The Bad Hair Day

Prologue

4:30am – let let out the dog, brush teeth, throw on the clothes laid out the night before, realize the car keys are missing, only to find them right next to the purse, jump in the car, pull half way out of the drive way and remember the cell phone, which is still on the bathroom counter. Finally at the commuter parking lot: park the car, jump on the bus and collapse for a well earned commuter nap… My last thought before I drift off: How will I be able to do this in another five years or more?

I have been trying to take care of myself for years. You have to practice what you preach! However, now that I have reached my mid-forties it really is time to tackle the inside. Armed with a whole slew of scientific articles, websites, books and hopefully common sense about mental balance, nutrition, menopause etc. I wonder what my best resource out there really is. And then it dawns on me. All these books will be helpful and are a great way to get information, but the most valuable resource are those who have shaped successful lives around me, and of course my relationship with God.

Don’t stop reading just because I mentioned the “G” word. That would be very silly of you and I would be sad! This series is more about the lives around me, my wonderful clients and their stories as they relate to a healthy lifestyle inside and out, mostly over the age of “40”. It is about balance and flow, nutrition and exercise.  It is about the Art of Life!

THE BAD HAIR DAY

What makes a person truly beautiful?  Sharon came to me in need of serious help with her gait. She had been referred by a very knowledgeable trainer who wanted her to work on core strength, stability and body awareness. In her mid-fifties, Sharon was overweight and didn’t quite fit the modern, “Kardashian”esque beauty standards. What made up for it was that she always smiled, empathized and kept her hair gorgeously coiffed. Sharon was someone who truly cared about the people she had relationship with. She was a lady all the way.

Our Pilates relationship started in the Spring of 2012. Her core strength improved, but somehow her walking was still awkward and she had pain radiating down her right leg. At the end of May we had made some serious improvements and were both happy with the progress.

Then came the horrible hair day! I had tried to cover the ever whitening roots of my hair by coloring them myself (note to self: very bad idea!) and woke up the next morning with raspberry, orange and brown splotches all over my head! Now I had a previous episode of really bad hair when my son was about four (he is 27 now) and his comment at the time was : “Broke the hair, huh?” – yup I did it again, only his time I wasn’t  a stay at home mom and had to go out into public, in a high end luxury health club setting. Life at that moment really sucked!

In comes Sharon – at this point my hair is back in a pony, under a bandana… Her very perceptively raised eyebrow and a gentle “bad hair day?” made me burst into tears, rip the bandana off and share my woes. She giggles and responds by “go see Elie, he can fix even the worst hair day in the world!” And he did! (I am saving that story for another chapter) More amazingly however was that when I went to check out at the salon the girl behind the counter smiled and said that Sharon had graciously taking care of my bill to thank me for what I had done for her. – I burst into tears. I had tried to help her and instead she took care of a very emotional need for me – my aging, greying hair….

Sometimes my gut instincts scare me and for good reasons. It was a Monday morning in September. Sharon had been complaining about headaches off and on all summer. This morning she really wasn’t herself. I looked at her and made an instant decision: “I am really sorry Sharon but something tells me that I really should not make you work out this morning. I think you should go home and call your doctor and have him check you over.” She looked at me somewhat puzzled but said she trusted my care for her. That Thursday she was diagnosed with brain cancer. We were unable to fix her gait because of the tumors that had been growing inside her brain and spine. Her headaches had a serious cause, that the doctors missed.  We said good bye to Sharon shortly before Thanksgiving 2012.

She has become one of the great influences when I have another (now not so bad) bad hair day and see my aging outer shell. I learned two valuable lessons from Sharon: It is really your attitude and how you behave that people see! And – Bad hair is fixable!

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