About three months after Corbin passed away, I joined the gym.
It was a big step for me, as I really avoided any group atmosphere because I never knew what was going to trigger my grief.
At first, I tried Zumba.
I hated it.
I was uncoordinated and it only made me mad to the point of tears. I stayed in the back of the class to avoid being watched too closely and I would have to stop, mid dance, and close my eyes, and just breathe...in and out...in and out...in and out..."don't cry"...
I would leave the class feeling physically annoyed and emotionally drained.
It was terrible.
So I tried working out on my own. Treadmill, elliptical, and weight stations. 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there, followed by another 15 minutes on the treadmill for cardio.
Needless to say, it wasn't working. I worked out almost 5 days a week, for three months and didn't
Frustrated doesn't begin to describe what I was feeling.
So one day, as I was doing my 15 minute routine, I saw this tall buff guy walk by and I thought "well, he obviously knows how to lose weight" and I stopped him, asked "What am I doing wrong?!" and explained my routine.
"Too much cardio! You need to take my Gladiator class."
What did I have to lose? So I did. And my first Gladiator was outside in the heat where I promptly pulled a muscle in my back and was out for a month.
BUT I did not stop there. I came back and I was hooked.
I loved it. I loved the group atmosphere, being held accountable if you missed a class, being yelled at military style "DON'T STOP WEAKLINGS!".
It was hard, I left every class a sweating, exhausted weakling. But I grew stronger, lost weight, gained so much confidence, and most importantly...it helped me work out my anger, my frustrations, my grief. Spending an hour, three times a week being a Gladiator helped me in more ways then I could have ever expected.
I made friends. Real friends that I know consider part of my close circle, people that I can confide it, and who actually show up to my fundraisers, to special events, and who put aside their own time to help me with my non-profit work.
Wednesday was the very last Gladiator class. I didn't realize how important that class was to me until it hit me that the last two years of being apart of that group, working out together and sharing that unique bond, was a huge part of my healing. There I was, sweating, surrounded by two dozen other Gladiators, tearing up, thinking "this is the last class". It was one of those moments that gives me chills when I realize the importance, emotionally, that something has had on my life.
To my Gladiators: thank you. Thank you for the comradery. Thank you for the emotional support you may not even realize you were giving me. Thank you Sarge for a great class and an awesome two years of Gladiator.