Written by Coach Ren
There is nothing like cutting thick black mats with an exacto knife to bring me back to when we opened the first Strive & Uplift facility in January of 2017. We expanded the movement space in the Ballard gym last week, and as I was sawing away (trying to be mindful of the chalk line I was following), I was thinking back to how great it felt to finally be creating a space where people could move together.
The pandemic changed our experience of and connection to spaces. Instead of having one large space to curate intentionally, we’ve ended up with several smaller spaces and virtual options that we can use to connect with our community. It’s hard to remember that I was so nervous about classes on Zoom – how they would feel, would we be able to effectively coach, would we still be connected to each other? And here I am now, taking three of our virtual classes weekly, and feeling them as such an important touchstone for my body and brain. My Tuesdays with Liz, yoga with Dominique, my Pilates with Becca…and workouts at my pole studio, with a different awesome community! Regular karaoke meetups with friends and working at the food bank give me touch points during my week, making it easier for me to tune in to what I want and need while staying connected to people I care about and the world in general. These spaces (both virtual and in person) allow us to continue to nurture and participate in community even during these intense last couple years.
I was watching a TikTok video the other day from one of my favorite creators, Imani Barbarin. Among other things, in this video she points out that we have all lived through an enormous amount of collective trauma in the last few years, which affects us in every facet of our lives. One thing I take from that is that this trauma makes it difficult for us to engage with ourselves and each other. Finding spaces where we feel supported and can share energy with cool people is part of how we start recovering and feeling strong again.
If you’re interested in joining our Squad either in-person or virtual, you have a lot of options! Check out our Locations to learn more about each space and the services we offer there!