Home, Lonely Home {Bookloree}

I’m late and up to my armpits in flooring.

Last night I learned a very important lesson about installing laminate.

When hammering the pieces into place hit the pounding block, not your finger.

Full disclosure: I cried like a baby.

Installing flooring has not been kind to my hands...

Installing flooring has not been kind to my hands…

Its painful and slower than heck to type. Last night it was impossible, thus the late post.

As promised, the ‘Bookloree‘ continues through the last week of March.

Happy reading.

~ ~ ~

Coming home was something I loathed more than responding to my thousands upon thousands of emails at work. The open style kitchen, living room, and dining room concept gave the impression that we hosted parties and had fun.

No parties. No fun.

It was the place where the distractions came to an end, where I found myself alone with myself and didn’t enjoy the company. It only took 10 minutes of being home before the overwhelming loneliness and despair came over me.

I told myself it was important to know my wines for all the networking events I had to go to; something to talk to people about and a way to break the ice. On this particular night, the lame excuse got me through the liquor store doors on the way home but it didn’t keep me from buying a 40-ounce bottle of double espresso vodka. I went in for wine and came out with fast acting relief.

Every day I came home tired, angry, and frustrated. I didn’t want to spend time with myself, thus the vodka. Arriving to a dark, empty condo and sipping my life away was the usual end to a long, horrible day.

While I waited for my phone to ring, the vodka chilled in the freezer.

My husband wasn’t home which meant my conscious wasn’t either. Ice and a very liberal amount of vodka were put into a highball glass and I began to lurk on Facebook. Somehow it makes sense to live vicariously though someone else’s life when you can’t stand your own.

A few sips and clicks in, my phone rang and an unfamiliar number popped up on the screen.

Staring at it, I wondered if I should answer. I grabbed a gulp of liquid courage and pressed the ‘answer’ button.


“Hi. I am looking for Dawn.”

“Donloree? That’s me.”

“Yes, This is Pete. I hear you stopped by the gym and are interested in personal training.”

“Interested. Desperate. Intrigued. I am a bunch of things.”

“Ok. Cool. I have been working at the gym for a few years but have space for a couple new clients at this time. I always set up a session with potential clients to see if we are a good fit. Would you be interested in booking a time for a free consult? We test your athleticism, talk about your goals, and do some light training.”

“So I just show up and ask for you at the front desk where the massage women may or may not be?” I asked.

Laughter filled his voice. “How about I meet you at the front?”

“Sure. Tell me when and where. How about now? I need something to change sooner than later.” The liquid courage was making be more transparent than usual.

“Can you do evenings, say 6:30?”

“6:30 tomorrow night it is. I will be there with running shoes on.” It was time to make something happen

“Tomorrow it is. See you then.”

“Tomorrow.” I replied.

I hung up the phone and brought the glass full of dark, murky liquid up to my right eye for a closer inspection. Somehow I knew my evening habit of unwinding with alcohol was about to come to a screeching halt.

~ ~ ~

Something strange happened the next morning.

I got out of bed after only pressing the snooze button four times. A strange feeling coursed through my veins, a feeling I hadn’t felt in years. Hopeful excitement.

Added to my morning routine of hating my life was finding an outfit to wear to my meeting with the Muffin Top Slayer at 6:30.

I knew I had to do a better job than the first time I was required to pull together an outfit for working out in. It consisted of my husband’s basketball shorts and an old t-shirt from my days of managing McDonalds. The basketball shorts went past my knees and threatened to cut the circulation off at my waist. I was 20 years old and squarely in Obese Class One, at least according to the nurse’s announcement at my physical. The walk back to the plastic chairs on the other side of the waiting room after having this news announced loud enough for everyone flipping through free magazines to hear was painful, to say the least.

We had only been married for two months and I was still in the newlywed phase of trying to be an amazing wife and do everything he did. He was very active and I wanted to spend time with him. After finding some running shoes at a garage sale earlier that week, I decided to try this crazy thing he called running.

