It's a sad time for me. Wednesday was my last training session with Dan and possibly the last time I see him. As with everything in life, it's bittersweet - I wish him and his fiance the best of luck and I know that they are both starting a brand new life in California. But it's leaving me (and many others) with another loss in their lives.
For me, though, this is not just any loss. Daniel Sampeck has changed my life completely in the last two and a half years. "Yeah right" I bet you're saying. Well, go ahead and say it but I will tell you forever that it's true. When I first summoned the courage to think about asking for a personal trainer to try to combat my right upper back pain, I was so afraid of being judged and criticized (the topic for many other posts). But the day I met Dan as he was bounding up the stairs I could tell immediately from his terrific and genuine smile that he would not judge me. I sure did NOT expect all the changes that I have had thanks to Dan - how do you thank someone for changing your entire life and making you into a completely different person internally. He's the most amazing person I have ever met in my entire very long life.
By the way - I still have the back pain but do I regret or begrudge Dan for not getting that "fixed" - Heck no! All the other significant changes in my life are much more important and long lasting than this pain - never ever underestimate the side benefits you get from something even if you don't get your original intended goal.
This man is the most amazing person I've ever met. He never once in 2 1/2 years was in a bad mood or missed a session. Even when sick, he was there, dedicated, even smiling and happy. It's truly astonishing to examine his work ethic. I am in awe of that (along with all his other exceptional qualities).
Dan has completely changed my life in this short period of time. He taught me so much more than how to build my muscles. He taught me to believe in myself and to trust that I could do anything. He taught me to accept that I could be an inspiration to others and to take a compliment. He showed me the meaning of friendship. This man went through my entire training for the 2012 New York City Marathon and had even planned to surprise me by being there to cheer me on and meet me at the finish. How special would that have been. Plus he had planned to couple that trip with a proposal to his fiance. Well, at least one of those two happened - as you may know, the Marathon was cancelled that year because of Superstorm Sandy but it was cancelled at the last minute. I had already decided it was wrong of me to go and be selfish wanting to run when so many people were suffering in the city. When I told Dan, he revealed his surprise to me and that he was still going. I felt so much guilt but it was too late because I had canceled everything. He understood and told me he was still going. And he did propose! How special that was. But I can't tell you how much his surprise meant to me. It endeared him to me even more than he already was.
Then Dan pushed me through the depression and despair associated with not doing the marathon. And with that encouragement I began my ultra running career again. I'm not sure I would have gotten back into the long distances had it not been for him. He even came to see me in the middle of the night during my first 100 mile event. How wonderful is that? He didn't have to do any of these things.
When I recently did the 6 day run he texted me periodically to see how I was doing and to encourage me to keep going.
He exudes care and concern and truly wants people to succeed. He is the most non-judgmental person I've ever met. He is also the most wonderful guy I've ever met - not sure if I've already told you that but it bears repeating.
And now he's leaving. Sadly he admits that he's not the best at keeping in touch. Regardless of that, he is a part of me and a very valuable part - one I will never ever lose just as I won't lose the memory of his terrificness (my word for him).
I would do anything for Dan and Tami and I hope they know it. They have done so much for me that it's something that can never be adequately expressed.
Dan is my true hero and as I said he has changed my life completely in just two and a half years. There is no other person in my life that I could possibly say that about - or anyone that could even come close.
May you have a safe trip and a totally awesome new life, Dan. I thank you for all you've given me and been to me. I love you!