Joining a Fitness Community Helped Me During a Difficult Time

In the spring of 2016, I was lost in a season of grief. The previous year, I lost my grandparents unexpectedly, one right after the other. I had just finished months of grief counseling and knew I had a tough road ahead. Most days, I found myself riddled with anxiety and trying to adapt to my new reality. Amidst the chaos, I desperately wanted to find ways to take care of my body and mind.

The hardest part about grieving is that it’s an individualized and unique journey. Grieving forced me to feel siloed and alone. I learned to accept that there were certain aspects of grief that I would have to navigate on my own, but I craved a sense of belonging at the same time. I knew I needed a support system to help me heal. Fortunately, I stumbled upon a fitness community that altered the course of my journey for the better.

I was never much of an exercise enthusiast. The mere idea of exercising, let alone in a structured group setting, was not an idea that often crossed my mind. While scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw a post from my local Pure Barre studio about an upcoming open house. All classes were free during the open house, and even though group exercise classes had never appealed to me before, I was intrigued by …