Sunday, July 5, 2015

I Miss Wilson

Certainly there are many people from back home that I miss spending time with. But last week, I was really missing Wilson. 

Wilson was my personal trainer at New York Sports Club in Scarsdale, NY for the year before we moved to South Africa. I worked with him religiously once a week. He also offered a few small group circuit training classes which I joined as well. Maybe I am a deranged narcissist, but I am pretty sure I was one of Wilson's favorite, if not his all time most favorite client. First, I never cancelled my appointments with him, second I always gave 100% and third I was amusing because I would often fall over during any exercise that involved balance.

I started thinking about Wilson because I ended up signing up for personal training at my new gym.

I hadn't planned to sign up for personal training here. I didn't see the need to spend the money since I am now fully versed in how to kick my own ass thanks to all that time spent with Wilson. Also, I have more time to take the classes offered at the gym than I did in the past and the classes are a good way to push myself as well as a way to meet new people. 

The other day I was leaving the gym, and was approached by some employees who asked if I wanted to purchase three personal training sessions for R500. If I purchased, I would then get three additional sessions free. Since you can't beat the deal of six sessions for R500, I figured why not and signed up.

It then took an hour to get everything set up because we couldn't login to my gym account online. I finally remembered that was because originally the gym staff entered my birth year as 1978 instead of 1970. I had decided not to bother correcting this minor error because it's not every day that you can magically become eight years younger.  

When I showed up two days later for my training session, no one at the gym had any idea what I was talking about. I knew this was going to happen because when we agreed on the date and time, no one wrote anything down or put anything into the computer. 

I had been told to ask for Tom. The ladies at the front desk said Tom was new and then had a whole discussion about whether Tom was Indian or white. Turns out that debate couldn't be settled because Tom wasn't there. This is when I first started to miss Wilson. Wilson was always there just waiting to work with me. He put my appointments into his phone and he was consistently excited to get started even when I knew he had been training people one after the other for hours. 

The ladies at the desk called David, one of the guys who originally signed me up. He showed up and said he remembered me but I could tell from his blank stare that he did not. All I could think about was the Seinfeld episode when Jerry had a rental car reservation but the rental agency didn't hold the reservation and gave away his car. 

Jerry: I don't understand. Do you have my reservation?
Rental Car Agent: We have your reservation, we just ran out of cars.
Jerry: But the reservation keeps the car here. That's why you have the reservation.
Rental Car Agent: I think I know why we have reservations.
Jerry: I don't think you do. You see, you know how to *take* the reservation, you just don't know how to *hold* the reservation. And that's really the most important part of the reservation: the holding. Anybody can just take them.

It all worked out because they found a guy named Jeffred to train me. I guess he drew the short straw down in the break room where the trainers probably hang out. Jeffred put me on the treadmill for a warm up (just like my sweet Wilson used to do) and then he disappeared. I really started missing Wilson again when I was still running after 20 minutes. Wilson would have never had me warm up for longer than ten. I could see Jeffred across the gym chatting with some woman. Maybe he had said something like "warm up and when you feel warm come on over" and I had just missed it? Or maybe he forgot about me? Or maybe he was being passive aggressive because I got dumped on him by David and Tom? Maybe it was an endurance test to see how long I could run? Anyway, I finally went over to him and we got started with the training.

The good news is the training was great. Wilson used to have me do three exercises in a row for 15 reps and then repeat two more times for a total of three times. Jeffred had me do various exercises for 20 reps each but then did not repeat. Good news if you are doing something that you hate that know you are not going to have to do it again.  

I then started thinking about Wilson and all the funny things he used to say during training. The most hilarious was "how does that feel?" to which I always wanted to answer "how the *(&%$! do you think it feels?" Wilson always used to say "the last set is the best set" which is completely not true and also would say things like "I thought you loved push ups/pull ups/mountain climbers?" His words of encouragement were "come on, you got this you're strong." 

I will be seeing Jeffred again next week. I know he remembers because I saw him the next day and he mentioned it.  He seemed enthusiastic about it, like he was already plotting new and exciting ways to torture me.  And I reconnected with Wilson on LinkedIn and we had a nice chat. He is getting married in September, and was surprised to hear that Jeffred does not feel the last set is the best set.


  1. Love this! I think if is such a good idea to join a gym to meet new people! I am a little surprised that you weren't remanicing about the fiscal year ending, but I understand the memories might be to fresh. Haha

    1. Jess, yes happy new year to you and all of my old friends! It looks like you are having a great trip to Disney with the babies. Keep the cute pictures coming!

  2. I honestly hope that your contract is not with Virgin Active! They are the worst - we have had nothing but trouble after signing a year contract in June last year and paying for a year in advance! They got dates of birth wrong and charged a higher rate because they asked us to sign an amended contract! Biggest thieves, liars and blackmailers! Beware at the end of you contract they will 'auto-renew' without your approval because somewhere in the pages of fine print it says they can! Rather go to the wonderful Boot Camp at Dainfern School where you will make lots of lovely friends and you can exercise in the fresh air!

    1. Ugh yes Virgin Active. I actually really like the gym as it's very clean and all of the equipment is in good working order which wasn't always the case at other gyms I belonged to in the past. I do agree that they are wheeler dealers though. Can I check out the bootcamp at Dainfern School even if I don't live in Dainfern? I do live nearby. Thanks for reading my blog and thanks for the heads up on this topic!

    2. Haha! If you are interested in boot camp and getting to meet other ladies look up Way to Wellness on Facebook. My friend Gill runs it. They have boot camp at several places near you. I used to go to the morning one at St Stithians in Randburg which is wonderful and has fantastic views! If you are interested in running there are also 5km Park Runs on Saturday mornings at 8am in many suburbs around. We go to the one in Lonehill but there is also one in Bryanston.

    3. ta-da!! And here is the link for Way to Wellness bootcamps as written up on my blog: Hope that helps. We also had some troubles with Virgin Active trying to cancel the thing again when we left, they seem to be not very organized when it comes to paperwork. Then again, it IS South Africa. I agree on the bootcamp though. SO much fun to do it in the fresh air, and I met so many nice ladies (and some guys too:-). And yes, you can absolutely do the one at Dainfern College even if not living in Dainfern. Just beware of the warm-up runs on those steep hills - I used to CURSE those!

    4. Thank you Jozi and Sine for the great information. I will definitely look into this group!


About Me

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Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.