Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s trainer made a tribute to the late justice as her body lies in state at the U.S. Capitol on Friday by doing one last set of push-ups alongside the casket of his longtime client and friend.
Bryant Johnson, a records manager at the clerk’s office of the U.S. District Court by day and trainer to the Supreme Court’s top judges and justices by night, has worked with Ginsburg since 1999 after she was treated for colon cancer. According to the Washington Post, Ginsburg’s husband, Martin, who died in 2010, suggested that she work with someone to regain her strength after going through surgery and chemotherapy.
Years of two hour-long sessions per week with the Army reservist later, the justice became an inspiration to people everywhere, showing that it’s never too late to take up fitness. She told the Washington Post her workouts were “essential” to her well-being. The pair also gained widespread recognition for their workouts after Johnson authored an illustrated book titled The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong . . . and You Can Too! in 2017, which included a series of planks, squats and push-ups that Ginsburg did during the pair’s weekly 7:00 pm meetings.
In 2018, at 85 years old, Ginsburg impressed onlookers during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert when the host joined Ginsburg and Johnson for one of their workouts.
Aside from the sweat that he and Ginsburg put in at the gym, Johnson told the Washington Post that the two had developed a strong friendship throughout their years working together. “You are with this person when they are most vulnerable,” he said. “They show you their weakness, but the point is not to make them feel weak. Your job is to build them up.”
Ginsburg additionally told USA Today in 2013 that regardless of the amount of work she had throughout the day, “when it’s time to be with Bryant, everything stops and I go down to the gym.”
One week after Ginsburg died at 87 of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, Johnson continues to show his dedication to those workouts with the former justice as he dropped down to do three pushups in front of her casket.
I have never cried over push ups before...but that streak is broken— 🏳️🌈freedom of peach 🍑 (@demwitted) September 25, 2020
I'm not crying -- you're crying! RBG was a strong proponent of regular exercise and worked with her trainer for decades.— Gabrielle Lichterman 🩸 🎢 (@hormonology) September 25, 2020
This man probably extended her life and I am very grateful to him.— Amy Doghouse (@AmyDoghouse) September 25, 2020
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