Saturday morning I went to the gym like every other wintery cold Saturday morning of my life. Saturday is typically the day I hit the stair master so I have plenty of time to watch TV shows, listen to audio books, and of course lots of people watching. As I have written about before, the unique culture of every gym is so fascinating and could be a huge anthropology studying in and of it's self. I wonder if other people notice it like I do. Like what workout brands people wear, what type of headphones the majority have, how socially acceptable it is to get done up etc.
But Saturday morning started like every other Saturday until I looked out into the cardio machines and I saw Mike. Mike and I met through a mutual friend my senior year of high school. I had actually told Jason about him a few weeks ago because we were talking about cellphones in high school. You see, although Jason and I both graduated in 2001. 2001 in southern California and 2001 in southern Utah looked very different. Well.... or we could say spoiled kids in 2001 vs. not spoiled kids looked very different. Jason and I grew up in two completely different worlds. In 2001 I did not have a single friend who had their own cellphone. I never knew anyone that even had a pager. Most everyone I knew didn't have a reliable car. Most of my friends had a car but like me, our cars weren't reliable enough to drive anywhere beyond the city limits of Cedar. My car didn't have a radio or air conditioning or even defrost. We lived a great life especially because we didn't know any different.
Anyway, back to the point, no one had a cellphone. None of my freshman college roommates had cellphones either. Or a car for that matter. But that's besides the point, I was telling Jason how no one had a personal cellphone in 2001.... except my boyfriend Mike.
At the end of my senior year of high school my long lost best friend from 5th grade in St. George introduced me to Mike. A Dixie College freshman who was super duper smart, a soccer player, loved Dave Matthews, and did I mention he was in college? Of course I was smitten. So for the last couple of months of my high school career I spent a lot of time with him. He had a reliable car, a job, went to college, and the whole reason I told Jason about him, a cellphone.
The week before I graduated high school my parents had just gotten home from a trip to Idaho and decided that I should go work in West Yellowstone for the summer with my cousins, Erica and Tammy. So with that, my relationship with the dreamy college boy was over. And as far as I can remember I only saw Mike one more time in my life. The fall of my sophomore year of college for some reason Mike started emailing me. He was going to the University of Utah. He wanted me to come down from Rexburg to visit him for the weekend. So I hitched a ride with my roommate, spent the weekend hanging out with him, and returned to Rexburg to never speak to him again. So that was.... 15 years ago?
Back to Saturday. I was hanging out on my stair master, minding my own business when I looked across the cardio section of the gym and there he was. He looked almost exactly the same. Shorter than I remembered. But pretty much exactly the same.
It got me wondering, am I exactly the same?
As I watched him run on the treadmill and then join his (I assume) wife to do weights I wondered, if I walked passed him would he recognize me?
I have been looking at all my old scrapbooks. I have taken on the huge project of scanning all of the books to make digital copies. (I am sure I will be busting out many more old pictures soon because some of them are just so fabulous) But looking back at my 18 year old self I feel like I am a completely different person.
My hair was long and crazy curly, I weighed at least 20-30 pounds heavier... so I wondered, would he recognize me?
So I went and did weights right next to him and his wife.
And nope. Not a thing.
I could have introduced myself and started an awkward conversation.
But no, I walked away with a smile on my face. Why was I smiling? Because I am so grateful that my life didn't go in a different direction.