Yesterday our little Step family was shocked and saddened by the news that our beautiful, blonde, curly haired Jane had been taken from us – so quickly and so suddenly.
It is a reminder that life is a fragile gift and we must treasure every moment. These are some of my Jane moments 💕
Jane became a member 7 years ago. Her and Rosemary signed up around the same time and quickly became good friends. I remember the first conversation I had with Jane. She asked if I would give her exercises to do or if I would give her exercises and also explain why we were doing them and what impact they would have. She told me that she liked to know and understand her “why”. That was Jane – always curious and interested in the world around her. She came along to do a trial session and made it clear that if I didn’t explain “why” then she would not be signing up. Half way through the session she told me that she would be staying. That was Jane – very straight forward, communicating honestly and openly.
Last Monday morning she turned up to boxkick early – as she often did. As soon as Jane arrived she would come over and offer to help me set up. We would talk about all sorts of things – she was always interesting and interested. On Monday I said that I was good and that Rosemary was walking on the netball courts if she wanted to head over to her. “Oh Ro is here” she said and off she went to catch up with her training buddy and dear friend – with that bounce in her step that I loved so much. At 66 she was always full of energy. She would often say that she can do so much more, live her life more fully, thanks to me and her Step Training. She was kind like that – full of praise and gratitude. She has always been very active, would try every exercise that I gave her, give everything a go and always with a smile on her face or gritted determination. Her sense of humour always made me laugh. During her first cardio session, she told me that she was struggling with her bum bag. I was so confused until I realised that she was laughing at herself and her own “bum bag”. She would often give me an update during cardio sessions about how her bum bag felt 😁
Most Monday and Wednesday mornings through winter Jane would turn up and complain about the cold.
Most Monday and Wednesday mornings through winter I would ask her how many layers did she have on?
I always knew the answer – it was always the same.
“Only 2, as I know you will have us warmed up in no time.”
Any opportunity she had she would turn her back to the sun and warm up her “solar panels” as she called them.
It made me smile on Monday when the sun came out and Rosemary gently turned Jane around so her back could face the sun. She loved the feeling of heat on her back.
Over the last few years Jane’s memory hasn’t been great. I took this on as a challenge to ensure she was always carefully guided through the sessions. Not once did she get snarly or annoyed. That was never her way. She always communicated from a kind and generous place, that was firm and strong.
In the early years – having Rosemary as her training buddy – Jane would help guide me through Rosemary’s pain threshold. As we know Rosemary has had her share of trauma and has a grit and determination that seems infinite. She would often push her boundaries. It would be Jane that would tell me that Rosemary needed an option. Despite Rosemary’s protests that she was fine Jane would always encourage her to the option and somehow make it ok for Rosemary. Instinctively Jane knew Rosemary’s boundaries. It’s not unusual to hear her say to Rosemary – “Come on Ro hit harder! They made a good boxing partnership and I know it will be hard for Rosemary over the coming weeks. “
The coming weeks will be challenging for the 9.15am team. We have faced many challenges together over the years and this will be one of our biggest. I just know that together we are strong and resilient. Together we will support each other, help each other through the grief.
It’s important to remember the beautiful soul that Jane was, is and will always be. I just know she will be there at Le Page Park encouraging us to face each day with a smile and an enormous amount of gratitude – as that is how she lived her life.