The key is to keep company with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.Epictetus
Fitness has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was in grad school at West Virginia University, I reached a point that I felt a strong desire to be more and do more in the health and fitness industry with the knowledge I had and talents I was blessed with. I took a leap of faith to pursue a passion of mine and became a certified group fitness instructor on the side. The thought of leading others in a group setting was inspiring yet intimidating at the same time. I taught barre and body pump at a studio in my college town and at a gym in my hometown of Bridgeport, WV. After getting past the nerves and anxiousness of my first few classes, I began to realize this opportunity became much more than just a class to teach. These classes gave me a sense of community and became a place for me to connect with, encourage, and inspire other motivated and like-minded women that shared a passion for bettering themselves both physically and mentally.
During one of my 3 month summer rotations when I was placed back in my hometown, I taught a 6 a.m. workout class at Main Street Fitness. Though I met and connected with many clients in the years that I taught, one early morning I connected with a client that quickly blossomed into a friendship I treasure dear. After that 6 a.m. class, Elayna approached me and introduced herself. She immediately came off as the kind of person I felt like I’ve known all my life. In that short conversation, we found that we had so much in common from our passions, perspectives, and stages of life we were in. She had a joy-filled and energetic spirit that was contagious– she was a Godsend into my life.
We made the connection that our boyfriends at the time (now husbands) knew each other. We exchanged numbers and planned double dates with our men shortly following our initial encounter. We went from workout classes + double dates + coffee chats to wedding planning and standing by each other’s side as bridesmaids 2 years later. This friendship has been like a gift that keeps on giving. She’s a friend that motivates and inspires while keeping me laughing with her quick-wit along the way. In her, I found a life-giving friendship and a soul sister.
To move forward in life and in relationships:
- Take the leap of faith & follow your passions. You never know what doors God might open or who He will place in your path.
- Your vibe attracts your tribe—smile often, express gratitude, & take care of your health!
- Be intentional about cultivating meaningful friendships.