a story from you


I’ve only seen the inboxes of a handful of businesses, but I’m pretty sure the emails I receive on a daily basis are unlike any other. I imagine the reason for this is because I share so much of me, it allows you to open up and share you. I love this btw – please never stop.

Here is a recent message that inspired me. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did.

Client J:

Hey Bethany. I went to your Monday night class last week at Bandier in SoHo with my sister. She had been trying to convince me to check you out for months now, and I’m glad I got to meet you. Your class and your site have touched me.

I am generally a very active person but have struggled a lot with anorexia for years and that’s made my relationship with food and exercise pretty complicated. This past year I’ve gained 50lbs from medication side effects —I have bipolar disorder— and have had a very difficult time exercising in public. There are people in my life aren’t very understanding and saw me go from a very “successful” and “fit” person to a “troubled” and “curvy” girl. To say the least, self-esteem and sense of control has gone down the gutter.

This is a very long-winded explanation. Do people often spill their guts to you?

Here is the point I am trying to get to: Going to your class last week had a very mixed effect. Your energy is amazing, and I loved the movements in the class. Being half naked around a lot of very skinny people was not so fun, admittedly. I think it was important to feel uncomfortable, though. That’s part of the stigma, and I need to start accepting and loving myself and others for who we are. Yours was the first class I’ve ever been to where the energy only had to do with joy and togetherness. There were no expectations. No judgments coming from you. Just encouragement. And a lot of dancing apparently.

I very happily downloaded your app and have had a great experience with it so far. I’ve been reading the blog posts and everyone’s stories. It’s been so helpful and given me a lot of hope.

I hope I’ll be able to join a class again sometime soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to thank you for shining a light into a dark place for me.

My response:

Of course I remember you. It’s funny, I couldn’t tell why I felt so connected to you in class but now I understand. Admittedly, I shed some tears reading your email. I enjoy fitness, but I don’t see that as what I actually do. It’s a deeper connection, it should be a place you can go to love on you. When I experienced fitness in the past it was never a sanctuary, it was a torture chamber. I worked out to beat my body into a shape I thought was perfect, and the fucked up thing is I’m already a small person. I realized we all have a skewed way of thinking about our shape and I just wanted to create a place where we can change that. Hearing you repeat my mission back to me is music to my ears.

I’m sure what you have gone through with weight fluctuation has been really tough. Especially the shifted point-of-view from friends, family and society. I hope you smile to know that I was glowing inside when you finished class in just your sports bra. I genuinely thought, she looks great, this is my kind of client – works hard, listens and gets a little naked. And also, bandier can be an intimidating place. They partner with modeling agencies which is why you see so many leggy ladies, but you know what? Those leggy ladies have insecurities too and come back often because they are filling up on that same feeling you are. The reality is, we’re all the same.

People do often spill their guts to me and often, I spill right back. It helps me heal. So I suppose in that way, we heal each other. Enjoy the app and let me know if you need anything. And of course, would love to have you in class again soon xx


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