When I moved to New York four years ago to pursue my acting career, I was excited beyond words to finally chase my big dream in the city where dreams come true. My first apartment, first slice of pizza, first big city date, and first time getting lost on the subway were all both memorable and RAD Experiences (shameless plug). But the day I auditioned to teach my first New York city group fitness class -that “first” by far has made the deepest imprint on my heart.
Now, I was used to auditioning. For roles that required a bit of wit coupled with an ability to handle Shakespearean text that is. Used to auditioning for group fitness? Not so much. In both Atlanta, GA and Austin, TX I was hired as a group fitness instructor by recommendations and great interviewing skills combined, so when I had to strut my fitness stuff in the city of lights I was a tad bit nervous. But, I managed to get my RAD self together and was hired on the spot at Bank of America South Tower in the Financial District of New York city. This gym was managed by a company called Plus One (a company I had worked almost 2 years for in Atlanta) and they were glad that my “semi-southern-sweaty-self” had decided to become a “city girl.” I was glad too and immediately accepted my first class!
I showed up the following Monday night crunk as ever and the members were so nice and welcoming towards me that I instantly knew what people meant when they said they “fell in love at first sweat…or is it sight?!” lol And for four straight years yall they forgave me when I rushed in late because I didn’t know the C train was slower than the 2/3, they high fived me whenever their bodies did what their minds thought they couldn’t, and they believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I loved every second of our Monday night love affair, so much so that even when my schedule got cray cray and I considered giving them up I simply could not. Some things as my dad would say are “matters of the heart.” They were my first loves and their loyalty was unconditional.
So when rumors started swirling around about 6 months ago that the gym was being bought out and closing, we were all like “what are we going to do?!” They were worried about their RAD workouts and I was worried about the inspiration they consistently provided week to week. We didn’t know “when” that closing day would be…but we did know that it would be sooner rather than later. So fast forward to the future. On this past Friday when I was subbing a class at BofA (for the RAD lady who actually auditioned me and handed my first loves 4 years ago…ironic right?!) the general manager told me that they got the notice…the gym would be closing after the fourth of July…
I was speechless. I was sad. But most of all, I was grateful. All things come to an end…even good things. The unbelievably RAD members of Bank of America South Tower have loved on me like no other members ever have. They told me I was great when I thought I was just “good.” They required more of me when I just clocked in and out so I could pay my bills in between acting gigs. They pushed me when all along I thought I was pushing them. RAD Experience today is truly the product of the faith of my “first loves.” Because each and every one of you believed I could…I did…and I am. Thank you!
(wipes away tears)
Monday’s will never be the same. I will honestly probably be forced to fill my Monday nights with therapy. P.S. Thank God I have a new therapist named Mrs. NYC Marathon Training…(yall walked right into that one-inside joke)
Anywho… “first loves” I would like to leave you with these final words: Until the next time we sweat together…whether it be face to face or via a screen (wink wink) remember “Your body loves this!!!” Now go forth and be RAD.