Ordinary People

“There are men and women who make the world better just by being the kind of people they are. They have the gift of kindness or courage or loyalty or integrity. It really matters very little whether they are behind the wheel of a truck or running a business or bringing up a family. They teach the truth by living it.” ~James Garfield

I love words and quotes, and I have a small notebook in which I write down quotes that strike my fancy or give me cause to think. The quote above was written in my notebook this afternoon; I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment. I know people like this, and I appreciate them for who they are and the example they are to me.

There is a danger in writing a post like this one, because I am likely to forget to include someone who most definitely deserves the honour of being mentioned, and yet I cannot refrain from writing about such people for fear of forgetting. So, if I know you in real life and you feel that there is valid reason for you to be included in this list but do not see your name, have no fear! At some point in my day-to-day life, I do think of you and am thankful for your presence in my life. Forgive me for the frailty of my memory. Sometimes I can remember the most random and useless details, while forgetting the name of someone who sits in front of me at church nearly every week. In my defense, I’ve got a lot filed away inside my head and I cannot always access all of the file folders quickly enough.

I had a chiropractor appointment this afternoon. My chiropractor, Ben, is definitely on this list. He changed my opinion of chiropractors on my very first visit. He is young but an old soul. He loves adventure and the outdoors. He has a great sense of humour, and I like the fact that he gets my sense of humour, too. Ben is down-to-earth, honest and oozing integrity. I think he mocks me sometimes, and I likely deserve every bit of it, but I also know that his mocking is gentle and good-natured. Despite the mocking of my tendency to beat myself up, I know that Ben is proud of me and cheering me on. It is his fault that I was interviewed by Shaw TV. Ben is the kind of person that I would be honoured to know even if he wasn’t my chiropractor, but I am incredibly grateful to have him taking care of me, even when I beat myself up!

At one point this afternoon as I was mentally reviewing tomorrow’s agenda. First up is a training session, and my immediate mental response was, “I get to go to the gym tomorrow!” Did you catch the excitement in that thought? It was definitely there! In the three years that I have been training with Michael at Progressive Fitness, there has never once been a moment when I dragged myself to the gym reluctantly. Okay, so maybe the very first two days when I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I look forward to every training session, even on upper body days. The gym is a happy place for me. While I believe that I am at the point where training has become as much a part of my life as doing laundry, Michael has played a major role in helping me get to that point. I had no interest in going to a gym or having a personal trainer. I began with reluctance and fear. Michael has all of the wonderful character traits that a good trainer should have. He is positive, encouraging, engaging, motivating, kind and understanding, knowledgeable. He continues to learn. He pushes but not beyond capability or his belief in your ability. He leads by example, but isn’t afraid to admit that he isn’t perfect. He lives his passion. Michael has helped me become the best version of myself, and he has become a dear friend.

Michael’s wife, Tara, has also become a precious friend. She absolutely amazes me with her passions and talents and nature. With Tara, I feel like I can comfortably be myself and be completely accepted and loved. Tara loves. She is down-to-earth and real. Her laughter is loud and infectious. Her hugs are precious, and so are her emotions. Tara has a wealth of experiences and insights that make her a treasure to all who know her. She is passionate in her pursuits. I feel deeply honoured to be loved by Tara and her family; I love them all! I learn so much from her, and Tara inspires me.

My friend Karen is also amazing. She is a story-teller, a gift-giver, a lover of food, a vivacious laugher. We have been through a lot together over many years, and I cannot imagine my life without her in it. Karen also loves. She cares deeply for her family and friends, both of which are extensive. Karen is honest and real and loyal.

Gabe, the current president of the British Columbia Powerlifting Association, made an impression on me. He was the meet director for a competition in April 2015 that I attended, which was my second competition and my first with the BCPA. We were introduced to each other there, but our interaction was rather short. Then in August of that year, I attended a competition in Kamloops as a spectator. Gabe was there. He recognized me, remembered my name, and made a point of chatting with me. Now I am really good with faces. I might not remember the name, but I can recognize a face and the gears in my head will spin until I can place where and why I know the face. Still, it always takes me by surprise when someone remembers me. I don’t think I’m all that memorable really, to be honest. Gabe is genuine and warm and encouraging. He has been involved with three of the powerlifting competitions that I have done over the past 13 months, and he never fails to respond to me as if we’re great friends. He is passionate about powerlifting and for powerlifting, and his passion rubs off on others.

As much as it may sound strange, I also have to include a couple of my favourite baristas, because they likely would have made this list even if I wasn’t working at Starbucks now. In the two years since I began drinking coffee, I slowly became a frequenter of the Starbucks closest to home, and it truly is close to home being roughly two kilometres from my house. I would be amazed whenever the barista would remember my name or my order or both. All of the baristas at my Starbucks have been and are wonderful; however, at the risk of offending my current co-workers, there were two baristas who never failed to make my day when I was still just a customer. Lisa and Jared. They would greet me as if I was an old friend, even though I was just another customer to serve. Their natures, their examples encouraged me to believe that I could fit in on the other side of the counter. Lisa’s passion for coffee and Starbucks is amazing, and she is just as passionate about the people she works with and the people that come through the doors each day for coffee and connection. While I didn’t get to work with Jared for very long before he changed locations to further his career, I enjoyed learning from him and sharing a laugh or some banter. As I am becoming familiar with my co-workers, I am learning to appreciate their uniqueness and personal flare with the customers. Each one, in some way, inspires, encourages and challenges me to be better.

Well, this is getting rather wordy, and I could go on and on if given the chance. Instead, I’ll sign off with the knowledge that there are amazing people out there, and I am blessed to know just a few.

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