Patrea, the owner of 15 to Fit Pilates, Barre and Fitness shares all about the world of fitness. Patrea has been in and around the fitness industry her entire life. Here, she shares her knowledge and experiences in her blog to help motivate, educate, and transform the lives of her clients and readers.
Monday, January 2, 2017
Texas, Waffle House and a Navy Seal
(This post picks up after our October 21 blog post.)
During my sophomore year at Ball State, I became friends with a
Navy Seal when he was an assistant volunteer coach. I was 19 and he was 32. We
had been good friends throughout the year and I fell in love with him that
spring. He was graduating and had an internship in Dallas, Texas. I wanted to
travel with him and try to make this relationship work out. Fortuitously, I had
a friend from high school who was living in Fort Worth, Texas and he invited me
to stay with him for a few weeks. I left Indiana with $30.00 in cash and a
$42.00 check from the Waffle House where I worked. I quit my job there, but I
was too embarrassed to go back, so I had the Navy Seal return my uniform for
me. Many years later, I relayed this
story to one of my Pilates instructors.
I'll never forget her dead panned face as she sarcastically said, "So
you were scared and it took the Navy Seals for you to return your Waffle House
uniform?" She then fell to her
knees on the floor with laughter.
Ahh, the Waffle House.
I rocked that uniform.
None of the patrons at my Waffle House looked like this...
At the time though, I ultimately wanted to keep tabs on my Navy
Seal, who had just broken up with his girlfriend. I didn’t want them to get back together.
However, this was the logic I used at the time to rationalize the trip to myself: I was 19, and in Indiana, you had to be 21 to
serve alcohol, so I couldn’t work in any of the upscale restaurants like
Chi-Chi’s. Yes, upscale restaurants like Chi-Chi's. Since I didn’t want to go back to Clinton, I
figured that I could work in Texas, where I could legally serve alcohol and
therefore make more money as a waitress at a good restaurant. That was the
excuse I used while I followed the Navy Seal to Texas. Within two days of
arriving, I got a job at Red Lobster.
But in addition to all that, I had never lived anywhere else and I was
just excited to get out and go somewhere. There was no planning, clearly, as I
only had $72.00 in my pocket when I left. I never told my parents that I went,
though. I knew that if I told them, they would have flipped out and forbidden
me to go. I decided it was better to ask for forgiveness after the fact than it
was to ask for permission. I was down in Texas for about six of the ten week
total. My high school friend that rented
the apartment went back to Clinton for the Fourth of July, and I believe he
told a few people I was staying with him. It’s a small town, so I’m sure my
mother heard of the rumor. Shortly after
he came back from Iowa, my mom and I had an interesting conversation. I could tell by what she was saying she knew
I wasn't in Muncie anymore. I finally
confessed, because I was obviously caught.
She didn't completely flip out but they no longer gave me any spending
money the rest of my college career.
The friend I
was staying with didn’t really have a place for me to sleep. There was the
bedroom that he and his girlfriend shared and then there was a bunk bed that
was just the bed frame and springs. So I slept on the floor or on the couch for
the entire time I was there. The Navy Seal and his friend Herman had made fun
of me for leaving Indiana with only 72 bucks, but the apartment they were meant
to be staying in turned out to be a real dump. There were feral cats everywhere
as well as roaches. It was in such disrepair that he had to leave and for a
time, he had no place to stay. I felt bad for them but a little vindicated for
myself. Navy Seal and Herman hassled and
teased me relentlessly the entire trip from Indiana to Texas that I'd be
sleeping in a slum and be homeless. Although
I slept between a couch and a floor, I was staying in an otherwise very nice
apartment with a pool and a beach volleyball court. They told me then that I
was staying in the Taj Mahal compared to what they had. Eventually, my Navy Seal moved back in with
his girlfriend without saying anything. He came over once to my place by
himself and the second time he visited me, he brought his ex-girlfriend and
Herman and a bunch of his other friends with him. That’s when he told me things
were over between us and that he was going back to his ex. What was worse, he came to the apartment with
her in tow and she didn’t know that we had been together.
I was upset of
course, but I don’t remember sitting around and moping over him. I’m sure he
cared for me, but I suspect his plan was to spend time with me and if things
worked out with his ex in Dallas, then he could just go back to her. If things
had not worked out, he still had me. I was there for 10 weeks and it was over
by the third. You have to laugh about it or otherwise you’d cry.
Having grown up in Clinton, Iowa and gone to college in Muncie,
Indiana, being in Fort Worth was a big city for me. I’m sure I was devastated
at the time, but I sprang back with a 19 year- old's desire to have fun. The people
that worked at that Red Lobster with me were from all over the place. There was
a Mormon from Utah, a guy from Kansas and a Muslim from Egypt. It sounds like a
bad joke, but we all hung out and had a great time. So I might have lost the
Navy Seal, but I wasn’t too heartbroken about it. I got to live in Texas for
ten weeks. Living successfully in
Texas, in other words, getting a job within two days, making friends and having
a good time was a wonderful confidence booster.
It was a very risky proposition and it all worked out for me. It reduced my fear of the unknown and helped
me to realize that I was capable of pulling off things many people, especially
my parents, would deem dangerous and crazy.
Plus I got to stay in a Taj Mahal apartment. Ha!