Bryant Johnson, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal trainer, dropped to the ground in front of her casket and performed three push-ups to honor her at the U.S. Capitol on Friday.
Johnson, who Ginsburg has called a “very important part of my life,” worked with the justice for more than 20 years. The duo became workout partners in 1999 after Ginsburg received treatment for colorectal cancer, the Associated Press reported. It was, in fact, her husband who triggered her drive to stay fit and rebuild her strength.
At the time, another judge referred Ginsberg to Johnson, an Army reservist and trainer. Since their first meeting, Ginsberg committed to working out twice a week with Johnson, and over the years, the “Notorious RBG,” who often touted the benefits of a good workout, became well-known for her exercise regime.
Her determination inspired Johnson to write a book in 2017, which details their workout plan, which included push-ups, planks, chest and shoulder presses, bicep and leg curls and many other full strength exercises.
A year later, Ginsburg’s exercise routine became a sketch for”The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” The late justice took Colbert to a gym, where they grinded through the exercises.
Throughout their relationship, there were only a few times where Johnson and Ginsburg were not able to workout. In 2004, Johnson was deployed to Kuwait for three years, and in 2009 and 2014, Ginsburg was dealing with serious health issues.
Last year, Ginsburg revealed that she did continue working out while receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer that summer. “Even in my lowest periods I couldn’t do very much, but I did what I can,” she said at the time.