Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The man in the fancy necklace.

The Times Colonist Health Challenge was over, my period of active rest was done, I had just lost an additional 6.3 pounds by drinking wine and eating halibut...and both Josh & Jonathan had invited me to a "staff party thing" at 10:30 (Thursday, April 25th) in the morning at the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre.  Cool, a party thing.  Of course, I tried to get more information out of the boys but their being boys I did not get much, "You'll see when you get here."  So, I wore my workout gear...luckily, I washed my hair. 

Blogging in the lobbyI came at my usual time and just set up my laptop in my "office."  And, there I sat writing up a storm until the ninja came up to me, sat down, and told me there would be photos later.  Oh, fabulous, photographs.  Maybe it'll just be someone from the Crystal with a digital camera running around and snapping at things...I suspect not.  Good thing my girlie senses tingled before I left the house and, not only did I wash and style my hair, but I may have put on just a bit of make-up.  And when I say, "a bit of make-up," I mean mascara, some foundation, blush, brow gel, and lip not impressive by MAC standards, but presentable.  I did, unfortunately, take off my new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles baseball shirt and opt for the more practical $5 bargain bin tee that says "ONLY ON THE WEEKENDS."  What the heck does that even mean? 

Next, Josh comes by, says hi, and sets up a rectangular table in my office.  I'm assuming that's for food or something, but I really start to get antsy when a podium is placed by the windows.  So, I pack up my computer and stuff my sweater into my backpack...jokingly telling Josh, "I'm outta here, you guys are making me nervous."  Really, I'm just going upstairs to check my make-up in the mirror.  And when I finally come downstairs, I see a few familiar faces in the main lobby area, and I am greeted by Shelley from the CP and the photographer from the TC.  Wow, there will be pictures indeed.  Oh, and who's that in the fancy necklace?  That would be his worship Mayor Dean Fortin, Mayor of Victoria.  This is a bit more than a staff party, Jonathan and Josh, gahhhh!

(Also, who knew you were supposed to address the mayor as your worship?  I just called him mayor...and then I curtseyed...I don't know what that was all about.  I guess I'm just used to being presented to royalty.  Ha!)

After a ridiculous impromptu photography session near the doors to the fitness area, involving me jumping up and pointing to the Crystal Pool sign which ultimately ended in laughter and a picture of my boobs in front of my face, I made my way into the fray.  Josh welcomed everyone to the gathering.  He spoke about the Times Colonist Health Challenge, and my progress throughout.  He talked about my training sessions with Jonathan, the ninja, and how I spent my mornings working out, blogging in the afternoon, and then some days coming back and doing it again in the evening.  My face gradually turned from its normal shade of slightly more than pale to pink to red...I had no idea how much I would blush at what he was saying and at the brand spankin' new City of Victoria sports bag prezzie that he gave me.   

And it continued, Josh then introduced Shannon from the Times Colonist who talked about the programme and how it was about embracing a healthier lifestyle and how I had done just that.  She also presented me with a laminated copy of the front page of The TC Health Challenge: Wrap Up...which was rather nice.  She told the collection of people from the city, the rec centre, my trainer, other administrators, random people who were just there, and not my I told him it was just a "staff party thing"...that out of all the participants, I had been the most improved.  Though I lost the most amount of weight, it wasn't about was about how much healthier we all were, hence fitness testing at the beginning and the end of the challenge.  I already blogged about that in Throwing My Weight I won't go back into it, but Shannon read out my numbers.  At this point, I was really chuffed and very smiley looking at everyone looking and smiling at me.  Then she handed me an envelope that contained a lovely weekend away for 2 at the Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet (plus she mentioned how well Stéffi did while I was getting my fitness on.  Yay support system and husband!)...Thank you very much, Shannon and Times ColonistAmazing!
And then it was time for the man in the fancy necklace...and if I'd known that this whole ceremony was more than just a couple of us toasting my progress with veggies and dip, I would have worn something nice with heels and given him a run for his money in the jewellery department...but I didn't, so the mayor looked very unique in his chains of office.  He went on to say very nice things about the Times Colonist Health Challenge, Shannon, Josh, the participants, me, and the ninja...which means the mayor must have read my blog, as he actually referred to Jonathan as The Ninja!  I laughed and looked at Jonathan who smiled back...who knew that would catch on?  

The mayor commended my commitment to health and said that he knew there must have been a few times where I swore at my trainer, and yet kept going; but honestly, and I may have interrupted him to say this...that hasn't really ever happened.  Okay, I have sworn under my breath at what needs to be done (i.e. run up and down a flight of stairs 10 times and then do push-ups at the end of that and then do it again another 4 times), but never at my trainer because without him, I wouldn't be were I was that day...I wouldn't be where I am now.  This guy taught me not to be afraid of running on the treadmill, he knew that I could lift certain weights when I didn't think it possible (not that I would EVER tell him that), and I don't know how, but he's instilled in me this unrelenting determination to reach what seems to be an unreachable goal.  And, he's done all this by talking to me less than I'd like, by giving me just enough encouragement to make me want to do whatever I'm doing better to get more of it,  by telling me to lift my legs, to break later, to do it faster, to get up, to push myself, to keep my arms above my head, and he tells me all the time not to think, just to do.  He's put up with my accidentally sweating and spitting on him, my incessant chatter, my lame jokes, and a mortifying (yet hilarious) incident involving a mislaid hand. no swearing, I do what he tells me.  End of story.  Please continue, your worship.

What followed was the rest of Mayor Fortin's speech, which made me surprisingly emotional...okay, maybe not so surprising if you've been reading this blog.  But, how would you feel if someone that you had just met said they were proud of you?  It's what I think most of us secretly want...for someone to be proud of us.  And then he hugged me and raised my arm as you would a champion boxer.  So, obviously I did rock 'n' roll fingers and he gave me a number 1 with his, and Sarah snapped a photo with the Crystal Pool's digicam and it looks like I got the mayor to throw down some gang signs.  I'm innocent, I swear.

Josh came back to the podium and thanked everyone for coming, and then I spoke on the fly.  Those who know me will appreciate my spontaneity as I really, really like to be prepared for things such as this.  So in my spandex pants and my $5 T-shirt, I thanked Dean Fortin for being there and saying such nice things.  I thanked Shannon and the Times Colonist for having had the Health Challenge and for granting me the opportunity to be a part of the prizes!  I thanked Josh and all the crew at the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre for taking me in and supporting me so much for the last 3 months, and of course many, many thank yous went to my ninja, Jonathan, who took all of me on and cut me down to a more reasonable size in more ways than one.  Then blah blah blah later, it was time for mingling, coffee, fruit, and veggies...great party guys.



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