Just say it

Sometimes, it feels embarrassing to give a compliment to someone, especially when it is something that others would be surprised at your having noticed.

In my experience, though, it is almost always worth it for all parties involved to go ahead and just give the compliment. Yes, be appropriate in how you set up giving the compliment, and the words and tone you use – have them be appropriate for the context and the receiver -, but just give it. Just say it. More often than not, it is one of the best parts of that person’s day. Possibly more.

Like how my gym owner gave me the compliment about my butt being “perfection”… I almost cried with joy at the compliment. But he also set it up appropriately, easing me into the fact that he was about to say something atypical and that he wanted to make sure I took the right way. That was weeks ago, now, and it still lights up my day most days, at least once, if not multiple times a day.

I was scared to give two separate components to a guy this past week. I gave them anyway. And it turned out very positively.

So, go ahead. Give the compliment. Acknowledge openly the beauty of those around you.

Post-a-day 2021

Unexpected feedback

I go to the workout today. We start with a warm-up, then move into strength. The strength work is squats, and then supersets of 60 seconds of plank and then 60 seconds of continuous Good Mornings.

I am doing the Good Mornings. My shirt was discarded a while ago. The coach (and gym owner) corrected my stance a bit at my first round of Good Mornings. Everyone is in different places around the gym, working on whatever part where they each are.

The coach comes walking up to me, doing his sideways stance, head dropped slightly, as though conspiratorially – his usual stance when speaking so that only the one person receives the information.

“I’m gonna say somethin‘…,” he begins. I am immediately nervous. What did I do wrong? Am I doing wrong? “…I don’t want you to take it the wrong way…”

Shit. I messed up somehow. What did I do wrong? Is it about my not wearing a shirt? Is it too much? Wait… other girls go shirtless, too…, though I can’t recall who at present…, but some do, I’m sure of it… maybe that I’m not pushing hard enough to have ditched the shirt, so it’s just too soon isn’t he workout to be in just the sports bra up top…?

What??” I say more than ask, resignedly, looking at him sidelong, my face set in obvious trepidation.

He looks me in the eye, and then says, calmly and gently, and completely genuinely, “Your butt…” He makes a sign with his hand, pressing the first finger and thumb gently together, extending the others outward. It is the sign that is common for describing something, usually food, as ‘perfection’. He makes a corresponding shape with his lips, and tilts his head slightly to the side in the same motion.

My eyes gape. “REALLY???” I ask him, like a kid who’s just been told that Santa Claus wants to meet him.

He nods, reaffirming the hand motion and head tip.

Tears are almost instantly at my eyes. “You’re gonna make me cry!” I declare, eyes brimming.

He tells me not to cry, that I shouldn’t be upset – it’s something to be happy about. I tell him that I am extremely happy and that they are tears of joy and gratitude. He understands and believes my obvious honesty.

“I tell people, ‘I made that,’” he then says.

I laugh and immediately declare, “You did!… You totally did.”

After class, I thanked him for having shared with me. I have worked very hard, in many ways more than just physically these past two years. The past six months have been a near explosion of finally seeing and experiencing some of the goals I have had my entire life, regarding my physical fitness. Some of them were even just dreams, not goals. Yet they realized nonetheless. And, basically, all of it was made possible because of him and his training and coaching and support. Yes, I put forth the effort, but he provided the tools and guidance and support for almost all of the physical stuff, and a good chunk of the mental stuff, too. (He’s also the one who turned me on to Goggins, by the way.)

He also happens to be one of the fittest and, truly, sexiest people I have ever known. (No, no Eros attraction to worry about. I am merely describing his physical appearance here.) And I know how hard he works for that fitness for himself.

And he, of all people, complimented my buttocks. And not just any compliment, either. It was a You say it best, when you say nothing at all, silently communicated “perfection” compliment. He thinks my but is perfection. Sh** all else, if that is not one of the greatest and most powerful compliments one could receive regarding efforts like I have made. (Haha. I know, it’s a terrible phrase.) He knows how hard I have worked, and he helped me to see a success today that I had not known that I had.

Afterward, I took a photo from the side, just standing normally. And, wow…, I agree with him. It looks like a butt model for pants, the photo.

I have extremely high expectations for myself. It was valuable beyond compare today for me to hear such feedback from such a knowledgeable person on the situation. I have been frustrated a lot about my struggles and failures elsewhere on my body and in my performance lately. And so, it was nice to have a stellar success pointed out to me, and by someone whose opinion I cannot disregard (even if I’d wanted to do so).

Thank you, gym. Thank you, owner. Thank you, butt. And thank you, God, for this beautiful combination for my life. Thank you, all.

Post-a-day 2021

A compliment to remember

About a year or two ago (though, I think it was two years ago), I received one of the most memorable compliments I have ever been given.  I was reminded of it today, as my mom and I drove around in the sunny daylight that was following our storm so nicely.  With all of the rain and flooding, many people have pulled out their trucks and boats, and gone to the rescue of those in need of water transportation in areas that formerly were roads (and which, I suppose, likely still are, just beneath all that water now).  For this reason, I was reminded of a particular friend of mine who has a boat.  (Or, at least, he did have a boat when we last were in touch.  Currently, I’m not so sure, because we simply haven’t been much in touch since I moved to Japan.)

This particular friend was a childhood friend.  In fact, he was one of the neighborhood kids. I secretly – or so I thought – had crushes on him and his brothers when we were all little, and we all would play together all along the street, the whole lot of kids.  Anyway, as everyone moved off to college and parents moved off the street, a lot of us rather lost touch.  Here in there, though, we each would see others briefly in life.  About two years ago, this happened for me with this particular friend and his brothers.

We were at a country-western bar/dance club in Houston, and I recognized them.  Sure, they were all massive men compared to the last time I had seen them, when they were all possibly in college.  Big and strong, burly men was an easy way to describe the guys who stood before me in this bar.  I was amazed, though delighted – I guess scrawny little boys can grow up to be big, strong men, after all. 😛

It was as I was talking with one of them that the memorable compliment came.  He said to me simply, “You’re gorgeous.”  And he said it multiple times.  I’m not sure how many times exactly, but I know that it was more than once.  What really stood out about it was not so much the words (though they were amazing), as how he said them.  I can still hear it, even, it was so impactful.  He did not say them in any condescending way – ‘How unexpected that you would be gorgeous,’ – or as though he were hitting on me – ‘Hey, let’s go to my place, gorgeous.’  He was simply stating something he believed, and earnestly, with feeling.  It reminded me of how girlfriends (true ones, not the fake kind) might talk to the girlfriend who has just found the perfect dress for something, and is thrilled, or who is all dressed up for a big date or presentation or her wedding – there is no jealousy or dishonesty, but pure love and honesty in the declaration of her being gorgeous in that dress.  He wasn’t being sleazy, but truly gentleman-like, and it was amazing. It really was.

And that was it.

Because of this brief interaction I had with this friend, he has remained in my regular thoughts these past couple-ish years.  Every so often, I am reminded of him, and I am grateful for him, and I wonder how he is doing (and I usually get distracted by something or other before I am able to send him any kind of message to check in, but I occasionally manage it).  This weekend especially, I have wondered how he is doing, over and over again, and I finally managed, after however many days this storm has been, to check in with him.  It was brief, but I made contact and found out that he and his family are doing okay.  They all hold special places in my heart, because of their various roles in my childhood, but he has an especially dear one, thanks to his beautiful compliment, whenever that was.

Post-a-day 2017