An Ode To The Sideline
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As an 8-year Martian, I have only had the pleasure of being a member of your facility for roughly half of those years, but I can honestly say with confidence that your establishment has absolutely changed my life; the physical changes, both important and visible, are enough to deserve a thanks, but the mental changes, the most crucial of changes, are what I'm the most grateful for.

Your trainers have pushed me farther than I could have ever imagined, and this is coming from someone who played sports at the Division I collegiate level. Your physical therapists have brought meaning and purpose back into my life through one of the roughest seasons God has ever walked me through. Your front-desk workers, old and new, have welcomed me without judgement through strange outfits, black eyes, and penguin waddles. Your members have never disrespected me and some of your workers consider me family. (Here's to you, big sis!) Your establishment has done more for me mentally and physically than any gym I have ever been a part of, and that number is actually pretty high.

Honestly, although I could write for days on my own personal experiences thanks to the members and staff at the Sideline, this ode to you is not about me and the countless ways you have altered my life forever-for the better. This ode is about you, your staff, and your never-ending care for the people of Martin and of Weakley County and giving you the thanks you truly deserve on a daily basis.

Thank you for listening to us complain about our aches, pains, and stings, and not judging us for it. You see a side of your patients that most people never experience, and in a world full of negative emotions, I cannot imagine how difficult and challenging it is to have a job where you're forced to hear people whine and sulk. We are so thankful for your inept ability to remain positive and smiley through the good, the bad, and the ugly of our every day soreness and aggravations.

Thank you for making us feel a little more normal and a little less crazy. We have reached out to our doctors, physicians, and chiropractors, and they've made us all think we're absolutely lying about the pain we're in, yet you see our struggle. You remind us that pain is solvable with proper treatment and stretching, and that there is a way out.

Thank you for not making us feel stupid when we mispronounce a bone or a muscle; I can only imagine how ridiculous we all sound in our feeble attempts to speak your jargon, but you never make us feel less than intelligent as you correct our speech in order for us to better understand our own selves.

Thank you for walking us through life. You have no idea what it means to walk with us while we're doing out exercises; there are too many physical therapists and trainers who forget that we have no idea what we're doing when it comes to exercise, no matter how much we pretend we do. Thank you for standing, walking, jumping, and jogging by our sides while we attempt to regain our health in every sort of way. It's one thing to assign an exercise, yet it's a completely different story to assign an exercise and stick around to make sure the job gets done correctly.

Thank you for staying after your already long hours to make sure we're taken care of. You answer questions after our session is up. You continue massaging us fifteen minutes past your time to clock out, and you never once act like it's a problem. You leave your own life aside to help those of your patients.

Thank you for treating us like humans; thank you for remembering that we are people, too, and we just need your help, and you have never made us feel bad for that.

Thank you for never giving up on us and pushing us to be our best. From your trainers to your PTs, we have always been told we could get better, and we have always been pushed to our maximum limit, even when we didn't necessarily want to go there.

Thank you for forgiving us for our lack of coordination and grace. Only workers with such a true heart could make us feel like we're the strongest, fittest human beings on the planet, even when we're not. However, every winner at life knows that you just have to believe it for it to be true, and you do the best job at making us believe in ourselves more than we can on our own.

Thank you for being our moms and dads. Every single worker has gone above and beyond to make sure the members of this facility are well taken care of inside and outside of the building. You treat us like family, and that is one part of this place that I will take with me wherever I go.

You see us at our worst, and you see us at our best; two sides that some of our closest and dearest friends never have the opportunity to experience. You see us at our sweatiest moments, and you see us at our breakdown points. You see us light up at the slightest improvements after watching us struggle with the easiest of tasks. You never once stop to question our ability, but you always stop to ask us about our day. The amount of love with which you treat our ailments and habits is impeccable, but the amount of love with which you actually love us is priceless...and for that, we will forever be thankful.

I have been a member at several gyms and have experienced physical therapy at multiple locations across Tennessee, but never have I ever felt the love, care, and grace shown by the staff at the Sideline. Thank you, Sideline, for giving me my life back in more ways than I can count, and, on behalf of Weakley County, thank you for your continued dedication in each and every aspect of what you do. It does not go unnoticed.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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