May 11th, birthday gratitude entry:
I never started out thinking I’d be a personal trainer. Nopenopenope. Not athletic in high school. And not athletic now. Oh sure, I run. I lift weights. I do some gym time. But I don’t have that athletic edge. It’s just not in my genes. Or my heart.
Here I am. I just finished my 25th year of owning my own personal fitness training business in the Chautauqua County area. I’ve had the privilege of meeting hundreds, maybe thousands… hearing stories, tenderly holding space, sometimes kicking butt, often in awe of the strength of both the physical and emotional/mental bodies. People’s capacity for Glory, for enduring, for coming through… just so encouraging to me! No wonder I’ve kept at it all these years. The vibration of Love, of perseverance, of faith… has been most healing to me, to us.
“Ya know, if you’d tie your shoes, you’d probably be pretty good at this,” said my very first fitness instructor (Freddy Korzenski.) I was 20, in college, and asked to join in on some kinda exercise class that combined grapevines (what the hell were those?) and music (okay, I’m in.) I’d tossed on a pair of sneaks sans tying them and hustled it to the Y on Central Avenue. Class One, I was hooked. All. The. Way.
I struggled with anxiety – gosh, even twice taken to the ER by my college suite mates who thought I was dying, only to have the Attending say, “it’s a classic panic attack… she needs to deal with her stress better.” And so…
I would enter exercise class in a low-vibe generalized anxiety and exit one hour later higher than a kite. Sign me the heck up!
It wasn’t long after that that I got married, started a family. Once the babes starting arriving, I preferred to stay home if at all possible and so took classes on fitness training and opened my own place. It was called Fitness Edge in Dunkirk. Any y’all remember? Good times! A bunch of moms getting together and each one taking a turn at watching all the children while the others’ got their sweat on. Good times indeed.
Moved to Fredonia and opened up shop here. By then, I’d started picking up on the energies of everything and the energy I gained from working out. Named my new place “Energie.” I became “Energiegal.” Though I downsized as the children needed more of my time, I did work out of my barn and recently opened up a small studio in the village of Fredonia. It’s been a good life, meeting so many souls, learning and growing together.
We’ve attended each other’s weddings, graduations, birthday parties; we’ve buried siblings and parents; we’ve adopted pets and adapted to children leaving the nest; we’ve walked through menopause, hysterectomies, cancers, and brain tumors; we’ve encouraged each other through the storms of factories closing, children rebelling, relationships morphing, and careers ending; we share stories, pictures, opinions, experiences, tears, and giggles. Currently, we span ages 19 to 68. We’re a motley crew to be sure – but we take care of each other, and we do it well!
Energie is much less a business and much more an extended family, a Tribe of those bound together by Love. The Tribe has ebbed and flowed, people coming and going as their journey deemed. Today, here we are:
Cath & Bob: wife and husband duo, possibly undercover superheroes
Robin: definitely a superhero but I swore I wouldn’t tell a soul so keep it on the DL
Laurie: “she don’t know she’s beautiful” – inside AND out
Michele: “Mama” and my Sicilian sister
Linda M: my older sister by exactly ten years, gives me great hope
Beth: wise, serious, passionate, altogether freaking amazing
Teri: sweetest gal around
Sue: uses the heaviest weights in the house – mmmhmmmm
Lisa: tender and sweet with a brave badassery that is gorgeous on her
Kelly: hilarious AND smart (like, who gets both?…)
Amy: the incarnation of Love, and she’s superduper smart
Barbara: intelligent, learned, yet open to being taught – such a yummy mix
Joanne: brings me gifts all the time so she’s a forever bestie
Rose: tender listener, great advice-giver
Marissa: award winning friend, true-blue what ya see is what ya get
Col: deep AND high vibin’… a joy
Linda: aunt extraordinaire
And then there is my group class—
Margie: the humor she brings keeps us happy
Jen: the stories – ya just can’t make this shit up (we await the book haha)
Sara: she’s our “baby” (at 26) and we couldn’t love this girl more if she were our own
Trish: between her and Jennifer, we’re blessed big time by their sweet Love (and both of them can swear like sailors, there’s thaaaaaat)
Life has its twists and turns, and you never quite know sometimes where you’ll end up. Who could have predicted that Freddy’s words to me – tie your shoes, girl ‘cause you got some kinda gift for this – would have produced THIS.
Here’s our song. Life flies by. I reminisce about the many amazing, lovely souls I’ve been honored to hang with, if even just a short time. Our Tribe is vital to our living, Sacred Ones. We are so very VERY important to each other! Honor those in your Tribe. We are divine energies created to vibe within a group. Life with your Tribe is better: it tastes awesome (like cookies, fo sho), it feels soft (like hugs), it sounds hilarious (like gobs of laughter), it is tender (like tears gently wiped off), it is adventurous (like “let’s go get all muddy in this race and call it fun!”), it is lots of encouragement (like pup crawls and bike-a-thons, running races and “you are freaking amazing!”)
I had a Spanish teacher in high school whose last words to us at the end of every class were “life is a struggle!” And there’s truth in this, isn’t there? Can we deny the difficulties? Nah. BUT there is our Tribe who walks beside us, and we remember that we are not alone. We are heard, we are cared for, cared about, and we are loved.
And this makes life worth the living after all.
Cath & Bob, Robin, Laurie, Michele, Linda M., Beth, Teri, Sue, Lisa, Kelly, Amy, Barbara, Joanne, Rose, Marissa, Col, and Linda, Margie, Jennifer, Sara, Trish, I love you all absolutely incredibly lots.
You. Complete. Me.
Much love & hope,