Recently I attended Sarah Mariano’s (aka thestretchtherapist), Performance Stretch System workshop in Austin, Texas. I went there to become certified in this floor-based assisted stretch technique that combines elements like yoga, rehabilitation techniques, and martial arts (to name a few). I went there to expand my understanding of recovery and stretching. I went there to give myself another set of skills that I could apply and use on my Bodyologist clients. I got everything I went there for, but I also got so much more.
I have considered Sarah to be a mentor of mine for some time now. As a woman entrepreneur who has created a thriving business in the health and fitness industry, Sarah is an incredible example of what’s possible if you dedicate your life to your passion. Sarah understands that for many, she is a model of what success can look like and so she uses her platform to inspire others to create their own flourishing businesses. And while I’ve always been aware of her generous spirit, I wasn’t quite prepared for how it would affect an in-person workshop like the one I attended.
This three-day workshop consisted mostly of women. Though we came from all different walks of life—there were physical therapists, massage therapists, people in the fitness industry, and even a mom who wanted to support her child athlete—the majority of us were also budding entrepreneurs. Everyone came to the workshop with a humble spirit and a generous attitude. Some were like me, people who had extensive stretch therapy training, but none of us let our preconceived ideas close our mind to what Sarah had to offer. The instructors created a safe space for all of us to do and learn and be, so that even after the workshop was over, we left feeling supported and able to not simply apply what we learned, but also to find success in our own ventures.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have an insatiable appetite for continuing education. I love traveling to network and learn from others in the health and fitness industry. But there was something about being in this room of fellow female entrepreneurs that fueled and inspired me in a way I hadn’t anticipated. It confirmed for me that success, like knowledge, should be shared. That leaning on a support system to fulfill a professional dream doesn’t diminish your success, it enhances it.
This workshop also served to confirm so much of what I’m trying to do with the Bodyologist. It reminded me why when I am working with a client, educating them about their body (rather than just giving them exercises and stretches to do) is so important to me. When you take the time to put pieces together and explain them to a client, you are empowering (and hopefully inspiring) them to continue living healthfully for years to come. It also brought me back to what makes the Bodyolgist different from cookie cutter fitness programs—it’s human. The fitness and stretch plans I put together for clients are based on them—their injuries, their stories, the things they like, the exercises they hate, what their body needs, and what they need. When you’re launching a business, it can be easy to forget those essential details of why you were starting this adventure in the first place. Sarah’s workshop reminded me of all of it.
To put it simply, this workshop confirmed my life’s purpose—to offer clients a highly individualized sweat and stretch service that elevates their health and their lives. So, yes, I got certified in the Performance Stretch System technique, but I also got so very much more.