upcoming weeks I would make a trip to her place to give my condolences but also to connect with her.  I am very fortunate that a lot of good people have come into my life over the years to get me to think about life and this lady is one of those people.  Thank you for allowing me to see (Indo-Canadian) women of my mom’s generation and older as productive, vital, independent and lively rather than what I was shaped to see them as through my interactions in a patriarchal cultural.  I look forward to our reunion where I can tell you this in person.

May 5 – the student becomes the teacher

285/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  I’m in pain.  This is what happens when you do no type of exercise for 5 months and return to working out.  I totally expected to be this way but there is that driven part of me that says you should be back to your old self within days.  My doctor is impressed that given 6 broken ribs, I am back working out (his suggestion – a year off).  I can’t do that.  I have to get back in shape.   I talked about the friends that motivated me upon and prior to my return but tonight it’s about the instructor.  Dana was a fellow 4pmer.  About 2 years ago, she joined the gym and started attending the 4pm class.  There were 4 of us regulars but one soon got busy with life leaving the Triple Threat and Dana.  We befriended her and joked with her about her membership into the 4pm crew.  She went along with the ribbing and soon was an integral part of the 4pm crew.  The four of us socialized, added new members (getting up to the Awesome Eight) and just had a great time while working out but Dana was amazing!  She was a trainer waiting to be.  Just this year, she became a certified personal trainer and is now teaching the 4 pm crew!!  This must be surreal for her and okay, I’ll be honest, I put her through the test 😉  Dana is awesome as an instructor but especially this week – she told me to take it slow and easy and came up to me several times to tell me I was good (that I needed to rest).  I so very much appreciate it as the go-getter in me didn’t realize what my body was telling me but she did.  I also love the fact that we have an easy-going friendship and she is starting to give as good as I give to her in regards to humour although I can make her blush at a drop of a hat.  I’m so glad I met you and that you joined the 4pm crew and now you are leading it.  I look forward to many classes with you buddy!

May 3 – (gym) friends

283/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  I am that guy who has a monthly $5 Fitness World membership.  Yes, I got it way back when I was 19 years old and it has never increased in dues.  I am also that guy who had not gone to Fitness World in a good 4 years because I joined another gym/dojo and can’t give up the $5 membership.  Yup, I am that guy!!  Today, after 5 months (due to an injury), I ended up back at Makifit.  I needed to as I have packed on the pounds.  For the past week or so, I have been dreading coming back as I have always been in decent shape working out at Makifit but not this time.  But one thing I have at the gym is so many supporters.  I got messages and posts psyching me up for today from fellow members.  As soon as I got there, gym friends recent and long-time – actually let’s just call them friends because that is what they have become – gave me hugs and high fives and welcomed me back.  All of them supporting me.  Owner and the class trainer also giving me props for returning and getting my fitness back on.  During the workout, my friends kept motivating me and telling me that I can finish.  Yes, I stopped several times during many of the exercises as I couldn’t complete the required number or my back or thighs hurt and that bothered me as I don’t usually give up but I persevered and got through the class.   I am not happy with the shape I am in at present but I am going to get back on track and I know it will take me time but with the support and motivation of my friends at the gym,  I know I can once again be me.  I am glad not only to have these people around while I work out but many of them have become social companions and I am even happier to have that bond.  Thank you to all the people I work out with for the laughs, the support, the motivation, the commiserating, but most importantly the friendship!  Glad to be back!