Hi everyone, Ashley here!
I hope you are all well and had a good Christmas.
This is the final SMASH email of 2017 and, in keeping with the focus for December, today I will be reflecting on my own 2017...
The year started with me taking myself out of my comfort zone. Prior to 2017 I had always wanted to teach classes but had never felt comfortable enough to do so. Having worked in the fitness industry for 11 years I was concerned about what members would think if I suddenly started teaching classes. What if they were rubbish? What if people didn't come? These type of doubts raced through my mind whenever I had considered it over the years but then, at some point towards the end of 2016, I did my daily mediation on the Calm app and it ended with a well known quote by Erin Hanson...
"What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?"
This resonated and in January of this year we launched a brand new Fitness First class - Shred. This was a perfect opportunity to teach something brand new where no one had anything they could compare it to. With the help of Jamie (health and fitness manager), we launched it together and through the year Shred has become one of the most successful classes on our timetable! The confidence I gained from this lead to me utilising my Spin qualification I had received 18 months prior (and never used!) and in May I taught my first spin class - I was so nervous! Since then I have also taught at other clubs and have not been afraid to use my own personal taste in music to spin to - POP! In prior years I would have been embarrassed to use a lot of the music in my playlists but I had learnt that you attract like minded people by being yourself and staying true to what you like and enjoy! This has stayed with me all year and I will be taking that in to 2018 - don't try to please others by being something you are not. Attract your own tribe.
In January I started training for the Vitality 10k race in May that I really didn't want to do - I hated running! With Sam's help I completed my first race in May and ended up doing my first half marathon in October! My comfort zone had told me I wasn't a runner, but the race results, and the enjoyment I eventually started feeling, told me otherwise...
Sam and I grew closer as the year went on and in the summer we launched SMASH, our unique class that not only gives you the physical workout but also focuses on mental health as well. We have been so passionate about this class and have had such great feedback that we are both so grateful for. A website is coming and we will be taking the SMASH brand to the outside world, delivering our message of training your mind as much as your body - For Body, For Mind, For Life. SMASH has inspired me so much and, when I reflect on what we have achieved in just 6 months, I know we are going to have an amazing 2018 It was also yet further proof that amazing people continue to come in to your life - Sam not only inspires me but has also become one of my best friends. People come and go, but you always know who will stick around for the long ride and I am very grateful for the amazing best friends I have.
My final reflection is obviously marrying Simon! The 5th December was the most incredible day of my life and when I reflect on that day, and all the love and support we received from so many people, it makes me smile and feel gratitude like I have never felt before - I am very lucky to have him.
2017 was the best year of my life and I truly believe it all started from taking that one small step out of the comfort circle I loved so much. Taking these steps are not always easy - teaching a class was a step I had been thinking about for years - but one small step leads to another, which can lead to another, which helps you learn and grow and know what, and who, matters to you most. We are all on our own journey but I encourage you with all of my heart to take that step. Mistakes/downfalls/bad times (call them what you want!) are always a real risk and bound to happen at some point. Sam and I have experienced many of those in the past but mindfulness has taught us that, although life will throw some punches at you, it will give you as many, if not more, High 5's...
What have you got to lose? The most important thing is that you tried. Sometimes you will fall. Sometimes you will fly.
In 2018 I promise to fly higher than ever before.
Sam & Ashley
For Body For Mind For Life