Apparently it was going to be fun.

If only being able to run one block before almost passing out, having a fit man run backwards chatting at you nonstop while your lungs seized, and getting side cramps during the ‘warm up’ is fun, I had the time of my life.

If was going to pass out, I wanted to look cute when the EMTs arrived. Nike capris with matching tank top and sports bra were chosen and shoved into a tote bag.

Emails, client meetings, financial reporting, performance reviews, and my weekly status meeting with the owner overflowed my schedule. Getting out of the office by 6:30 would be challenging.

This particular day flew by. Fear has a way of making the known go faster than you would like it to go. At 6:00, I wasn’t alone in the office. Some of the men were working late to put the finishing touches on a big project scheduled for delivery on Monday.

I had to change into my Nike outfit and try to make my way out of the office without being seen wearing it. Having the men I managed see my muffin top in stretchy clothes was an experience none of us needed.

Brilliance entered my mind – floor length wool coat. Wearing my workout gear underneath my floor length coat along with my high heels made me feel a bit like a stripper, but it got the job done. Not a soul knew what I was up to as I clacked my way to the back door of the office.

A hand waved and I heard a mumbled goodbye from one of the men buried deep in PHP and CSS. With that response, I could have left in a ballerina tutu wearing stilts without notice. A woman can never be too careful.

With the heater on in the car, I changed my shoes while trying to avoid the gas pedal. Heels and wool coat were discarded on the passenger seat and I was off to meet a man named Pete. Suddenly I remember that I hadn’t told my husband about Pete. What if I died?

Mental note – bring identification in as a precautionary measure.

Parking next to the cemetery, I realized I needed to get from my car and into the gym only wearing capris and a tank top. A quick sprint, a few near falls, and a lot of arm flailing in the wet snow while wearing my Asics runners got me from point A to point B.

Stomping my way into the foyer, I quickly tried to clean off my ‘indoor shoes’ so they didn’t realize I had worn them outside. In the midst of my OCD stomping and dragging to clean off my shoes, I nearly ran head first into a man who resembled a brick wall.

“Oh my! Sorry about that. Just trying to clean off my shoes. Oh brother. I wore them outside. What was I thinking?” I stammered.

“Looks like you’re doing a pretty good job of cleaning them off. No one will know.” The brick wall replied.

When I get nervous, I tend to over share. “Sure. Let’s go with that. I am meeting a personal trainer for the first time and I don’t want him to think I am ridiculous. I mean, who wears their indoor shoes outside? I changed at work and then came here. I didn’t know if there was a place to change here, you know what I mean? Can you imagine if I showed up in my suit and heels for my first meeting? First impressions matter. There. I think I am good now. Onwards.” I took a deep breath and smiled.

“Are you here to meet Pete?” The brick wall asked.

“Yes. How did you know? Uh oh. Let me guess. You are Pete.”

The brick wall’s eyes crinkled and a gale of laughter came bursting forth. “You bet. At your service.”

“Hi. I am Donloree.” I grimaced as my hand got lost in his meaty paw. So much for trying to come across as smart and knowing what I was doing in life.

“Yup. Got that much. Let’s take a quick tour of the facilities and then fill out some paperwork before we get going. Why don’t we start with the change rooms?” His eyes were crinkling again.

After seeing that there was in fact a place to change my clothes, avoiding people sprinting across the open space, and getting an overview of the equipment I found myself sitting on a very large fit ball filling out paperwork while trying not to roll away.

As I checked the box agreeing that I would not sue the brick wall named Pete or the gym if I was hurt or died my confidence started to wane. Just sitting on the ball was proving more difficult than it looked. What was the assessment going to be like?

Nervous energy pushed me up from the ball and I shoved the completed papers towards Pete. “Ok, I am all done and ready to go. Now what?”

“Let’s get some stats, test your cardio and flexibility, and talk about goals.”

