I think my battery finally wore out this week. On Monday, I literally felt like a zombie – sleepwalking my way from one hour until the next – feeling distracted, exhausted, overextended and overwhelmed. Even agitated.
After a monstrously busy and sweat drenched weekend teaching classes, running errands, and filming video content for our upcoming HIIT Yoga Teacher Training , I decided to take a huge step – backwards – I decided to forgo my usual routine and skip out on my Monday workout – no yoga, definitely no running, no real form of sweat – and when I wasn’t teaching, I decided I’d just spend some time on my ass instead. I took an actual mid-day break. Just a couple of hours where I shut everything off and sat on my ass and stared straight ahead. And while I can’t honestly say that I made the decision entirely consciously, I can safely say now that it was exactly the recharge that I didn’t even know I needed.
When we decided to open Flex & Flow just over a year ago, we knew that we were in for a wild ride. Like any small business, owning a fitness studio is a challenging and stressful undertaking. It’s a 24/7 commitment. A labor of true and committed love. A love so deep that it challenges you, awakens you and makes you feel things you never thought possible.
Before we opened our doors, there was one thing we knew for certain – owning a fitness and yoga studio isn’t exactly a sure thing. In fact, most fitness studios don’t even break even until they are at least three years in business (that’s if they succeed at all). That’s three YEARS (or likely more) where you aren’t even breaking even; where instead, you’re literally bleeding cash to stay in business. Where you’re working so hard you don’t even know which way is up. And of course, you’re working so hard for literally peanuts – or in my case, for more yoga. Everything the business earns goes towards paying for everything and everyone else. You suddenly become the unpaid intern. The janitor. The secretary. And everything else in between.
There are days where I wake up and think what’s wrong with me? Why did I do this? Who in their right mind…? And then there are really hard days when your family questions your decision or gets angry at you because you’re spending too much time away from them…
But even on the really bad days, the answer always comes to me plain and simple – I love it. I love everything about this wild ride, even the challenges that come with it. I love it for all of its beauty and its flaws. I love it for all of the joy and happiness it has provided and for every mark, scar and imprint it has left on my life – the good, the bad and everything in between.
I love providing a space that brings others so much joy and an environment that encourages love, community and instills confidence and beauty in everyone it touches. I love seeing my students faces when they try something for the first time or explore a new depth in their practice. I love seeing people connect, laugh and sometimes even cry over sweat and movement. And I love watching people transform – literally – whether on or off the mat. And most of all, I love the people, my community – the students, the teachers, our supporters – stripping down to our purest forms to come together in breath, movement, energy and sweat.
It is a true labor of love. And I think I might be addicted.
I have deep respect for all of you amazing souls who own studios (or teach at studios) and make it your duty to get up – sometimes before the sun – each and every day to nurture and build your community. A shout-out to all of you who know what it’s like to wake up sore, exhausted, and barely alive, only to dust yourself off so that you can move and inspire your students, no matter what. I pay homage to all of you who know what it’s like to sometimes forgo your own practice to find last minute subs (or be a last minute sub) for other teachers, to clean floors, wipe down sweaty mats, run errands, run the front desk, or become a secretary for everyone else’s life (oh, scheduling….my new, favorite nightmare).
Oh, the glamorous life….in stretchy pants.
Stay sweaty friends.