The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.
– Muhammad Ali
Yesterday started out a sad day at the gym, kittens. As a staff member I have access to extracurricular exercise classes for an incredibly low price – one upfront fee gets me into any number of zumba, yoga, weight and interval training, and aerobics classes I choose to take over a semester. It’s pretty great. Alas yesterday was the last class of the term and at the end of April (as is well documented) I’ll be gone from the university.
So after class I took a moment to thank the zumba teacher, who was by far my favorite instructor over the last year and a half. I hate working out, but her classes were the first thing I’ve tried for exercise that I actively enjoyed and under her I’ve lost 15 pounds, gained a bunch of muscle and have a slight cut started in my arm. (In a fabulous Michelle Obama way, not a creepy steroid one, but I digress…) I just wanted to tell her how much I appreciated her classes and how much I would miss them. She asked why I could no longer attend and I explained why I would no longer be staff. Her response: “Girl, you can totally come to my class for free over the summer if you’re still in town. You’ve been working really hard and it’s always great to see you in class so let’s keep you active and healthy!”
Remember to say thank you, kittens. Not with the expectation of getting anything, mind, but people don’t take gratitude for granted and it’s surprising how far people will go for each other after hearing those two little words. Her generosity and kindness really blew me away. And I find the only obligation one has after being the recipient of such an act (besides a sincere handwritten thank you note, possibly supplemented with baked goods) is to pay it forward to someone else when one has the chance. No downside to that.