Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dave in the Corner

I LOVE my fitness class!  Yoga Pilates Fusion.  That's MY fitness class.  Well, the whole name is Yoga Pilates Water...For Seniors.  I realize that I am neither a senior in high school, NOR a senior citizen, but as a 46 year old Cardiac Arrest survivor, I qualify.   Have I mentioned that I love this class?

My class includes some really colorful, remarkable characters. One of them is "Dave in the Corner".  I believe his name is Dave, or at least that's what everyone calls him. If we are in the deep end, Dave is in the corner, holding onto his pool noodle (and both edges of the pool) for dear life. Dave never learned to swim, and he's "not about to start now!"  Dave is a different sort of guy, with a sour outlook on life that I find intriguing and inspiring.  He's not your usual ray of sunshine.  Most conversations with him include stories in which people held out hope for something better, only to have those hopes crushed by some crippling unforeseen disability.  (You can see the attraction, right?)  For example, when I told him my husband would be needing a knee replacement in the near future, he started in with ,"Oh no. Tell him not to do it.  You know it starts with knee surgery, but you know the outcome every time??? (I'm thinking better use of his knee, but...) Alzheimers!  Every person I know who's had knee surgery ends up with Alzheimers!"  

Hmmm.  Yep.  Maybe better rethink that knee surgery.  Nah, I think it's a chance worth taking.

He then goes on to regale me with stories of back surgeries gone horribly wrong, cats that died horrible deaths, and family that drives him nuts.  His words display a life of hurt and fear and disappointment.

Yet, here he is, depending on a piece of foam to keep him from a watery death in 8 feet of 92 degree water.  He holds on with both hands while he stretches the muscles in his body to stay strong for as long as he is able. Dave in the Corner is a model of my faith lately. Dave and I haven't given up.  We're still afloat and hanging on tightly because we fear what will happen if we let go.  We've seen so many others go under, and we're just terrified it will be us next...still, we show up at the pool and go into the deep water.

Being in that water is a great equalizer.  When everyone is floating in the deep end on a pool noodle, we all look alike. (Mostly like bobbing heads.)  There are no walkers or canes and we are all floating along with our scars showing. We're all trying to stay strong.  We're all holding on to our noodles, while we work feverishly below the water, kicking our legs and fighting to keep our flexibility.  Once we get out, our differences start to show, but by then it's too late.  We've already bonded.

Dave in the Corner has taught me more than I expected.  I'll still be a ray of sunshine, whether he enjoys it or not, but his outlook inspires me.  He reminds me what a gift a positive attitude is...and how wonderful it is to be realistic.

Be blessed by the Daves in your Corner!  

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