It's been six years.
Six long, sweaty, hard years. Six years of pain and strain and hardship, as well as six years of some fun and laughter.
And now we're breaking up.
Yep. After Saturday, Pinochet and I will be seeing each other no more. Relationship over. Gone. Done. Broken up. Finito.
I'm trying not to think about it.
This has been one of the most formative, evolving, nurturing, live-changing relationships I've ever had. As Pinochet is leaving the gym on Saturday, I will not be seeing him any more. I don't that that this is the end of our friendship - I'm sure we'll be seeing each other occasionally on a social level. You don't build up a relationship over a number of years and lose total contact.
All of this is a bit of a shock to the system. Pinochet has been my touchstone when it comes to exercise for nearly six years. He's the person who's been constantly whipping my butt, helping to build be up from a lazy, occasionally smoking, heavier drinking sloth to something of a semi-Amazonian gym junkie. I've gone from detesting the gym to feeling that life isn't complete without it. I've managed to take up running, know that with training I can run a half marathon distance, I know how to train my body to look and feel good - and I've finally twigged to the fact that exercise is a main factor in keeping colds, flu and depression at bay.
He's also facilitated training in a way that's let me make friends and feel a part of a community. The gym is not just a place to get hot and sweaty. It's where I go to recharge and think, hang out with friends, get ideas, de-stress.. . so many things the gym provides me.
And now, my weekly touchstone won't be there. In the early days he was half the reason I went regularly - as I found if I went a couple of times a week, the sessions with him didn't hurt so much at first.
I still remember my first session with him all those years ago. I thought I did well - and I could barely walk for the next few days, such was the state of my muscles after. Sitting down was agony. My back felt like it was made of concrete. A few years on and I know it's been a good session when I know that a few muscles are groaning a bit.
So now what? What is to come of me and personal training? Do I need a personal trainer? Will I get my Thursday night's back?
I'm considering this at the moment. There are a few great trainers at the gym. One guy I've seen on occasion is a brilliant boxing coach. There is another with the finest set of back muscles I've ever seen who might be good for toning. Another, who I refer to as Ivor the Soft, could be the ticket as he's great at all round coaching, despite my teasing moniker.
But for the moment, I will silently mourn for a bit. Then I will find a new whip master to put me at their beck and call. I like having somebody tell me what to do for a few hours a week. It's nice to be pummeled into physical submission on a regular basis by somebody - it helps to extend your boundaries - and I need this.
The most important man in my life is walking out on me. I know he's doing this for so many good reasons - his life is moving in other directions. He wants to be around more for his young daughter - and he's got a day job which is challenging him. All perfectly valid reasons to be leaving his personal training clients.
Still, it feels like I'm about to go through a rather rugged break-up.
I'm allowed to be a little sad.