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Hailing from Mississippi my family tree is full of nuts. But if you push past the dense foliage my distant lineage also includes Samuel Clemens [aka Mark Twain]. Cousin Twain also happens to be author of my favorite quote... “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” I couldn’t agree more. So much that divides us could be put to rest with a hearty dose of humility and airfare.
Some would say my professional fate was determined the day Ms. Hayes, my 7th grade teacher, performed a “Handwriting Analysis” of our entire class. As each student would write their name on the chalkboard Mrs. Hayes would proclaim “This is the autograph of a great healer! You will be a physician!” and “This is the signature of an advocate for the weak and weary. You will be a great attorney!” and, “Here is the script of an innovator. You will be a scientist!” So, when I went up and wrote my name with great precision and care [which is what one does to ensure a financially secure and promising career] and stood back awaiting my doctor, lawyer, great thing pronouncement…Ms. Hayes declared “This…this is the handwriting of a woman who will go to the spa!” My husband believes her to be a savant.
I am the owner and founder of Mission Fitness, a [local] boutique fitness studio specializing in innovative class formats based in traditional methods. Think about us like matchmakers in the fitness world. We take methods that are perfect strangers and create the perfect match...there are no awkward first dates here! We're like the Grindr for Group Exercise. lol. Aside from original class concepts [+ wicked wit] the mission of Mission is rooted deeply into who we are and all we do. Each quarter Mission members nominate and vote for a local non-profit to illuminate as our [Charity of Choice]. Through community events and a monthly membership donation we bring much needed resources and awareness to these worthy charities. Since inception in 2017 Mission Fitness has infused over $40,000 into local non-profits in Mobile, Alabama.
Mission was created to be a safe space where all are welcome. A place of inclusion, diversity, equity and love [because love is love]. That heartfelt belief led to the conception of Mission's annual inclusion initiatives Sweat for Pride [benefitting local LGBTQ+ non-profits] and Sweat for Equity [benefitting local non-profits supporting the black and brown community]. In short, we put our dollars where our hearts are. There are so many incredible options when it comes to selecting a fitness home. But, when a soul chooses to join Mission that decision makes a difference. The time spent here matters. The dollars invested create change. And that's how we continue to "Sweat for Good."
Strong, inspirational, kick-ass women are everywhere. I've done my very best to create space and surround myself with women who are bolder, wiser, braver than me. But, that's today. Growing up, I was fortunate to have a grandmother who was oh so progressive and unapologetically herself. Her confidence and conviction gave me the courage to trust my instincts, balk at unquestioned conformity and aspire for something greater. My Maw-Maw Hazel, passed more than a decade ago and yet I still thank and think of her daily.
My all time favorite class [to teach + take] is Pilates+ ...our faster, sweatier, sister-wife version of the classic.
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