I need a day to not think about last year. This past weekend was hard. A lot harder than I expected. So many things happening. And so many things I’m still wrestling in my head. I’m really not wanting a pity party...but it’s hard to not have one for myself. And I get lost in them.
So today, I’m trying to focus on everything good.
I got up, Benton made breakfast and took the car in to be serviced, I showered and made the bed-cleaned the kitchen...and had a nap. All by 9:30.
Emma stopped by, and brought a painting she had just done. Emma is the better half of Jay Cohen, who I have been wanting to write about for awhile.
Back to Emma in a minute.
5 years ago I messaged Jason(Jay)Cohen on Facebook randomly. I did not want to go to a gym, but I knew I needed help. I started personal training with Jay in his backyard soon after that. Out of shape was a nice way of saying it. I was a mess...but Jay actually made me feel okay about that mess. He gave me a slice of confidence I had never had. I hadn’t even really lost any weight, I was just feeling better about myself.
I was slowly becoming a different person. Jay and Emma opened their Gym, Locomotion Fitness...so he was going to be focusing on that, and have less time fir PT. I actually made the transition from not wanting to be seen...to full on CrossFit classes. It was something I never ever thought I would do. I remember coming home and telling Trey that I was going to join the gym and go to regular CrossFit classes. His eyes were literally about this 👀, and said WHO ARE YOU?
To say that meeting Jay changed my life is an understatement. Jay initiated a change in me that has never stopped. A drive in me that I’m basically sure if it hadn’t been started before my stroke could have had crazy implications in my recovery.
I have never had much self confidence, I have always been the most basic of wallflowers - anything to blend in as much as I could. I still am that, but I don’t mind being noticed near as much as I used to. I was able to workout in group classes, even doing things that I had no clue what the hell I was doing. I was there, I was trying...and what anyone thought became meaningless. Except running. Thomas don’t run.
Without that initial Spark, I don’t know where I would be. At all. Years later I moved downtown to Holy City fitness with Jessica...and then I had the stroke. Everything’s more difficult now. EVERYTHING. But, in the hospital, therapy specifically I still had that spark. I still had something in me that said ‘you can do this’ I did not care what I looked like, I did not care how bad I was...I knew that I could do everything. I knew it would take time, and I knew I had to be patient. At the gym prior to the stroke I was pulling 300# deadlifts. I could move some weight...in therapy I was barely able to lift 1 pound dumbbells.
Looking around the therapy room I’d see people that had been there longer, and they were way ahead of me. I knew if I kept at it I’d be there. Squatting was one of my favorite things at the gym, I could easily squat. In therapy I was able to squat the weight of a...ballon. But, instead of focusing on that I focused on the fact that I could still move like that. I could squat again. When I moved into therapy one of the very first things I was told was that I could not be down on myself if I could not walk after therapy...no one really knew what to expect because of how severe my stroke was, and it’s location. It was a miracle I was not ‘locked in’. I did not want to be confined to a wheelchair. I would walk. I still had that drive that Jay had started years ago. In therapy I told everyone about CrossFit, and about Jay. I knew back I. Therapy that there was no way I’d be there without Jason, and I would not have the drive to walk out of there like I did had I not gone to locomotion.
Jason, and Emma started LOCO on a wing and a prayer...EVERYTHING went into opening it. Blood, sweat, tears. Even their daughter. They’ve had bumps, detours, road blocks...you name it. But, they’ve made it through to this point. Trey always appreciated Jason’s business mind, never wanted to do CrossFit, but did enjoy talking to jay. When there was a problem, or any way we could help the Cohen’s Trey was always the first to suggest something, because he always said without them Thomas you wouldn’t have ever changed.
After my stroke, and with Covid, therapy was/is a mess. I have been working with Jay again since last year before my Facial Plastics Reanimation surgery. Back to the basics, but It’s like Jay knows exactly what he’s doing. More brain work than muscle work...but he has given me back that confidence that I can do it, that I will do it. I now walk to the gym, alone, for therapy. Well me and the dogs. Walking down the street in my walker, without a single care in the world. That’s not something you can find at planet fitness...or being trained by any typical ‘Muscle Mary’. Jason is a special person.
Now, his wife Emma.
Emma, Emma, Emma.
Numbers are not her friend...she was Bentons and My trainer for a short period of time. THE TOTAL OPPOSITE of jay, in a good way. They have a good balance.
Emma is the type of person that sacrifices what she had to for others. She put it all into jays dream for years. An artist, creative, exceptional - she’s the design mind behind Jay, designed and opened two gyms...and is now focusing on Emma. For the first time in a long time. She’s a talented Beaufort girl...that like her man, pours herself into everything head first.
When Trey passed he had quite a few art supplies that he had not yet used. Benton nor I have any ambitions to paint. So, one day we loaded up all of Treys paints and papers he had not used onto my walker, and we walked them all up to Emma. If I know anything about Trey it’s that he was ALWAYS very supportive of art, and artists...and he would want them to be used by someone that could and would use them.
Emma - has done amazing things with her art, and with those supplies...
Today while here she said something that almost made me cry because it’s exactly what Trey would have wanted to hear. She has been using all of his paints and it’s been going so well it’s enabling to buy more snd more supplies to keep building her stock, and do more art, and make more money. That right there at the end would make Trey very happy - that he was able to help someone further themselves like that...even in the small small way.
Emma brought over this watercolor she had just done(with Treys paints)and I am just sitting here staring at it. If you’re interested in any of her work, or making a contribution as in sending her some cash money honey go to - emcoarts
Also today...mondays are normally packed with Dr appointments...but not today....Benton went to his interview for admittance into the American College of the Building Arts. He is now fully applied. He has decided to Study, and focus on Blacksmithing.