Monday, December 29, 2014

The 31 Day Challenge

2012 was one of the best years of my life.  2011 very nearly burst at the seam with personal and professional challenges and the year ended with a series of flukey things that left me unemployed for the first time since I was a teenager.  Right around the time of my layoff, O2 Yoga, the studio where I'd been a member for about four years, announced it was closing one location to open another and I, on a whim, emailed Mimi, the studio owner, to offer my expertise.  Mimi said she'd be in touch down the line, but it was clear the new studio was a big project in the making and so I didn't anticipate any further action for awhile.

So there I was, unemployed, the job huntress, thankful for my stacks of writing projects and my yoga practice when something magical happened:  my yoga studio was offering a one-month membership for only $31.  All I had to do was show up January 1st!  I did one better by attending the New Year's Eve class and purchased my $31 prize just after the stroke of midnight.  

This 31 Day Challenge became significant to me in so many ways.  First, in an effort to avoid the over-crowded Basics classes, it pushed me to take more Power classes, something I was typically a little too chicken to try.  Instead, I learned these classes were just fifteen bonus minutes of awesome with some of my favorite teachers.  Fear conquered.  Second, part of the 31 Day Challenge involved a punch card that would translate into a discount on my February membership.  So instead of practicing my usually five days a week, I practiced six or seven, only missing the full thirty-one days by maybe two or three.  And this heightened routine led to the third significance:  since I was now practicing on Fridays (something I never did in the past), I ran into Mimi when she returned from her annual trip to Mexico and she told me she was almost ready to consult with me about the new studio location.

What happened next was me coming to tour the new site of O2 Yoga Cambridge with Mimi and her husband Steven and after we dreamed a little dream about how to use the massive space, it became clear that we made a good team and Mimi asked me to stick with them as a consultant and help get the doors of the new studio open, an offer I gladly accepted.

What happened next is even more unbelievable.  It's kind of like walking into a room only to find out there's a false wall with a whole other world on the other side.  Maybe two weeks later, I had another series of fortunate events sneak up on me.  It started on a Monday when Katherine, one of my favorite teachers, stopped me before class to suggest I consider enrolling in the 200-Hour Teacher Training program being offered at the studio starting just a few weeks away in March.  I was flattered by the suggestion, but wasn't sure it was the right thing for me.  Two days later, my dear friend Lauren and I went to one of Karen's classes at O2 and as we were leaving, Lauren asked me, "Have you ever considered doing Teacher Training?"  But the kicker came a few days later when Mimi herself called me on a Saturday afternoon to say, "I really think you should do this Teacher Training."  The magic of threes.  I was sold.  I wasn't entirely sure what I was getting myself into, but no amount of anything in the world could compare to experience I had in the "yoga bubble."  I made friendships that will undoubtably last a lifetime, learned things I never thought I would learn, achieved goals I never knew I could even set.  Teacher Training changed my life completely, positively, wonderfully.  Signing up for the program may prove to be the single best decision of my entire life.  Since completing Teacher Training, my bond with the O2 community has only continued to grow, both personally and professionally.  I feel very lucky to call O2 home.

And in a weird way, I have The 31 Day Challenge to thank.  It's the thing that set these series of events in motion, which makes those $31 the best I ever spent.  

What will The 31 Day Challenge do for you?  I guess you won't know until you give it a shot.  

The Deets:
The offer is $31 for a January membership.  For every time you come to class, you earn a percentage off your February membership (Example:  if you come to class 10 times in January, you get 10% off your February membership).  Because it's such an incredible deal, the only "catch" is you must come, in person, to one of the studios on January 1st.  You do NOT have to practice on January 1st in order to purchase the deal.  Both Somerville and Cambridge will be open all day, even in between classes, for your to stop by.

Somerville:  288 Highland Avenue (near Porter/Davis)
Cambridge: 1001 Mass Ave (between Central and Harvard)