Two of my admirers, Tom and Don, work at the West Coast Fitness Gym in San Francisco. Tom owns the gym and Don is his assistant. Both of them are famous powerlifting coaches. Anyway, I visited their gym during my trip to California. Don had been asking the San Francisco disciples exactly when I would come and he happened to be sitting in his car outside the gym on the day I went.
When I saw Don, I said in a joking manner, “I must be sincere with you. I really do not like weightlifting at all. I have only taken it up because I cannot run. So please understand that I am a very bad student. I am listening to your coaching, but I may not follow it. Still, I am grateful to you for your advice.”
Don said, “We have a belief in the weightlifting industry that any time you offer advice, even if the student does not follow it, as long as the student eventually makes progress, the coach can claim the credit. So even if you never use my advice again, if you can continue to make more and more progress, I will always be able to say that I offered you advice.”
I laughed and laughed. Then we spent an hour together in the gym taking exercise. I was admiring his muscles like anything.
Half an hour after I left the gym, I asked Sumati to call Don and invite him to our concert that night. I told her that Don only had to stay for ten minutes and I wanted him to sit in the front row. Don said that he was planning to go anyway and he wanted to stay for the whole concert.
So Don came to the concert and stayed to the very end.
— September 1985