When all you can do is shake it

As a group exercise instructor, you’d be surprised at how much people open up to me. I’m not quite sure why. Maybe it’s because a trust forms after staring at the same smiling face for an hour straight. Maybe it’s because health + wellness is a very personal matter, and if you can open up to someone about thyroid problems, fertility issues, and poop, then heck, I guess you can tell me anything.  Anyway, a lot of the topics that come up I’m really not qualified to talk about. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a therapist. But I’m learning how to become a better listener. And I’m good at listening to stories. Because what I’ve learned over the years is that people just want to be heard + loved.

So recently, I found out that one of my beloved regulars received word that her husband has cancer.

And in the couple of weeks that she’s known this, I’ve learned so much from her.

Right now, she is just getting by. And what blows my mind is that she continues to show up for class every single week. She continues to laugh when she messes up a step. And she continues to shake her hips when I yell in her face to SHAKE IT. When others talk to her, she smiles and carries on conversation. Because no one else knows. But I can see in her eyes that all she’s thinking about is her guy. She somehow holds back the tears and tries to carry on. She is fighting so hard to hold on to something for herself. She is not letting fear win. As hard as it is to get herself to class, she does it. Because she is not going to let the circumstance control her life.

I have never quite seen strength like this.

So every week, she comes to class, and I don’t mention it. I know that this is her hour to escape as best she can. Because as soon as she gets back into her car, the tears will come streaming again. 

But I’m sure she’s reading this right now, and I just want her to know that it’s ok. It’s ok to cry. And I am so glad that you find even the smallest amount of comfort in continuing your routine with our class. I don’t know what kind of comfort it’s bringing you, but I’m honored to be a part of it. And I’m proud of you. We are here for you. We always will be. We are all in this crazy world together. And know that when we’re all laughing with you because we all messed up the step, our hands are holding yours.