The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week sparked an influx of tributes from people all over the world who admired her dedication to the law and gender equality. Today, as the casket of the Supreme Court justice lay in repose in the National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C., she was commemorated in a very different, but equally appropriate way.
Bryant Johnson, who was Ginsburg’s personal trainer and friend for more than 20 years, just honored her by dropping and performing a set of three pushups in front of the casket in Statuary Hall.
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 25, 2020
Johnson’s pushup tribute to Ginsburg was captured on CSPAN, and has been praised on social media as an unconventional, yet entirely fitting, way to eulogize a woman who was so well-known for taking her fitness as seriously as her career. Ginsburg famously worked out twice a week well into her 80s—even last year, when she had broken her ribs and was undergoing cancer treatment.
Johnson, a Sergeant First Class in the Army Reserves and a U.S. District Clerk court, is also the creator of Ginsburg’s infamously grueling fitness regime, and even wrote a book on it: The RBG Workout... How She Stays Strong, and How You Can Too! In a 2018 interview with the Seattle Times, Johnson even joked that the working title for the book was How I Saved the Country One Pushup at a Time, in reference to Ginsburg’s precarious status as a minority left-leaning seat on the Supreme Court.
Amid the homages being paid to Ginsburg from lawmakers, politicians, journalists and other pundits, Johnson’s wordless salute may rank among the most meaningful.
“While it might be a bit unorthodox, it’s truly fitting of her strength and the admiration people have for her,” wrote one commenter on Twitter.
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