gratitide-a-thon day 68: Eutopia

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Here we are on the Vineyard together. In happier times, BEFORE I KNEW SHE WAS GOING TO MOVE!

And so it is one more goodbye.

Last night, I went To Eutopia for a glass of champagne. This is where I have been training for the past eight years. With back problems since my senior year of college, I have had to find my way. And for me, Eutopia was a big fat guiding light. The owner, Colleen Quinn, started as my trainer, but ended up as one of my closest friends. She has decided to move to Northern California, which means that I won’t be able to see her twice a week anymore, unless I want to get on a plane for five hours. I am excited for her. I love California and have always wanted to live there, so the fact that she gets to, gives me a vicarious thrill. I think she will love it there. But WHAT ABOUT ME? If I look at it from that perspective, ugh, think major waterworks. The loss of another pillar in my life is hard to swallow.

But let me tell you why I am sad. And why I am so grateful to have met Colleen. She is a physical therapist, who decided her passion was to open a studio for personal training. Her specific way of training, focuses on core stability and a number of other trade secrets I won’t get into. On Washington Street in Brookline Village, she created a sunny, yellow studio, where I slowly learned to trust my body. I not only became strong, I became more aware. I not only learned about my physical self, I also learned about my emotional self. And when I would start having an issue with my back, she was able to treat it like physical therapist, because she is one. What a win, win situation. What a safe haven for someone with a precarious spine. What a fucking miracle.

Colleen is the 9th of 10 children. She is smart, and gorgeous, and funny and curious and thoughtful. We have solved many of the world’s problems in her studio, while I was doing planks. We have laughed until we created permanent smile lines. We have celebrated and mourned the gains and losses in both of our lives. She has seen both of my kids for different physical issues. She has helped my husband, who thinks she is God. She has taken care of my dog. We have spent time on the Vineyard together, our sacred place, and texted during the entire season of The Voice. She is a little bit sister, a little bit magician, and a little bit miracle worker.

I will never be able to compose a big enough thank you to her. I will never get over the hole she will leave in my life. But I am learning that this is what life is, gain. Loss. Gain. Loss. Gain.Loss. Rolling with it all is key. I feel wobbly this morning, knowing that the stability I have felt knowing Colleen was three blocks away is a thing of my past. But I will just have to rely on the stability she gave me in the space she lovingly and passionately created at Eutopia. I will even miss the building, because so many good things happened for me there. A law firm is moving into the space, and I’m half worried that I might show up during my regular sessions and start doing sit ups in the middle of a meeting.

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I am attached to this space. It’s been part of me for eight years, plus I have grown so much there. If those walls could talk, they would make you laugh and cry.

God, I hate goodbye’s. Beginnings are sort of awkward, but exciting, middle’s are comfortable and cozy, but endings just plain suck. I already miss the regularity of my sessions. But Eutopia’s tag line was Redefine Yourself. And it appears that’s exactly what I’ll have to do.

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