I was first introduced to Murray at KW Art of Fitness. On Monday mornings, diligently at 9:30 a small group of us show up to be “finessed” into fitness. Our group was followed by a one-on-one training session between our Instructor, the Amazing Steph (her words, not ours…), and the even more amazing, Murray.
I don’t remember when it started to happen, but one day, at 10:15 as the door opened to the studio, we all exclaimed: “Hurray! Murray’s here!!!!” It meant our torture (aka Pilates Class) was nearly over. It was a good ego stroke for Murray who, is to me humble and kind by nature. Each week, Murray would saunter in…peek in our studio room and slyly quip, “Well, ladies….just remember: Drink Water, Drive On.” It became a “thing”. Us rejoicing in Murray’s arrival! The creak of the door, his jovial saunter followed by the inevitable line and so it all began. Our relationship with Murray – this little boy inside a “larger than life” persona.
Eventually, we decided we should have t-shirts made with this saying and surprise him with them. He was dumbstruck (I suspect this didn’t happen with Murray very often) when he showed up one Monday morning with us all wearing our bright pink t-shirts in honour of his arrival. We had a green one we presented him with and – according to Steph, he was pleased. In retrospect, I think he was shocked we did it – but that’s the kind of thing that happens in that studio – lots of little acts of kindness and humanity. We intended to have our picture taken all together – us in pink and him in green – and we joked with him that he would have to come up with some different lines. Where did “Drink Water. Drive on.” Come from anyway??? Apparently, according to Murray, it is an old army phrase.
Well….Murray….ever up for a challenge, went home and each week regaled us with a new phrase to catch us off guard. Later, Steph told us, he would run some of them by her for filtering (bad move…Steph has no filter 😊). He also checked in with her a few times to make sure he was not annoying to us. Anything but….in the few minutes we spent with Murray each week, we could tell that he had a heart of gold and a genuine love for life.
We were all shocked when we heard of Murray’s passing. He touched us, and, although we each really only spent about 15 minutes a week in his presence, we still feel a great loss.
We had planned back in the summer to make a calendar with the Murray-isms we heard each week – we’ve picked out our favourites to share here and Murray, always up for some fun, had even sent a list of the prospective ones to Steph who has graciously captured them in her artwork. We know Murray would be proud of this collection – of his finest “one-liners” – and would be happy to know that 100 percent of the proceeds of the sale of this calendar will be going to support The Bello Project at the Home Hospice Association.
The 9:30 Ladies, KW Art of Fitness