Here’s the thing – I’m a bit of a snob. If a lot of people like something or someone, I’m more likely to look upon it with suspicion than I am to check it out. Generally, I am of the opinion that people en masse aren’t too bright. “Popular opinion.” Gross.
Good thing God knows His cynical child Lady J and worked to order the events of the last two years of my life so I wouldn’t immediately balk and run in the other direction. The services of Blonde Oprah weren’t recommended to me by anyone; I just happened to stumble upon a Groupon for a 3 week belly blast. “Well.” I thought to myself. “It’s more than I’m doing now. How bad can it be? I can do something for 21 days.”
In January of 2013, my mother and I started this boot camp business. When we showed up at 6 in the morning, Blonde Oprah greeted us cheerily as we each stepped on the scale, then proceeded to take us through an hour of foolishness. Her smile, encouragement, and high-pitched voice unfailing, I noted how she seemed equally committed to everyone in the room. I lost 11 pounds in 3 weeks. Friggin sweet.
Of course, I left.
No regrets. This was the time I tried Couch to 5k and fell in love with running. However, I get a call from Blonde Oprah in March, checking in. What is this about? What kind of gym owner checks in on clients? Unless it’s to get money, of course. She actually asked real questions that made it seem like she’s genuinely invested in Lady J. Personally. Whatever, she just wants money, but I can’t deny the progress I made with her. Plus, it’s the only time in my life I haven’t been bored with strength training. I returned to Blonde Oprah after a three month hiatus.
My 50 pound weight loss isn’t really the point here, even though that’s pretty neat. In the 20 months that I’ve known her, I’ve been more moved watching Blonde Oprah interact with others than her interaction with me. This is not to say that her impact on me personally hasn’t been significant. It’s simply that I’ve never seen ONE person do so much for so many people in such a personal way. I call her Blonde Oprah because this group damn near idolizes her. I even saw a cardboard cut-out of her on a trip she could not attend. Her support is kind of a big deal to a lot of people. She often says that she is assured that there is no point in time that she I’d not in at least one person’s thoughts, either cursing her for soreness or inspired by her words. You know what? I think she’s right.
Of all the shout outs I will write, Blonde Oprah’s is definitely the hardest. Not because I feel the least passionate about her, but because I feel like everyone is already on the “Praise Blonde Oprah” bandwagon and I. Loathe. Bandwagons. But that’s the thing about Blonde Oprah. She will read this without offense, shake her head and smile, and say something like, “That’s my Joan.” Stubborn as hell. Hard-headed. She knows me probably much better than she lets on because she is both disturbingly intuitive and knows that if she let me know how well she knows me, I might balk. Blonde Oprah meets people where they are – no matter where they are – and helps them to be brave. Sometimes without the person even realizing it until afterward. That’s something truly remarkable.
Dammit, Blonde Oprah. Thanks for helping Lady J do it.
NB – bitstrip above stolen from some chick on Facebook. I don’t know you but clearly Blonde Oprah has touched your life as well. Thanks!