Before each session I spend a few minutes on a cycling machine to warm up. Today, CC arrived when I did, so he watched me warm up. Except true to form, he didn't watch at all, he coached. He had me warm up at a particularly difficult RPM. Then, between "Keep it at 90", we had a conversation.
I don't tell you about many of our conversations. Almost every session contains powerful coaching on my training and some in-depth conversation where he and I connect. I let myself be vulnerable with him, and he is the same. A few days ago, when I posted the piece by Mishima, he asked me what I thought about reincarnation, after I finished my bench presses.
Today, we were both looking at a 40-something year old woman in hot shorts and a workout tank top, running on the treadmill in front of me. She was in amazing shape. CC noticed, aloud. He asked if I could appreciate it in the way he could, and I told him of course. He was surprised. "You've been there?". I told him I had, but it was work, and it just wasn't for me.
CC proceeded to ask me a dozen questions. Did I know (if I was gay) before I had sex with a woman? Was I testing to see if I liked both men and women? How old was I? And so on. I gave him my basic timeline, including how late I came to my sexual awareness. He gave me his timeline, including the age when he received his first blowjob. One of the things I enjoy about CC, beyond his excellence as a trainer, coach, and fitness partner, is that even in casual conversations, he always is fully there with me, asking key questions that one would only ask if they were thinking about the other person, looking to discover their insights. I can think of only a handful of people in my life who fit this description.
"Keep it at 90!" I was at 88. I got up to 90. He told me about a childhood friend of his, also a trainer, who worked in Manhattan for a short time, and started to have sex with men. But the guy wasn't out, and overcompensated by acting angry and saying anti-gay stuff to the straight jersey bros (which CC thought was funny, because they were all training at a gay gym, and, like, who cares if guys are gay?). Totally overcompensating, and now, with bonus anger issues! CC lost touch with him. But it bothered him that the guy seemed angry.
A little later, during my triceps-working close-grip bench presses, I told him that anger is not surprising when you force yourself to play a part that's not who you are. And I told him that when I came out it wasn't to express being gay, it was to Be whoever I was at all times. It's New York: if you can take me, I can take you.