I got a personal trainer years ago who totally changed my life, not just physically, but who I was and why I existed. He was full service. Prior to this guy, much of my life had been about me, what I liked, what I was doing, where I was headed. You know, not really selfish stuff, just self stuff.
We started with the usual routines that worked my legs, back and arms, but went further than what one would expect from a typical personal trainer, almost like a life coach, although he didn’t label himself. The guy was excellent and immediately became one of my favorite people in the world, in spite of the pressure he put on me to change. He began with the basics of life and used himself as the example, expecting me to watch out for him and protect him – think “Mr. Miyagi” but not. This continued for some time and I obliged. Eventually, he let up on me and took care of himself, but his next phase of training was to show me how to look at the world in a different way.
He asked a lot of why questions, expecting immediate answers and they must be correct, although I’m certain many of them didn’t actually have an answer; and he often seemed proud of my effort even when I fell short. There were times when the whole plan didn’t seem to make sense, but I stuck with him and I was pleased with the change. This guy was a Big Guy and was good at building me up, from being just David Cary to becoming “Dad.”
Now, my personal trainer, “Big Guy” Austin Cary and his wife, Kira, have their own personal trainer who is changing us all - me from Dad to Grandpa. Oliver Finn Cary checked in at a buff seven pounds eleven ounces and is already putting us to work. With over two decades of hospital experience, it’s the first time Valerie and I could recall sitting in a waiting room, feeling so little worry, and knowing my health insurance played no part.
The first time Valerie and I babysat Big O, I knew I still had the touch when “rocking” him to sleep with a lullaby medley of “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions,” “Hey Jude,” and “O Sole Mio.” I shared a picture on Facebook and added, “I just realized, even with a decapitated finger you can probably count on one hand the number of times I've posted a selfie, so the little dude is already stretching my boundaries.
Just before Mother’s Day 2016, Austin texted me the following screenshot with the note, “Your move.”
This year, for our 31st anniversary on August 15th, I got Valerie flowers.
Austin got her a grandbaby the next day.
Austin won again.
For personal trainers, our kids and our grandkids, in spite of their workouts, I’m Still Thankful.
P.S. My beard was a few months old when Allison and Kira told Valerie that I looked like a distinguished grandfather, to which I replied, “Thanks?” Now, I’ll take it.