The Importance of Family

This time of year always seems to bring families closer together. Those relatives you don't see very often make an effort to get together over the holidays. It's sad to me that we only make an effort this one time of year to be around these people.

I don't have any family around here. My mom died 5 years ago. My dad died 12 years ago. I've lost touch with my dad's brothers and sisters for the most part. I was never really close to them expect for my Aunt Sue. I still keep in touch with my mom's sisters and my grandma but they all live in Florida.

I have a brother that is almost 5 years older than me. We are very close and we try to visit each other a few times a year but him and his family, wife and 2 kids, also live in Florida.

I am divorced and remarried. If you are (or have ever been) in that situation, you realize that your second set of in-laws/spouse's family relationship is different (Hopefully they are better!) But being my age and our marriage being newer, our situation is a bit different. Michelle's parents are no longer alive either and her closest family members are in Georgia. So neither one if us has family nearby.

But, of course, as you know, family means a lot of different things these days. Family is about so much more...

When I think about family these days, I think about Michelle, our 4 fur kids and my brother's family. "My Family" starts with us and goes downward in the family tree. I am hoping to establish a close family tree from here on out. I hope that my brother and I will always stay close (even if not physically), and I hope to be a part of his kids' lives as well.

But "My Family" doesn't end there. The gym is my family too. Even as our gym family grows, I try and make a point to know something special and personal about each person that steps through our doors.

I look around the gym each day and see people that have been coming to the gym since for years. I see people that have gotten married. I see people that have had babies. I see couples that have met at the gym. I also see the people who have gotten divorced, I see the ones that have lost loved ones, and I see the ones that have suffered hard times in their lives.

I notice how many people have met new friends, roommates, and spouses at the gym. I notice how many people I get to know and be a part of their lives because of the brick and mortar space we call Rev5. Some of these people have been around for a long time, some for a short time, some are guests and visitors to the gym while traveling through the area.

Whatever your connection to the gym, you are my family. And I share your joys and I share your pain. You are my family and you are always welcome here. And if you are like me and don't have a lot of blood relatives around, know that you are always welcome in our home, not just for the holidays, but anytime you need family. Family is important, and we are always here for you.

Coach Ashley

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