Girl meets boy, boy meets girl.Girl tells boy that his shoe looks weird.Boy tells girl that his shoe is that way because his hip is messed up and it’s the only way he can walk somewhat normally.Girl feels like a jerk and resolves to keep her damn mouth shut from then on.(She doesn’t.)
Fast-forward about 18 years, and we’ve both aged, matured (somewhat), and forgotten that long-ago exchange in front of the high school waiting for a bus.Well, one of us forgot it.The other one, that would be me, still feels like a jerk, especially upon learning that her old friend from grade school has undergone more medical procedures, life-changing calamities, bone-degenerative disease, and back surgeries than any guy in his mid-30s should.It’s not like I felt guilty or anything; none of that was my fault.I felt like a jerk because up until learning that, I had been prancing around preaching to everyone about clean eating,cheer-leading about getting to the gym, and generally bugging everyone around me to quit complaining and get healthy.So it was kind of a wake-up call that some people have legitimate reasons to complain, and quality time with an elliptical isn’t always the cure-all.
We reconnected like so many do these days, on Facebook.Upon seeing that we had about 55 kazillion mutual friends, one of us sent the other a friend request, and the obligatory “what’s new with you,” exchange began.But, instead of commenting politely on pictures of each other’s children and then sliding back into the anonymous Internet, it started to become clear that our current interests and places in life were more connected than we realized.I don’t want to get all metaphysical on you, but it seemed like the Gods of Facebook had connected us for a reason.I know.Roll your eyes.I did too when I wrote that.
But what I mean is that as we talked, it seemed like my penchant for hassling people about their personal state of wellness was what he was needing to get out of the slump he felt he was in.Steve knew he had health issues that could be helped by losing weight, eating better, and getting some exercise.I don’t want to take all of the credit, but I think some of my enthusiasm for a clean and healthy lifestyle started to rub off on him, and before I knew it I had included him in my list of projects, whether he wanted to be there or not.
Turns out he did.After a few months of casual chiding, good-natured harassment, and genuinely-concerned check-ins on his progress, Steve turned the tables.He was serious about getting healthy and wanted me to help.
Now, helping people get healthy is something I do every day, but this was different.Steve had more to worry about than just losing some weight; he was facing additional surgeries and a lifetime of health risks if he didn’t take control of things in quick order. And to be honest,I am far from qualified to tackle the job.I’m not a nutritionist, trainer, or wellness professional.I’m just a bossy girl with a lot of anecdotal experience and a large enough text limit on her phone plan to harass a good number of people about their health goals each day.
But it turned out that I had some deadlines of my own.Just as getting healthy had been on Steve’s back burner for a while, becoming qualified to tackle a job of this sort has been on my own bucket list.Connecting with me on Facebook may have been the catalyst for reigniting a healthier lifestyle for Steve, and my connecting with him seemed like the slap in the face that it was high time I practice what I preach and get certified.
So, here we go.I’m flattered and a little humbled that Steve has asked me to navigate these waters with him, but I’m pretty sure we’re both going to find new land before its all said and done. ~Heather