"alright, who brought the cool guy?" ----is usually spouted out by some bro-seph at a party, after someone either spills something, knocks something over, or falls into a pool. but this time, i mean it, who brought the cool guy? actually, there were TWO very cool guys at the YMCA today and they inspired me. different from each other, but cool none the less.
the first, a portly elderly man who's voice made you confused when you spoke to him..it was a bit higher than what you would expect to come out of him. he had on some serious flotational devices...vest, one on his waist, and he had a noodle under his pits. let's just say he had no chance of sinking. and when we arrived he was mid lap. and by lap, i mean...slow, painstaking lap. up and down he would bob, smiling the whole time. he got to the far end of the pool and he'd grab the bar and do PULL UPS, ten of them.then, turn and start to bob up and down swim back towards us. all while, smiling, smiling, smiling.he'd get to our end of the pool and he'd say to the kids "I'm gonnnnnna getcha!!" and we'd all laugh. and off he'd go..back to the far end..bob up and down..pull ups..turn..He swam the whole time we were in the pool, well over an hour. as he made his final pass to exit the pool, i was spinning River in the water and i was singing to him.."I wont give up, on us..even if the skies..get rough..ive given you all my love..God knows you're worth it.." just singing to my kid. and he stops half way up the steps and looks back and says "sing it, mommy." he wraps himself in a towel and the life guard BRINGS HIM HIS CANE and he makes the very slow walk to the shower room. all the while, teasing the ladies and joking with anyone within ears distance.
seriously, who brought this cool guy? because i want to THANK YOU. he never complained, never quit, only persevered. only encouraged. not concerned about his shape, his voice or his speed. he just kept on. and it was beautiful. when he was gone i whispered to fable, "i want to be like him." and she looked at me like "what the what?" but its true, to always look up..to be strong..to persevere.what an inspiration..i hope he feels like the giant i saw today. he may walk with a cane and at a snails pace, but his spirit is pure swag.
the second man, was also unique. he made his presence known. quite loudly. but he too, brought sheer joy to the pool.in his 40s unable to form words that i could understand (although i am sure that his family gets him quite well) he practically did a cannonball into the swimmers lane. the kids were dumbfounded. and quite honestly, i let them stare. because he was blissfully unaware of their little eyes on him..and there he was, floating on his back, swimming splashy laps...laughing the whole time. laughing. like i can't even swim and talk at the same time...he is laughing. and River said "what he doing mama?" my answer--"enjoying himself." that seemed to be enough of an answer for him and his attention quickly turned to stealing his sister's noodle. but i remained keenly aware of his laughter..and of his reaction to reaching each end of the pool...he'd pop up and say something to his caretaker (who unfortunately barely looked up from her phone) and then he'd stick a thumbs up HIGH in the air, like he just won a gold medal..then he'd flip over on his back and start laughing and swimming to the other end. when is the last time i was that free? the last time i wasn't painfully aware of MYSELF? and here he was literally bathing in the JOY THAT IS THIS LIFE.
i think the ties that bind me..the weight that i choose to carry..the LACK of joy in my quietest moments...the things that i miss because i cant get past my own shit...and i think what a waste.and i am determined to do things differently in this life.
i am so grateful that i "met" them today. what a complete encouragement and example they were to me.i don't know who brought the cool guys...but i hope they bring them again.