We’re in the middle of moving our gym. I might have posted about this elsewhere. Only once or twice, probably.
In the midst of this process, I’ve tried to take a few moments to stand back and look around. You want to remember these things–how you felt when you looked out at empty spaces, the people who have come and gone, the times you wondered if it was worth it or whether you’d make it.
I think it’s important to make a point of reflecting, but sometimes the reflection comes to you.
As I was standing under our pullup rig while my wife backed a U-Haul towards the open garage door, the gentleman who cleans the shop upstairs every Saturday came around to say goodbye. His daughter runs that business and he had helped us by painting and doing some tiling right before we’d first opened. He’s a Vietnam Vet whose nickname is ‘Shorty.’
He shook my hand and wished me well. “You done good, kid,” he said. “I remember when you just started out, three or four people. Now look at you.”
I thanked him and told him I would miss our chats about the Celtics. I hadn’t been prepared for this, that this would be a goodbye, so I was sort of at a loss for words.
“You know, I wanted to tell you something,” he said. “That painting I did…they said you were going to do it but I said no, let me do it for this kid. I knew you would stick around, so what I done, that was done out of love.”
What do you say when someone tells you something like that? I’ve spent the last few months looking at square footage, equipment leasing, big numbers, small numbers, lots of numbers. I wasn’t prepared to stand there in the middle of a mess biting my lip so it wouldn’t quiver.
This is the kind of stuff that doesn’t make the history books, or even your weekly ledger. But it matters. Someone who stands in front of you and cares enough to tell you that you mattered. For some of us, it’s all we really ever want.
Shorty. God damn. That’s my man right there.