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Working Out with a Friend


This morning was tough to make myself get up to go workout. I waited longer than usual and almost talked myself out of it. It was unseasonably cold in Tucson so there was a moment that I thought I might just skip it, but then I remembered the tamales and other junk that I managed to cram down my throat yesterday so I picked myself up off the couch to get ready to go.

Since it was frosty outside and I had a few blocks to walk to the facility, I asked my mom if she had a hat I could borrow. I hated to ask because we both knew what I was really wanting to know is if she had any of Paul’s hats that I could wear. My sister gave me one that he wore every morning when he took off for his desert tromps and off I went, but not before I grabbed the water bottle in the fridge that I knew deep down had been his. I’ve been particularly fond of that Aquifina bottle this week.

As I rode the elliptical machine this morning I stared at that water bottle that he had likely filled and refilled, and I thought about how dedicated he had become to exercise after his heart attack, as if he could erase the years of damage. Then I got pissed as hell at him that he went to the gym before he got the OK from the doctor a week after his surgery, but that feeling passed. I suppose he was doing what he thought he needed and I respect that. He was stubborn as hell at times, and once he made his mind up about something, it was not an easy target for change.

I knew his walking routine because I’d made the trek with him on more than one occasion, but I wondered what his workouts looked like at the gym. I knew he lifted weights, but did he hop on an elliptical machine or a stationary bike or a treadmill? Whatever method he chose, I was sure it involved banter with the staff because that was who Paul was. He touched a lot of people while he was on this earth, and if he blew you shit, you knew you had made the cut – even if you were non-blood.

I thought about all those quips back and forth while I stepped on that damn elliptical until the timer sounded.. They made me smile while wishing longingly to hear a few more. I felt his presence, which is funny given all the places that we have been together, but I was glad to have a supportive workout buddy egging me on this morning.

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2 Responses

  1. This made me cry.

  2. Yea, it’s interesting the things that make me think about him. I think he’d be laughing his ass off though if he knew he was motivating me to exercise.

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