Mondays are busy days. When they’re over, I hit the road and attempt to decompress from the conversations of the day. Conversations go with the gig, but talking with different personalities all day, on a variety of topics, can scramble my brain.
My last Monday client though, well, he doesn’t talk much. He’s apprehensive to speak — because he’s unsure of everything. He lives with Alzheimer’s. He’s the only client who doesn’t come to my studio. I go to his house, because he’s unable to drive.
Despite that I see him twice a week, he doesn’t remember my name. He recognizes my face though, when we meet at the front door. He smiles as we shake hands, and he shows me to his home gym like an old friend. The moment we make eye contact, I sense he’s comfortable with me, even if a little confused. On a visceral level, he recognizes routine, and senses safety.
I ask him if he’s ready to exercise. Without saying a word, he nods in the affirmative. I explain the first exercise to him as though he’s never done it before. I then demonstrate it, because that dials him in. And so it goes for the next 55-minutes. I explain the exercise, demonstrate the exercise, and he subsequently performs them — perfectly.
Part of my approach in putting clients at ease, is by making conversation in-between exercises. Sometimes it’s light, other times we try and solve the problems of the world. With this client though, every question is a surprise that he has no answer for. So in-between exercises, the only thing we talk about is the exercise itself. Small talk isn’t an option.
And the thing is, despite that he can’t name the exercises, or even the trainer, he’s committed and works out hard. He lets me push him, and he enjoys it. The familiarity of being pushed, and the routine of it is a portal away from his dementia, if only for an hour. I often think if he had the stamina and I had the time, he’d exercise with me all day long. Throughout the workouts, the only words he speaks are to ask me if he’s doing the exercises properly. I reassure him, and do so with sincerity. Did I mention he’s in his 80s…?
And that’s the extent of it. I show up, we make eye contact, he works hard for an hour, and I leave. And though other clients might read this, I have no problem saying, my workouts with this man are often my best Monday sessions. Two people connect for a common cause, and both benefit. I have a client whose express purpose is to exercise properly. And he has a companion he feels safe with. Win/win.
This is what I think about when I ride…. Jhciacb
This week by the numbers…
Bikes Ridden: 5
Mph Avg: 15.4
Seat Time: 7 hours 34 minutes
Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there’s this from The Grip Weeds. Enjoy…