For more than 14 years we were together. Your strength carried me through the most challenging and difficult times providing blue/grey space where I could hide while sweating, or robust vibrant colours that made me bounce happily along on the treadmill while One Republic sang in my ear.
We did everything together: run, row, elliptical and the odd Pilates class here or there. (Actually, now that I think about it, it was just the one Pilates class.) You introduced me to many things, but in particular running, and overall how much I love to live an active life. Before you, I was a McDonald’s-eater, every-night-two-large-pizza-eater.
You changed that, and you changed me for the better.
Then, you began abandoning me. The odd machine that wouldn’t work, various closures that meant I had fewer and fewer options of Jims, until one day a final decision was made on my part that we should end our relationship. The timing of it couldn’t have been worse. We would never forget it because the break up happened at Christmastime. But my job had ended. I had to conserve. I had to make choices. So I tossed you out with the garbage, and swore I would never come back.
But you were a trooper about it, much more mature than myself. While I was angry about the number of times you failed me, you gave me a final wave and a thanks for all the years we spent together.
I had replaced you with New-Jim. New-Jim had a beautiful freshly designed exterior, and he winked at me when I walked up to his front doors. New-Jim was also less expensive as he was a bare necessities Jim. I could use his weights and cardio equipment all I wanted for a monthly fee, but to swim in him, would be an extra charge.
“That’s ok,” I waved my hand at the client representative as I negotiated price. “I rarely swim anyways. If I do swim, I’ll just pay the extra fee.”
New-Jim was also convenient because he lived close by with less than 1 KM between us. There would be no more excuses for me not to pay him a visit. I told myself I could bike there, run there, or walk there.
Yeah, things would be different now that I had found a closer New-Jim.
As the months drifted by and spring turned into summer, summer to winter, I noticed something around my waist had developed that meant my pants felt a little more snug. And some other pants, refused to button up. Thighs were a little rounder. It only occurred to me recently that New-Jim was pretty and shiny, but there were things that I missed about Old-Jim.
I REALLY missed Old-Jim’s sauna. It was my dessert after a long, hard workout. For me that means that in 1 1/2 years, I haven’t had any dessert.
I also missed your convenient location inside that shopping mall where I could get cash at my banking machine without paying a service fee. Or, where I could buy dress pants, or a shirt for work after an exercise session. If I needed butter, or bread, I could also grab it in that same mall. It was a one-stop, do-it-all location.
I only noticed recently that New-Jim was close by, but he didn’t offer anything extra. As well, once I was close to home and with New-Jim FAR too close, it meant I could always say, “I’ll go later.”
And later for me, never happened.
I went to see you yesterday. I wasn’t going to say anything about our past life together, but then I did. And Old-Jim – you were so great about seeing me again. You’re vibrant colours, your smile, and how you mentioned I should grab the pool schedule and a schedule of classes that are offered. Some of those classes, you said, I don’t have to pay an extra fee.
What???? No way!!! I thought.
After we had reconnected again, I changed into my workout clothes, and used your treadmill and your row machine. I showered. Then, I sweated a little more when I sat on your wooden benches and I heard a crackling sound that meant the sauna room was heating up. It wasn’t long before sweat dripped from my VERY TIRED body.
After more than a year, I finally had some post-workout dessert.
Thank you Old-Jim for taking me back. Like most relationships, I understand that when there is a breakup there are always two people to blame. But nothing is ever perfect. Your equipment will break, I know that. I’ll get stuck in traffic, I’m sure. But after trying something new, I’m ready to go back and see if we can give this relationship a second chance.
And on day one, I can honestly say, it’s good to be home.