My resolution for 2011 is to get to know the neighbors. Unfortunately, my neighbors must be reading my blog, because one of them moved out over Christmas break, and I haven’t seen the person who lives above me… I just hear him walking around. I’m starting to believe he might be a ghost. Patrick’s looking into it.

So I had to reevaluate. I had two options, either give up on my new year’s resolution on January 11th, or tweak it. I went with the tweaking option. I realized that people that don’t happen to live in apartments C4-C8 are still my neighbors. People I run into at the grocery store. The guy at Publix (see #10) who helps me take my groceries to the car. The local barista.

Enter ridiculous story.

I am driving to the YMCA on snow day #2 during snomageddon 2011. My favorite group fitness class called “sculpt” starts in 30 minutes. I’m looking forward to a crisp 2 mile jog on a treadmill before running in with the stampede of soccer moms to grab 2 sets of free weights, a stability ball, a yoga mat, and a stretchy cord thing before Instructor Courtney turns on the music and begins counting reps of triceps extensions. But low and behold… I peek through the window to the group fitness room, and women are ALREADY setting up! 30 minutes in advance!

I knew my hopes for a jog were dashed. What a shame. So I saunter into the group fitness room, and set up my spot. 20 minutes to go.

Enter my new years resolution. It was time to meet a neighbor. No one really talks in these classes, mind you. It’s awkward. You’re sweating, you’re doing funny things with your body. There’s an unwritten rule of “strictly fitness business” in this room. But I am a risk taker.

I turned to the woman next to me and said, “Hey I’m Claire.” She smiled politely, and said hello in return. She didn’t even tell me her name! I felt pretty dumb. Still, I took a deep breath of confidence, knowing that I’d taken one step closer to my new year’s resolution.

In the middle of the class, no-name realizes that she and I are both really struggling during the 2-minute plank. She gives me an encouraging “imdyingtooitsokaywecanmakeit” look. I give her a “gladyouareacknowledgingmenowifeltakwardbefore” look in return.

Turns out no-name is actually named Lauren. Turns out she is a student teacher. She was surprised to find out after class that I am a teacher, too. She asked me where I teach. I said, oh, just a middle school out by McGavock High School. She said, “Wait, Two Rivers Middle School?!” I said yes. Whyareyousoexcited.

Turns out that is where Lauren started her student teaching last week. Right down on the 6th grade hallway… just 400 yards from my classroom.

Turns out it’s good to know your neighbors. We’re going to lunch today. Snow Day #3.