Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Friends in Unexpected Places

It may or may not come as a surprise to you loyal readers that one of the first things I did when I moved to New York, actually even before I moved to New York, was join the gym. An exercise/endorphin junkie, I was thrilled that my apartment was on the same block as my apartment...I swear I didn't plan it!

I've never been one to think of gym time as socializing time. I go to sweat, clear my head, stay healthy, and (okay, I admit it) scout out cute boys hunky men. However, due to the nature of my job, I'm always there during "old people hours". 5am or 2pm...all those Wall Streeters, construction workers, and men in uniform are there at night, too bad! In any case, I'm used to seeing the same crowd. You get to know them, wave a little hello, flash a little smile. Oh, and if I ever mention to an older man or woman that I'm a nurse, I'm either immediately asked a health question, or told some story about "when they were in the hospital." I'm flattered that they are comfortable opening up to a complete stranger, or maybe I'm weirded out. haha.

Because it seemed like a great way to spend thousands of dollars a year get stronger, I hired a personal trainer. We'll call him "G.I. Greg." Greg's sarcastic attitude and humor made my grueling training sessions enjoyable and he helped knock some sense into me..."What are you doing? Is that how we train? Come on, get it together." I started giving him the finger when eh gave me too much shit. He retaliated and every time I raised that middle digits...30 squat jumps. that little finger hasn't waved in the air since December 2007.

We had been training for abbot a month when he showed up to a session with a huge cut from playing football. I gently offered my "professional advice" and he replied, "Why thank you, Nurse Kelly"...and the nick name stuck. G.I. Greg introduced me to Cheryl and we immediately hit it off. She worked in member services and I'd always pop in and say hello or she'd swing through the training area just to say hi.

As the weeks passed, I got to know most all of the other trainers. Or should I say, they all got to know me. I'd be minding my own business,getting all buff, and they'd wave across the gym and say, "Hey Nurse Kelly." Really? This is too funny. Nick names catch on quickly. I'd always share stories from work (the good, the bad, and the ugly) with G.I. Greg while training and naturally, others would hear them and ask questions. It became standing interaction, for them to ask, "Save any lives today Nurse Kelly?" Other gym members would always turn around, puzzled, and then sort of eaves drop.

In January I decided that I was going to channel my running passion and run a marathon. I began to log more and more miles each week; I was loving it. GI Greg was helping me build my core strength but he kept warning me that I was running too much, or running to fast, and not getting enough rest. I wanted to listen to him, but I couldn't. Running was like a drug, and I as hooked. I wold hop out of bed to lace up my shoes and hit the road, or even treadmill belt! G I Greg wold run with me in the park and he introduced me to other running partners

In April I got the bad news, GI Greg was going to be leaving in July for some classified federal training (yes, he has one of those cool protection jobs). We continued to rain, I trekked on. I started hanging out with Cheryl more and more. Her schedule was less hectic in the summer, as she doesn't work for the dance company. We made it a plan to do dinner on Wednesday nights. The first night was the week GI Greg left. Wait, forgot to mention, once Cheryl and GI greg are dating (it all makes sense now!)

The next week, Cheryl introduced me to her friend Gay Craig (LOVE THIS BOY!). Well had an excellent time at dinner that night, sharing stories, being silly, sharing our love of great food and wine. That night we saw Aline, another one of GI Greg's former clients, and she joined us for a drink. Before we knew it, 4 hours had passed and we were drunk and full done. Cheryl, much like GI Greg calls me Nurse Kelly. However, Craig, after a few glasses of wine decided that he was going to call me Nurse Betty (ya know, from the book and movie?). Aline, on the other hand, insisted on calling me Nurse Kelly.

Craig decided the following week that he wanted to cook on Wednesday night in lieu of going out. We waked over to Cheryl's apartment. We called Aline and she arrived bottle of wine in hand. Without even thinking, we also called Ken-a trainer and friends of GI Greg's, and came over with his wife and their adopale dog phoebe. *Simply a bonus that we all live within 4 blocks of each other* And there you have. The first official meeting of Wednesday Night Dinner Club. Our dynamics are hilarious:
Cheryl- 30 something, dancer/choreographer who works in sales at the gym
Craig- a late 20 something, who proudly makes fun of his Jewish family, works as a stylist by trade and socializes sells memberships at the gym
Aline- late 40 something with a zest and vigor for life who is absolutely crazy with an amazing husband who tolerates her hanging out with us on Wednesday nights while he plays poker
Ken- 30 something trainer and fitness guru who looks like he stepped of the beaches of Malibu, but is actually a native Long Islander
Lori- Ken's wife, who works in real esates and dablbles in calligraphy, and who sort of crashes WNDC...
Phoebe- Ken and Lori's puppy who is 100% cute, 100% wild, with so many allergies that she sneezes non-stop, and the perfect accent to WNDC.
and me- 20 something year old gym rat , somewhat recent college grad, who loves her job as a nurse and saving lives one hospital bed a time

I never would have thought that such a random group of people could have so much fun! But we do and it only goes to show that you really can find friends in unexpected places.

1 comment:

valmg said...

That's awesome that the group has such a fun dynamic!