Okay, I’ll admit it - I LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY.
Is it a fabricated “Hallmark” holiday? Sure. Does it unnaturally force couples to “be romantic,” when really this is something they should practice regularly anyway? Absolutely. Does it make a whole population of single people feel like they have somehow failed in life because they are alone? Yup, been there.
Then why do I love Valentine’s Day so much? Because it’s a holiday dedicated to celebrating love — and there is nothing more positively powerful than love. So this week, we are celebrating LOVE - in all its shapes, forms, and sizes.
While romantic love between two people is beautiful and deserves celebration, it cannot exist without each of those people first and foremost truly loving themselves. This is true about all love, between all people - it cannot exist if we do not love ourselves first. It is a universal truth that love must start within. In so many ways, our society has lead us to believe we are less worthy if we have not won the romantic love of another person - which is silly. So part of this week is dedicated to celebrating true self-love. Fitness blogger Katherine Kerrick pep talks herself to always be true, and love her flaws as well as her successes; while high school basketball coach and runner (and regular Sweat Life contributor!) Sarah Huntington gives herself much deserved gratitude for making it through one of the toughest years of her life with grace and heart.
However, this does not take away from the beauty of romantic love between two people. Does a day full of flowers and chocolate hearts equal true love? Absolutely not. But, this love, too, deserves to be celebrated and shown off! So this week we are sharing some very tender (AND SURPRISE!) love letters from some very special people in our fitness community to their loved ones. Lyons Den Yoga owner Bethany Lyons expresses her love to her husband John; SoulCycle instructor Eve Lynn Kessner thanks her husband Richie for giving her the foundation to soar; and celebrity personal trainer Kirk Myers shares hand-written love poems to his love, Dara.
As stated above, I don’t believe that being single should be equated with any sort of failure or shortcoming. True love is rare and not easily found, and then needs time and care to truly foster. While being in a loving partnership does fill your life’s cup in a special way, seeking partnership for the sake of not being single is very different than finding, recognizing, and appreciating true love (generally not found in abdominal muscles or wallets, by the way). It is important to continually think about what you would want out of a true partner, and what true love and true partnership means to you. So this week, we also celebrate those of you who are looking for love. Barry’s Bootcamp/Nike trainer and "hottie" (!!) Noah Neiman shares the qualities that he finds attractive in a woman — and they have nothing to do with looks.
Lastly, I want to thank you for all of the love that you have given me and the entire Sweat Life team, family, and community. Every social media “like” and comment, every email, and every handshake or hug after a workout or at an event is seen, felt, appreciated, and loved. So this Valentine’s Day, we are celebrating our love for you!
Most importantly, remember that while Valentine’s Day is just one day, we can’t forget the importance of practicing and showing love towards ourselves and towards others EVERY. DAMN. DAY.
With all my love,
Founder, CEO, and Host
The Sweat Life