“Goals are easy.” I answered. “I want to get rid of this annoying muffin top.” To emphasize my point, I grabbed two handfuls of fat from the top of my capris and shook it menacingly. “I hate it and am so tired of being self equipped with an inner tube for all swimming adventures. Can we please get rid of this? It is the bane of my existence.”

“Sure. No problem. Fat loss it is. Anything else? A race? A triathlon? An event?” Pete asked.

“I’ve been there and done that. I hate running, have done a triathlon, and do not want to train for a half marathon. I just want to get rid of my muffin top.” The conversation about goals ended there.

“Ok. Done. Let’s get some stats on you.”

“Stats?” I asked.

“Let’s get your weight, height, and calipers to start.” He answered.

I had no idea what calipers were, but I was also too proud to ask. My mostly indoor shoes were taken off and height and weight were taken without too much drama.

As I stood up from tying my shoes, I noticed a pincher looking thing in Pete’s hand. “Uh, what is that?”

“These are the calipers. We are going to track how much fat is on your body. Fat loss is your goal so we need a way to track how you are losing.” Pete replied.

“Excuse me? You are going to pinch my body fat and write the number down? Here in the middle of the gym? Seriously?” I wanted to die.

“No time like the present.” He smiled.

“Do people enjoy this part of the torture? This is a horrible idea. Wow.”

“We will track three sites consistently so we can see how progress is going. It is important. Trust me when I say you’ll be glad later that we took this information today. Roll up the capris, we will start with your leg.” He kneeled down expectantly.

I rolled up my capris and endured having my knee fat measured. Who knew there was such a thing as knee fat? The next thing measured was how happy my arms were. I didn’t need a number assigned to my arms to let me know that they kept waving long after I was done waving.

Then it was time for the muffin top’s moment of glory. I rolled up the hem of my tank top to reveal my lifelong companion I had un-lovingly named Gertrude for nearly a dozen people to see. I shut my eyes and went to a happy place while a man I had only known for 23 minutes assessed my nemesis. It took all of 30 seconds, but it felt like a lifetime.

“There. All done. See that wasn’t so bad. This is our starting point, now we can track how we are doing from here. I promise, you’re going to be glad you have these numbers.” A smile broke across his face while he talked.

I just stood there blinking and nodding. If I had tried to talk, I would have cried. I felt bludgeoned and shamed, but I also knew explaining this in sobbing detail to the happy brick wall would not be helpful.

I dutifully tried to touch my toes, ran sprints on the treadmill, and lifted weight over my head whenever he asked. Throwing the heavy medicine ball in his general direction was oddly satisfying, especially when it landed on his toe.

At the end of the session it only made sense to sign up to train with him. I had no desire to go through such a traumatic experience with another strange man. There is only so much vulnerability that one woman can experience in a lifetime.

Tuesdays at 6:00 pm was decided on.

Somehow I knew Jon would be proud when I told him about Pete and for the first time in a long time, I felt something unfamiliar. I felt happy.

…and thus the 4 weeks of sharing a slice of my story comes to an end.

Should I continue?

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  1. If this becomes an e-book, I might buy it. If it becomes a hardbound book, I WILL buy 20 copies, and give away 19. You have found your stride….

  2. CONTINUE!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and i will buy a copy once you are all done!!!
    i want to read MORE!!!!!!!
    oh and btw,my Oma (grandmother) was named Gertrude-we called her gurtie!,albeit we never grabbed her and shook her menacingly at a strange man named Pete—which is my fathers american name! his real name is Hans-Dieter,but when he came to the states from Germany after the war (yes,my dad is 76,he lived through WWII at its worse,literally right in his backyard),everyone called him Pete–and my uncle they called Charlie…..and his German name was Wolfgang…how that happened,im still not sure,lol!

  3. Yes!! I am hooked 🙂 And chuckling at the fact that I am a PT and get to inflict this kind of torture on others!

  4. Yes! keep going!
    But it’s okay with me if you want to wait until your hand hurts less;)

  5. Yes, please!

  6. Please do!!

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