Over the last two and a half years, 212 has given me a powerful foundation to explore who I am, what I want, and what I'm capable of.
Health and fitness has always been important to me, but I reached a point where there was a disconnect between the way I wanted to live my life and the way I was actually doing it. I was working too many hours, not moving as much as I wanted or needed, and ending my days drained and distracted. I found myself seeking a shift – in patterns, in priorities, and in perspective – which is when I found my way to 212.
While I was slightly terrified the first time I walked through the door, I quickly felt welcomed and at home. At the same time I realized that, being new, I was going to be the absolute worst at everything for awhile, which was completely liberating – the only option was getting better!
I’d always gravitated toward more individual fitness activities – I swam competitively into middle school, played on my high school tennis team, and started doing a bit of weight training in college. Other than years of yoga and pilates (and one unfortunate step aerobics class in the 90s!), I'd never done group fitness classes before – and I honestly wasn’t sure I’d like it. I was totally wrong. I found out I loved the energy, the community, and also just being told what to do and doing it. (That last part is only true at 212!)
From the very beginning, 212 has been a catalyst for making big decisions and life changes. Shortly after starting, I decided to leave my job of 13 years for an amazing adventure – working and studying sustainability on an organic farm in Hawaii (where I lived in a tent in a macadamia nut orchard!). It was absolutely rejuvenating, and one of the best and most intuitive decisions I’ve ever made. When I returned and faced figuring out “now what?,” daily visits to 212 gave me a foundation and energized me as I experimented and envisioned next steps. And then, when I started a new job last year, I knew how important it was to maintain the balance I had finally found, and to ensure my 212 time remained a priority. (It has!)
As I got acclimated and grew stronger, I kept wanting to push myself in new ways, so I've done most of the challenges over the past two years – I’m now on my 7th! Each challenge has served as a springboard for exploring my strengths and habits and learning more about myself...
I've always enjoyed pushing myself physically, and I especially thrive on challenges, but my time at 212 has helped me understand that in new ways. It's shown me a level of focus and tenacity that has surprised me. I've never intentionally set and achieved goals – and recovered from setbacks – in quite the way I have at 212. I'm more disciplined than I thought I could be.
I’m often amazed by things I couldn't do a few years ago that I now do with ease, or the things I hated at first that now aren't quite so bad. (Yes, the rumors are true – I actually like burpees!)
At the same time, I continue to learn my limits, and the importance of rest and recovery. (This one is a work in progress…)
As a mostly vegetarian for almost 25 years, I've had an ongoing interest in food and nutrition. Additionally, I have a lot of strong personal/environmental values around food: minimally processed, minimally packaged, and as local, seasonal and sustainable as possible. Over time, as I needed more protein, I’ve had to figure out how to do that in a way that aligns with these values.
I’ve developed much better self awareness about how things like stress and sleep affect the way I feel. I’m way more in tune with my body and what it needs. I’ve learned healthier approaches for managing stress and anxiety, as opposed to masking or distracting from it.
Throughout my time at 212, I’ve also been thinking deeply about how I want to live my life. I’ve been intentionally slowing down, simplifying, clarifying what matters, removing distractions, and seeking closer alignment between my intentions and actions, further addressing the disconnect I was feeling a few years ago. It's evolving but I’m continually becoming a truer version of myself. I feel really good about where I am right now, and I’m excited to see what’s next – what new adventures (and challenges!) lie ahead.
The strength, energy, confidence, and sense of self that I cultivate at 212 every day is helping me move closer and closer to the person I want to be, and I couldn't be more grateful to the incredible, committed staff and enthusiastic members for making it such an inspiring and playful place. I truly can't imagine my life without it.