It was a chance meeting at the school that set the ball rolling. Occasionally we continued to meet at the school, over a cup of coffee at the local cafe. Even the first time we met, we had so much to talk and listen that we decided to make that effort to be friends. We were both not comfortable socializing in groups but liked the one on one idea of brief meetings. The added benefit was that we were both big frame people and it just felt comfortable.
Then there was a period of 6 months when neither of us made the effort to reach out and catch up. We did not do the plays, the museums or the movies that we thought we finally could do together. Life got busy for both of us. One day, she called to suggest a lunch meeting. I was happy that she still valued our budding friendship and readily agreed.
As I waited at the lunch place, I wondered if she remembered how I looked. I was gently chiding myself about how I should have made an effort to be in touch with someone who made me feel so good about myself. And then she appeared. At first, I looked past her and then my brain registered.
It was her. Except that she looked half the size that I had seen her 6 months earlier. I felt my jaw drop and my mouth open but no words came out. She had this smug , ‘so- what-do-you-think’ look on her face. And the first emotion I felt was anger (for a fleeting few minutes) Angry that she had not warned me that she would appear like this. I felt huge, flabby and ugly all at the same time. Of course that was not the effect she intended to have on me.
We celebrated over a sensible quinoa and roasted pumpkin salad. The only topic I recall we spoke about that day was her amazing weight loss. I wanted all the details and hungrily listened to what she shared.
This is what sets apart true friends from people who just pretend to be your friends. True friends really care about you, want to hang out with like minded people who value the same things in life, want to go on a holiday with you if you managed to meet your fitness goals. She gave me a reference to the personal trainer and coach who had helped her with her regime and exercise plan and the next thing I knew, I was already meeting with the trainer.
That happened in August 2011. It took me another 6 months to finally find the courage to sign up with her and work towards my goal. It has been a year since that happened and I don’t want to ever go back to my fitness levels from the year 2011.
My second post in this journey is here