When Leandro was our reader/volunteer personal trainer in Brazil last summer, I asked Steve if he would go with me to my Silver Sneakers exercise class at the YMCA when we returned. Many of the flexibility and balance activities that Leandro had us do were similar to the program at the Y. Steve agreed that he would at least try it, though his usual Y experience is working out on the machines.
The class meets every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each week since returning in August, Steve always has had some other appointments on the days I’m going. (I admit that it is rare for me to go all three days in a week. Life interferes.)
But today was finally the day. He had no other plans and thus no excuses, so we went together this morning. I thought we could go early enough to slip in and find a place in the back row. Then Steve could unobtrusively get a sample of the program.
I was right about getting there early enough to snag two spots on the back row. But no slipping in incognito with this guy! As soon as we entered, Vivian, the Community Health Coordinator at our Y, came running over to us. (She’s occasionally smiled at me before this.)
“Dr. Boyd!” she cried. “It’s great to see you. You gave me such good advice about being a Communication major and I loved your class.” She went on and on about how fabulous my husband was, how much she loved every minute of her student career at NKU, how wonderful it was to see him. I could hardly wiggle in between them to introduce myself as the great man’s wife.
“Oh, yes,” she said. “I remember seeing you here,” and turned back to continue yada, yada, yada. She even said, “I saw your name on the membership list and wondered if that could be the Steve Boyd.”
Finally she went to the front of the room to make her announcements about upcoming events for the senior population, including the Christmas party and the drawing for the $50 gift card. I glanced at Steve, expecting an eye-roll or, at the least, a smirk, but no. He’s drinking it in, smiling and nodding as though to say, “Of course I’ll be there, Vivian!”
And then, to top it all, she said, “And I am so glad to welcome to the class my former professor, Dr. Stephen Boyd, who was a fantastic teacher at NKU!” (At least she didn’t say “my old professor.”) Everyone looked and applauded. Believe me, no one applauded my first day there. I was lucky that one of the women participants introduced herself–which was just the way I wanted it.
When class started, I pretty much left Steve to follow directions on his own. At one point, since I clearly was not doing my job well, a nearby woman came over to explain how to hold the resistance tube. Did her hand linger a bit as she helped him? Surely not.
At the end of class, Jacque, an old friend of mine (in every sense of the word) came over and introduced herself–not because she knew he was my husband, but because she welcomes all newcomers as though it’s her job.
He remembered what I’d said about her and knew she was up to the challenge, so he said, smiling, “Well, if you’d been here on time, you’d have heard the announcement that I was here.” She laughed and nodded, no doubt assuming he was just teasing her about being late.
No, he really was introduced. I’ve been attending on and off since March, and it was the first time I’ve heard anyone introduced to the class.
Of course as we went out, Vivian grabbed Steve to remind him to sign up for the $50 gift card drawing. They had another lovely little chat. All the other class members kept speaking to him, saying they hoped he liked the class and they’d look forward to seeing him next time.
His responses were true to his typical form–honesty, though this time mixed with a bit more tact than usual. “Well, I came to satisfy my wife,” or “It was interesting, all right.” They seemed satisfied with the comments, but I know him well enough to know he actually meant “Never again will I darken the door when this class is in session.”
Okay with me. I can continue to enjoy my anonymity.
I just hope he’s really sore tomorrow.