My grandmother passed away this weekend....

She was 75 years old and survived by her husband and thirteen children - my aunts, uncles, and my mother.

The past week has been an emotional rollercoaster. It all started from the simple loving act of my grandmother holding my four year old niece. Then it happened so suddenly - my grandmother fell down, while holding my niece and instead of using her forearm to break or soften the fall, my grandmother embraced her grandchild with both arms to ensure that she wouldn’t be hurt by the impact. My niece was unharmed, but the impact shattered my grandmother’s hip.

She was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital. During her time there, the medical team of doctors and nurses were rushing back and forth to see how to best treat her. You see, the shattered hip was not the only issue here … she was also suffering from pulmonia (a respiratory disease) and a weak kidney that wouldn’t be able to handle the drugs needed to operate on her hip. 

These conditions lasted for over a week. All we could do was wait and watch. 

8:30am, Saturday, November 14th - I received a text message from my mother that my grandmother passed away the night before. At that moment, I felt so many emotions rush to me - shock, anger, sadness. This was the FIRST time I have ever experienced someone passing away who was close to me. It was all new to me … and I hated it.

After all my crying was done (and my attempt to hide the tears from my fiancée failed), I did what I’ve told every single person that’s come inside San Jose Barbell to do - to take care of oneself. I coach people daily, and one of the principles I advocate is to always take care of yourself first before even thinking of taking care of another person because if you can’t take care of yourself, how do you expect to successfully take care of another?

I started with the first step - eat breakfast. Having my fiancée cook me a hearty breakfast made that easier. 

Then the next step forward, get dressed. Check.

Then I thought of the next thing that would help me ... get out of the house. And guess where I looked to when getting out of the house - no better place than going to a community where it’s nothing, but support and good times otherwise known as San Jose Barbell.

I just wanted to take this time to let everyone know how much I appreciate you all. For being a part of this community of people who promote health and well-being EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I do not remember ever having a bad day at the Dojo, and I have YOU to thank, even on my worse day.

I may be your coach here at San Jose Barbell, but I want you to know that you are just as important to this community as we are to you. Maybe even more.

Thank YOU for bringing out the best version of me even in my worse times.

And this is a great reminder that if you’re ever having a bad day, take the first step, then the second, then whatever other steps you need to take to get into the Dojo. I promise you won’t regret it. I never did.

If you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here for you - shoot me a message, email, text, call. I’m here because we’re not just a gym, we’re family. 

Love,

Aljay

Shoutout to all who made this Saturday’s workout that much more special for me without even knowing it!