If the past year has taught me anything, it's that nothing in this life is permanent, including suffering. While 2015 in so many ways will be forever marked as one of the most challenging years of my life, this year has taught me that even your darkest hours are opportunities to tap into your strongest and most resilient self, that time cures all, and there is always light at the end of the tunnel if you are willing to put in the work to find it.
When I look back on 2015, I know it will always be marked as the year I lost my beloved mother after her 5-year battle with ovarian cancer. While I had 5 years to "prepare" for this loss, there was no way to prepare for losing my mother. While, at first, despite our heartache, we were just relieved that she was no longer suffering or needing to fight so hard or be brave through the most unimaginable circumstances, as the months have passed, the reality that my mother, the cancer patient, isn't just gone, my mom, the most sparkly, one-of-a-kind, magnetic, and special person I have ever known is now gone forever. And while with each passing day my wounds don't seem to become any more shallow, I am slowly adjusting to this new normal — although I'm not sure life will ever feel normal again.
As if the universe were not testing me enough, just a few weeks after my mother's death this world lost another one of its most special human beings, my dear friend, Alex Niles, who left us far too young and far too soon. Follow that with a major breakup, and well, I wasn't sure I could take anymore, and certainly wasn't sure how this life I no longer recognized was meant to move forward.
However, life must move forward — and WILL move forward with or without you — and although there is a odd sense of sadness as more time passes without my mother and Alex, and the pangs of guilt that I am not thinking about them every moment of every day are beginning to set in — I am officially ready, grateful, and Cyc'd (psyched!) to be starting a new chapter of my life and a new year standing back on my own two feet.
Don't get me wrong, this sense of excitement for the closing of the chapter of 2015 and the start of 2016 hasn't just magically set in. It's an active choice I’ve had to make. I still have so much healing and mourning to do, but instead of choosing to wallow in my wounds from this past year, I am choosing to embrace the possibility of this new beginning. I figure if so much can go wrong within the span of a single year, there is just as much possibility for so much to go right, right?!
And I couldn't think of a better way to kick it off than getting Cyc'd with this week's featured studio — Cyc Fitness — the high-energy spinning studio that has embraced creating a new model for their workouts, offering Cyc Social and Cyc pop-ups all over NYC and the US.
Our amazing lineup of contributors and content celebrates the spirit of Getting Cyc’d for 2016: Barry’s Bootcamp master trainer Rebecca Kennedy explains why fitness should be a gateway to inner happiness, not self-criticism; life coach Nitika Chopra tells us 4 steps to feeling Cyc’d about ourselves to start out the year; lifestyle blogger/author Jordan Younger comes clean about how being a strict vegan was causing an eating disorder and how she changed her path; and star trainer Kelvin Gary from BodySpaceFitness breaks down once and for all whether men and women need to train differently (you will be surprised by the answer!)
We have also partnered with Target and C9 Champion in their 21-day program to help you get a kick-start on those fitness-focused New Years resolutions!
Also, keep an eye out over the next few weeks for some new Sweat Life features, like our Meal Planning Mondays, created to set you up with healthy meals and a shopping list for the week ahead. (Starting next week!) We also have some incredibly exciting events, campaigns, and partnerships coming up in 2016 - so get ready!
Whatever your resolutions may be, and however this past year went, I encourage you to also embrace life to its fullest and get Cyc'd for the year ahead. I have a feeling it's going to be a good one for all of us, and I can't wait to share the journey with all of you!!!
Happy New Year, Sweat Life Family!
Founder, CEO, and Host
The Sweat Life