So last week I didn’t want to be specific about “the project,” we were working on at the gym. Now that we made our presentation, I can be.
Thelma is an 89 year old woman who has been in my classes for as long as I have been teaching fitness (almost 35 years). She has been a constant inspiration for all of us at the gym.
In the 90s, when I was taking my Pilates training, she presented me with an original manual, from Joseph himself, which she got while taking classes with him in Manhattan. (How cool is THAT?) She has showered people she cares about with gifts and trinkets from the tapestry of her life. When about 50 something of us from the gym organized to raise money for the City of Hope in their annual 5K walk, logically, most walked. Not Thelma. She jogged along with a very small group of us and never stopped till she made it thru the finish line. She embraced kickboxing in her 70s and 80s and always put well over 100% into EVERY class she participated in. Even these days when she is feeling like she needs to move more slowly, she often forgets and after a few minutes of being energized, she is right there not just keeping up, but often kicking up the moves!
With money a little tight these days, she wasn’t sure if she would renew her gym membership. She did, but all of her classmates, along with another instructor, decided to reimburse her so she would know how important it is to have her in our class. Within minutes of my just suggesting the idea, people were literally throwing money at me…because, like I said last week, my gym people are the most caring, loving, generous, embracing people you could imagine.
Because people were so generous, we were able to not only reimburse her, but inside the beautiful card Rita made for her, we were also able to add a gift card for some groceries. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen so effortlessly and so quickly! My hope is she will be able to inspire us for many years to come.
There are so many lessons I learned from this. So often people feel like they aren’t really in a financial position to help others. Sometimes, just a few dollars can make a huge difference. I also noticed that once one person approached me with money, a trail of people joined in. Sometimes we have to be that person that makes the first move.
I have no question that Thelma was greatly touched by this gift. More so, I have no question that when people give of themselves (it doesn’t have to be money) the feeling they feel is bigger than one the recipient feels.
As we enter into the long holiday weekend, enjoy your time off with friends, family, or whatever it is you chose to do. Remember you can make your weekend even happier by giving something of yourself to some else. A donation in the form of time, money, blood are all huge. While there is no longer a Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, there is still, unfortunately, Muscular Dystrophy. Maybe there will even be fireman out on the streets collecting money in boots, old school style. You can make a difference. Maybe it’s as simple as letting someone else have the parking spot, or get in line in front of you. Maybe even simpler, like holding a door or offering up a smile.
As our country seems to get more and more divided, let’s all do what we can to feed the human connection. Speaking of which, my heart is so full this morning as I know our kids will be connecting, spending the weekend together, having a Disney adventure out in California. Enjoy it all, Derek, Jolene, Kyle, Nicole and Heather! Much love………..