lasting impressions

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Lasting Impressions: I will never get another dog

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

Lasting Impressions, number two in a series.

In all my years working at various health clubs, several thousand people have walked through the doors. Some become members, some not. Some become casual acquaintances, while others become life-long friends. A few make a brief appearance and are gone. One such person, I think about to this day.

He came into our health club to look around; he was in his mid-fifties. He gave my dog Stella a rueful look, and after a long pause, he said he would never get another dog. I asked him why. He told me he had had a wonderful dog that died for no explainable reason when the dog was five years old. He said it was such a painful experience that he could not bear to go through it again.

Stella was two at the time. The guy’s words haunted me. I thought about what he said with the passing of each of Stella’s birthdays, especially on her fifth birthday. Stella turns 12 in a couple of days.

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Lasting impressions: In six months I'll be doing the butterfly across that pool

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

Number one in a series.

In 36 years working at nine different health clubs I've seen a lot of amazing, bizarre, interesting, and sometimes disturbing things. I have seen thousands of people come and go. Most do not leave a lasting impression, but sometimes, even a brief encounter will stay with me forever.

It was January 1980. The price of oil was $37 a barrel that year, more expensive than it is today. Imagine that. The George Foreman Grill and other astounding leaps in technology had yet to be invented. It was my third month working at my first health club. The club was awash with new members armed with their New Year’s resolutions.

There was a man there who weighed 290 pounds. He had the look of a former athlete. Under that marbling there was obvious potential to be a well-muscled fit man. He was there for hours each day for five straight days. He told me in six months he would be doing the butterfly across the pool. Given how long he was there with such regularity that was definitely a possibility. I didn't see him the next week or the week after. In fact I never saw him again.

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