The universe works in mysterious ways. It can truly work in our favor if we let it, and this morning was a perfect example of that for me.
Sunday morning is one of my favorite times of the week. I sleep in, (which for me, and many other teachers, is to about 8:00 a.m.), then get up and drink a big glass of water. I perform some light stretches to get my body up and moving then head to the gym where I dedicate a couple hours to mobility work, a full body workout, foam rolling, finished by a quick session in the sauna and hot tub. This time is amazing for me. I blast my music and get lost into another world. Anyone who works out consistently can attest to the addiction of finding and staying in this zone. What sets today apart is what happened and who I met after my workout was over.
Walking into the hot tub at a gym can be a scary experience for some. The anxiety of sharing a tub of water and jets with strangers can be pretty intimidating, and I understand that. But if you push that anxiety and fear away for just a few minutes, the universe can surprise you with something special.
Today as I was walking in the hot tub there was a man already inside, who smiled and greeted me, “hello” as soon as I entered. I greeted him back with a hello, and a routine, “Nice and hot today!” before sitting down next to one of the jets. The man continued to talk to me, including telling me his age, 75 years old, and how it wasn’t fun to be old while stating how much pain he is currently dealing with in his back. If you don’t know me or my story, (scroll up to read “Heart of a Lion”, my first blog post about my health journey), I am also a person who has struggled and still deals with chronic pain. Instead of writing this complete stranger off, I opened up to him and briefly summed up my health journey. I then told him about chiropractors, physical therapists, massages, trigger points, mobility exercises, breathing, dry needling, cupping, anything I knew off that helped with back pain I was listing it off to him. He was very receptive to my advice, and asked questions about people and places I would recommend to get these treatments done. He went on to state that the only care he is receiving for his pain is from an orthopedic doctor, who is currently prescribing him pain relievers and possibly surgery. I offered him more advice about seeking these natural treatments first before getting surgery, as I am a big believer that surgeries ultimately cause more harm than good. (I’ve had four surgeries in my lifetime and two on my knee and shoulder that could have been avoided if I didn’t fall into the hypnotic spell of the orthopedic surgeon and sought other options myself). He was receptive to my advice and assured me he was going to try some of these treatments in the coming month. What he went on to say next is what led me to write this post about this experience. He looked me dead in the eye, with a huge smile, and thanked me for talking with him. He told me that countless times in this gym he has tried to start conversations with people and they wrote him off. We shook hands, formally introduced ourselves with our names, and exited the hot tub.
The entire conversation lasted roughly 10 minutes. It could have easily been 10 minutes of silence, two men just relaxing in the hot tub, completely oblivious to the world and each other. But it wasn’t that. It was 10 minutes of two people being human. It was 10 minutes of two people connecting. It was 10 minutes that I am so deeply and incredibly grateful for experiencing today.
As you go through the rest of your day, week, month, I simply ask you to be a little more receptive to what or who the universe drops in front of you. As I learned today, there are no coincidences.