Updated: Nov 8, 2018
What’s your number? Mine’s 995.
I recently signed on to my CorePower Yoga app, and after clicking on the incorrect function, I noticed that I have completed 995 classes over the course of four years. Now, I am certain this is no record, so I’m not boasting about how dedicated I am. I actually am writing this to share how grateful I am to have yoga and other boutique fitness concepts in my life. Although the calculation of monthly payments over the last four years may have allowed us to pay off more of our mortgage, the return I have received when it has come to personal growth is absolutely unmatched.
When I moved to New York City directly out of college earning an entry-level salary, it was hard to fathom incorporating the cost of boutique fitness into my daily routine. For the early half of my twenties, as a marathon runner and college athlete, I always believed if someone wanted to get in shape, all they needed was a pair of running shoes and a good attitude.
Today, I’m a member of both CorePower Yoga and Orange Theory, and I’m already signed up for the Saturday 10:45am opening of Soul Cycle Denver in a few days. So, yes - I wouldn’t undervalue my extremest-like dedication to boutique fitness, but I do believe what I have received from my investment into this industry far exceeds the cost. Here’s why.
I moved to Denver not knowing a soul four years ago, and I can honestly say that every single person who is now in my life in this city is a result of the community I have built through my boutique fitness investments. I met my husband and my best friend from Denver through a CorePower Yoga teacher, and I am now heavily integrated into both of their circles. Additionally, there is also the plethora of friendly smiles I see every single week when I attend my favorite classes. These relationships are not as tight as the bond I have with my husband and my best friend, but it is always healthy to feel like you belong amongst like-minded individuals, even if you don’t know their last name.
I’ve never been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, but as a young adult, I always had my share of mood swings. It may perhaps be the cancer in me, but I occasionally used to be very good at draining my own energy, and most-likely the energy of those around me during those times. Although frequent exercise alone can boost anyone’s mood, continuous boutique fitness attendance has without a doubt altered my perspective. Without thinking twice, I rarely ever let myself get down anymore, and I truly believe it is because of the positive affirmations from dedicated teachers & coaches I have received from well-over 1000 fitness classes in a short amount of time. When I have a negative thought, I am able to turn it into a motivation, and I cannot entirely say I would have received this return with my own simple running or fitness regiment OR without reason number 1.
3. Surprising savings & gains.
How many times a week do you order takeout because you don’t have time to cook? How many times a month can you replace a happy hour with a barre class with a close friend? How often do you tell yourself that you wish you had more time to meal prep? Whether you want to hear it or not, these are all excuses pushing your health down on the priority list.
Believe me, happy hour with my girlfriends and my husband is beyond therapeutic. But, if a few of these happy hours can be replaced with a date to a fitness studio, not only do I save money long-term, but I feel refreshed and energized the next morning too.
I began to think about this when I used to refuse to pay for fitness because I couldn’t find room in my budget, until I actually tried it out free for a month with Bikram Yoga NYC. At first, I probably attended 3 classes/week. After two weeks, I started to be more mindful about the type of foods I was putting in my body, how I was approaching my schedule and my health for that matter. I began meal prepping because I wanted more energy, and I wanted to sustain it. I therefore began to save close to 200 dollars a week eliminating multiple trips to the grocery store, a surplus of takeout transactions and substituting happy hours for cardio.
Perhaps you need to pay to gain, but in my opinion putting your health first & saving money in return makes all the cents in the world.
4. More accountability & mindfulness.
I’ve always been an early riser, but even when I wake up at 5:00am, there are mornings where I don’t step foot outside of my house until 6:30am. Since fitness classes don’t wait for you, my mornings have become far more productive, and I rarely have that anxious feeling that I’m running behind schedule.
If I sign up for a class later in the day, I’m determined to ensure I finish everything I need to accomplish prior to my workout. This in turn has allowed me to be more mindful with my day, my to-do list and how I show up for others.
5. What comparison?
When new to any studio, it’s only natural to look around to see how fit everyone else is, or feel like you need the latest pair of Wunder Unders in Dark Olive. Sure, I personally have spent a significant amount of time comparing myself to the 5’11, blonde, golden-skinned model with an instagram-worthy core, but I’ve realized it’s extremely difficult to focus on yourself, when you’re constantly worried about not measuring up to expectations that simply exist in your mind. So, not only has my investment in boutique fitness improved my overall fitness performance, but my confidence and mental health has seen a skyrocketing boost in interest.
Boutique fitness is here to stay, and I believe that is to benefit an infinite amount of people. For those who still don’t believe it’s worth it, there are so many opportunities where you can try classes out for free or receive a first month special. Maybe having 3 fitness memberships is extreme, but if you’re struggling to find justification around any investment in this area, ask yourself how incorporating one class, a new community, a shift in priorities, more accountability & confidence can benefit your life. Then multiply that by 1000. Personally, I know I’m not exactly where I want to be, but I know I’m a million miles ahead of where I was four years ago, and that’s a result of way more than what has been logged on my Garmin.