the year of the woman

by MrsFatass on January 2, 2015

Photo Jan 02, 7 07 53 AM

“Is it only for women?”

Every day, someone asks me that. We talked about it a lot before we opened, whether or not we would market exclusively to women. I was hesitant in the beginning, because while I was sure there would be people who would seek us out because of that, I wondered about the potential clients who would NOT come specifically BECAUSE of that.

Because, come on, let’s be serious. Women can be tough. We can be judgmental and even catty and sometimes when we are feeling insecure we inadvertently make somebody else feel even worse. And I was just concerned that if we sold to hard the “women only” message, we would lose the people who heard that and had flashbacks to some heartbreaking middle school mean girl scenario and I just didn’t want that to be part of the marketing plan.

So I voted to keep things coed.

As it turns out, 18 months later, we are mostly women. And it’s pretty amazing because somehow we were able to create the atmosphere we dreamed of before opening, where it would be judgment free and supportive and team-based. And lo and behold, after all of these months we are seeing these women form bonds that extend past the studio, past our races or our charity outings, past sweaty workout clothes and pony tails and into the rest of our lives. Friendships happen right before my eyes.

I’ve never been a particularly lonely person, and even though I can be entirely socially awkward, I’ve still managed to have very good friends in my life. And I say ‘lucky’ because while I have had people who were good to me, I haven’t always great at reciprocating. I get really focused on what’s in front of me, and forget to be thoughtful, to remember birthdays or anniversaries, or to be that thread that holds a friendship together. So I’ve been thankful to have people in my life who can forgive that, who will have those “pick up right where we left off” kind of friendships with me after I’ve fallen off the grid for a while.

I don’t know if it’s being in my forties now, or if it’s a result of my Positivity Pact of 2014, or if it’s the fact that I’m potentially pre-menopausal, but I have become very sentimental. Or maybe I already was sentimental and now I’m just more comfortable letting it show. That’s probably more truthful. I’m more comfortable with the unpretty, and I want to witness the hard stuff along with the laughs. And once again I realize I’m very lucky, because as this thing inside me shifts and I want friendships that are complex and messy and real, I look around and once again find myself surrounded.

2014 was the year I fell in love with the women in my life. At work I see them lifting each other up. High fives and honest, celebratory cheers. I see the new Facebook connections and how their faces start showing up in each other’s photos. I see them talking more and more in between classes and figuring out the six degrees that connect them and I hear them inviting even MORE friends to come to the studio. “I just KNOW she can do it”, “I just know she’d love it here but she’s nervous,” or “she needs to take some time for herself.”

And in my own personal life I am in love with the women who let me bring them dinner, who will celebrate their birthdays with me, who will come over without calling first and who will hang out in their yoga pants. I love how we don’t have to be embarrassed and can laugh both AT and WITH and how our husbands can have a good time together too. I’m in love with how we can be different but still find strong common bonds, how we can disagree but it doesn’t have to matter, how uninterested in perfection we all are but how we still challenge each other to do our best. I like knowing their mothers and their sisters and talking about buying a place together at the beach and having plans, like way out in the future, because we all know that we’re connected for always.

And I love my from-a distance friends. I love those women who I see once a year – or maybe not even – who still make me feel like a force in their lives, and I love the women who were once every day friends who are now like once every five year friends but it isn’t any different because while our faces or our hair or our geography may have changed, our hearts and our connections are still the same.

Photo Jan 02, 9 46 04 AM  Photo Jan 02, 10 41 13 AMPhoto Jan 02, 10 38 56 AM

And I love the little girls who are our women in training.

Photo Jan 02, 10 57 47 AM

2014 was my year of the woman. I’ve got my circle of them and I am going to hold on.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly @ No Thanks to Cake January 4, 2015 at 4:09 pm

OMG… My face made the “Year of the Woman” post… I love that! I just have to tell you, Sue. It always brings a smile to my face when I see a new post pop up in my reader from you, and this one really hit home. I too am honored to have a special group of women in my life that help inspire me to do tremendous things! Thank for being one of them, my dear! xoxo

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CARLA January 5, 2015 at 5:15 am

((((OPENS ARMS)))))

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Mary January 5, 2015 at 10:45 am

Wow Sue – isn’t it the truth…? It’s the women in our lives who really help to define who and what we are. Your tribe sounds marvelously accomplished, bright, and just appropriately dysfunctional. Kudos – you’re a very blessed woman!

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Thea @ It's Me Vs. Me January 8, 2015 at 6:42 am

I’m stealing part of your post. Fair warning.

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