I have spent well over two decades working in the world of fitness. At times, the fitness world was my only source of friends and the people I worked with—fellow instructors and participants—became like a family. Even though I never felt like I fit in, I found comfort through sharing my talents as a fitness instructor—it was something that I was good at and something that made a difference in people's lives. Teaching fitness classes also saved my life on more than one occasion and helped keep me motivated to keep my body moving while working toward my career as a professor (which requires many long hours of sitting!).
At first, the world of fitness was a safe box where there were rules and expectations that made me feel safe to move and to lead groups of participants. We step up and down on our steps executing familiar moves, which is a kind of metaphor for American fitness more generally. I could be creative within this box of expectations, but I found it increasingly difficult to play by the rules. After completing my JourneyDance™ training at the end of April in 2022, I knew I had outgrown this fitness box and all I wanted to do was teach yoga and JourneyDance. The facility where I taught accommodated my new passion, but there was not a lot of room for me on the schedule and what I was teaching was unfamiliar and scary to many of the people who took the safe, reliable "manufactured fitness" programs.
I started looking for new spaces, but I kept hitting brick walls. Although I had dreamed for years about having my own space and doing my own thing, I never thought that it could be a reality. I have a very full-time job and I offer a lot of free classes and programs; it has worked pretty well this way for many years. . . and space was just a dream until I saw the writing on the window across the street after a massage appointment. Less than two weeks later I found myself signing a lease and starting a business—two things I never thought I would do. But here I am.
And this space has grown a new dream, a vision for The Spiral Goddess Collective, a Center for Mind/Body Movement—a place to teach my style of yoga and JourneyDance™. But not just to teach some classes, to also imagine a different way of approaching "fitness"—a way that resonates with me, but is largely unavailable in other spaces. I imagine this space—the 4th floor of 16 State Street in the Clark Building—to be a space of possibility, transformation, and maybe even a revolution in how people approach "fitness" in Bangor. I dream big and I invite you to do the same.