I honestly don’t know how to describe today. It was good and bad and wonderful and horrible and surprising and loads of other stuff, too. I’m not sure there’re real words for it, even. And not in a bad way, of course. Just in an indescribable way. You know?
I guess the best way to describe it is by saying that today was filled with love.
I found out on Tuesday, that one of the teachers at my gym was leaving at the end of the month (i.e. this Friday). I was rather distraught upon learning the news. However, I wasn’t too surprised about it – she had always seemed like a superstar in our kind of gym. We are casual, everyday family, exercising together and having fun. She is one of the most fit, beautiful, sexy women I have ever known. And her enthusiasm and real-ness are both top notch.
She has this one class that is insanely difficult, though totally simple, and today was the last time that she she would be teaching it. Afterward, she kind got a little red-eyed after one lady hugged her after our high fives (she always starts and ends that particular class with enthusiastic hang tens). When she was saying a thank-you to everyone, I started to redden around the eyes, too. And, when she started to talk to me while I was finishing putting away my weights and bands, I just went full-out crying, and we hugged multiple times, both crying and saying thank you (in Japanese, of course) to each other.
The gym won’t and can’t be the same without her, though I know it will still be good. In the midst of my depression, this gym, and especially this teacher’s classes, were the main thing that started me on my road to becoming myself again, and they now have been a fixture in my life. I have never before scheduled activities around a gym schedule, nor preferred to spend hours at the gym on my own instead of, well, doing anything else. The gym was my life for a while, and it was what helped me to be healthy enough to find more to be part of my life. And, now that this teacher and her classes are going to be gone, I can now spend more time doing those other things that I want to be part of my life (because, up to now, I have tended to cancel other activities when they coincided with her classes, because I so loved her classes).
Plus, at some point, I am going to be leaving myself, so I needn’t be too upset at her leaving first. But that isn’t exactly the point. Tangent-ish. Anyway…
The group gave her flowers, and we took a group photo with her, and various folks were crying (or perhaps it was just she and I), and it was super sweet.
When I asked for the group photo, I got to find out that she is going to be studying instead now – she wants to study physical training and English, and working here keeps her from having the time to do that. So she’s giving up one love for a greater one. And, when she asked about when I’m leaving Japan, she was all surprised and distraught that it’s so soon (four-ish months), but was really excited for my own plans for what’s next in my life. She could relate to how I felt about wanting to pursue the things most important to me, even if they seem a bit abnormal or crazy.
Then we took a few selfies together, at her request, even finding better lighting to make sure they were good ones, and then we hugged some more before a final goodbye. She didn’t ask for solo pictures with anyone else – just the one big group picture.
All in all, it was awesome. And, possibly the best part, is how much love I felt. From me to her and from her to me, there was so much love. I don’t know lots of Japanese (though I understand a good amount), so I don’t typically start much chit-chat with people, simply because I don’t have the words. I always would find ways to talk with her – often using English, which often resulted in a fun befuddlement on both sides of the conversation. She was always hesitant to use English herself, but she usually understood me, and I usually could understand her, so it worked. However, her hesitation with English made me wonder if it were the English or the Hannah that had her be hesitant. I always suspected it to be the English, but it wasn’t until today that I really discovered that for sure. She loves me and I love her. And I believe I have never cried over any kind of teacher the way I cried over her today after our last class with her.