My American Happy Place

Two months. I feel like I should re-introduce myself or at least apologize. So, hello again and I’m sorry I dropped you like a sack of potatoes when I left Ukraine, which would probably be really offensive in Ukraine since potatoes are a staple. Hope you can forgive me. Pretty please?

What can I say except I have avoided you because:
a) I don’t have any answers to any of the questions you probably have and
b) it freaks me out that I don’t have any answers.

My heart and mind are still reeling with a mix of emotions about this transition as I’m attempting, in general, to grieve the passing of one season and embrace a new one.

So, I did something very un-Stephanie like. 

I joined a fitness studio.

Trio fitnessNow, if you know me really well then your jaw just dropped and you think I am going through some sort of crisis (which is probably accurate). I’m even signed up for my first 5k this weekend.

One of the biggest reasons for my departure from the field wasn’t because of the protests and political upheaval  currently in Ukraine, but because for the past year I have been constantly sick in some form and finally had to admit that I needed to step away.

Returning home I inquired about a couple of gyms and had almost talked myself out of such foolishness. Then I discovered a workout called POUND: Rockout Workoutâ„¢, which uses drum sticks and the percussionist in me was like “YES PLEASE!!!”.  After a search that I assumed would be pointless, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a place nearby that offers it.

My inquiry was met with a quick response and so the decision was made to talk my best friend into checking it out with me. Because that’s what best friends do. You laugh together. You cry together. You support each other’s insanity.

I decided to also test the waters and go to a BodyFlowâ„¢ class at lunch time, reasoning that it would be fewer people to embarrass myself in front of and I could get a feel for the place and possibly run away never to be seen again.

I think I fell in love within the first 10 minutes as the instructor and class members joked and made small talk. There was laughter. There was sarcasm. It felt like home immediately. So I joined even before I took the POUNDâ„¢ class.

Trio Fitness has become my happy place since returning to North Carolina. It is obvious that the owners, Sue and Samantha, are invested in the well-being of their members and they are just a whole lot of awesome sassiness and fun.

It has been a breath of fresh air. Somewhere to release the stress and all those other crazy pent up emotions that I will mostly blame on Vladimir Putin. Somewhere that I am not responsible or in charge and free of all the expectations that come with many other places I know and love.

I like places where people are real, and that has been my experience at Trio. It isn’t about being super skinny, which our culture places an unrealistic standard as your key to happiness and success, but it’s about becoming a healthier person. I can tell in the last few weeks that it has made a difference.

Next week, I head out to California to spend some time with the Magnet family, my contacts during my time in Berlin, Germany on the World Race in 2009. I’m looking forward to the time there and sorting out some things so that hopefully I can answer a few of those questions for both you and for me, but I am going to miss my happy place at Trio.