Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Dear Natalie,

I guess I’m in denial that you’re leaving.  You really want to move to Cape Town??

When I left you yesterday I waited in my car, waiting to cry (I didn’t want to start driving and face a downpour...from the inside).  Even though you’re “just” my personal trainer, I wanted to tell you how much you’ve meant to me... and hope you can listen without interrupting. 

When I first saw you at Planet Fitness, I thought “I want that girl to be my trainer!  She looks mean!!”  And fit... there was that.  My  weight was at an all-time high and osteoporosis ran in my family.  I knew I’d have to add weights to my workout.  I knew it. 

So, when you first made an appointment with me I was a little intimidated.  You turned out to be no-nonsense and made me write down everything I ate.  I remember you hated me eating popcorn and’s those “P” foods that get me in trouble!

Little by little I lost weight...and we got to know each other.  You had a soft heart, after all, and I was convinced you’d be ready for the Gospel.  After all, why be physically fit and not Spiritually directed?? May as well be fat...

So, when I shared my story with you and shared how much I lived for and loved God, I expected you to be inspired...or more inspired than you were.  I felt if I only told you the right way to Jesus you would find Him, and let Him into your heart. 

So, between sweating and lifting and fielding cell phone calls, I shared more and more about my God, my reason for living, with you.  I think you finally made the bet with me because you were tired of me hounding you....

Our bet was that I would go on your stringent, awful diet for ten days (no coffee or red wine) and that if I did it without cheating you would come to church.  I was determined to do it!!

I remember losing three kg’s and 9 cm’s on my waist and I was happier that YOU WERE COMING TO CHURCH!!!  You came, and like it.  In my mind, though, I knew you were fulfilling your obligation to me as I was to you...and you were as likely to keep coming as I was to keep eating that way. 

Through the years (it’s been 3 years) we shared our desires for our lives with each other.  You watched my weight go up and down.  I saw you shaking your head at me more than once. 

“Jan, if you only did what I’d tell you to do, you’d be happy!”  Remember how much you said this to me?? I used to answer you: “Duh, Natalie!! If you only did what I told you to do, YOU’D be happy!”  You chased my physical person around, I chased your spiritual one.

We became friends... a most unusual relationship for Personal Trainer and client, especially since I liked calling you my Nazi. 

So, Nats, as I say goodbye to you, I can tell you that I know you will be a successful personal trainer.  You will be a success at anything you challenge yourself to do.  The thing I want to ask of you is that you will give Jesus a real chance at your heart.  He is the one who created you, who loves you deeply and knows you better than anyone ever could. 

After all, I’d like to see you in heaven.  There I’ll have a perfect body.

Kind of like yours!