Being active has been a way of life for me since I was a kid. From team sports to running and many things in between, I love the challenge and achievement athletic adventures provide to me. For many years running has given me escape, meditation, limit pushes, and points of pride.
When in the last few months I fell prey to a running injury I decided it was time to diversify my activities and reacquaint myself with different kinds of movement. After coming to MISFITSTUDIO sporadically during the last two years, I chose to join the most recent 30-day Challenge.
As soon as I signed up, I was filled with excitement, trepidation, questions, and fear. Could I do the full 30 classes? What if I couldn’t do some of the sequences? How would I know if I’m doing it right? Would I feel as good as I did when I was running? I had no idea at the beginning of the challenge how much I would change – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
In just one month. I'm not sure I can express my gratitude in words because language cannot capture the feelings I'm filled with after doing the 30-day challenge.
But, here goes my best attempt…
Learning to love my body again. If I’m being honest, I have a love/hate relationship with my body. I struggle to love it while it’s easy to hate some superficial things. I have found myself pulling at my shirt if I’m in an “unflattering” position or trying to hide certain parts of my body. But through trying different types of classes, seeing multiple teachers, and practicing alongside many participants, MISFITSTUDIO quickly helped me see my body in a new light. No more pulling. No hiding. Instead loving the different shapes, appreciating my breath, my heart, and oh my god the synovial fluid in my joints.
Trusting my muscles. While I love trying new things, I tend to have to push myself into them. Sometimes my hesitation comes from wondering if I could do the new thing or maybe I couldn’t do it well. In the MISFITSTUDIO classes, I kept hearing “it doesn’t matter what this looks like, just do the movement and get in the moment”. This is a great mantra in general and it totally worked for me in the classes. I was surprised regularly that I could, in fact, do the movement or stretch a little further or do yet another round of hip raises.
Embracing my more spiritual side. I love astrology and thinking about my connection to the universe. Having weekly reminders of what is happening in the planets and stars brought an extra level of awareness. My emotions. My actions. My feelings of connectedness (or lack thereof). While my spiritual side is one component of my complex makeup, I hadn’t given it enough thought or attention in the last few years. MISFITSTUDIO reminded me that being intentional about my spirituality is important.
Being part of a community. In most new places, I ask myself if I belong. Sometimes it’s an immediate yes. Sometimes not. This question didn’t really even arise when I started coming to the studio regularly. I wanted to be there to bask in the energy of the people around me and never once questioned my place. The respect, the dried flowers, the copper glasses, the smiles, the high fives, the laughter, and the intense acknowledgement of everyone’s existence create an environment I want to feel a part of – and do.
Feeling inspired and motivated. The teachers and staff set a high bar of athleticism, positivity, and acceptance. In class and out, they consistently make me want to be and to do better. I had the honour and privilege of taking classes with Amber, Lindsay, Rachel, Natalie, Lorena, Robyn, Kathryn, Kat, Rayisa, and Katelyn. Each one of these teachers contributes to the sheer amazingness that is MISFITSTUDIO. Each one brings a different flare to the classes. My heart warmed when Amber knew my name in Get Lifted. I tried harder when Lindsay smiled at me during a particularly difficult sequence in Get Cheeky. I wanted to scream when Rachel got us into another rep of mountain climbers instead of child's pose in Get Shifted. I laughed and joined in when Katelyn gave it an extra 10% at Get Physical. I felt an intense release when Natalie and Lorena bathed us in sound at Be Still.
I will say these 30 days have changed my life. Though I will miss getting a star after each class, I will enjoy recognizing myself for myself from here on out. I am seriously, tremendously grateful to the MISFIT GANG.
– By Emma Jowett