Strength in Community

By: Rashanna Moss, Owner, Pure Barre Austin

We all know and understand that we should live an active lifestyle.  We understand that it is good for our health and has several positive effects on our mind, body and soul.  But knowing that doesn’t necessarily translate to consistency in our workout routines.  Life can often get in the way and our health is one of the easiest things to sacrifice when life gets busy. But in a moment’s notice, when our health is truly threatened, we can appreciate the health that we always took for granted. We regret the excuses we allowed in our lives, and we gain perspective on valuing our health and a positive outlook.  I have had the honor of observing others come full circle in this process.

While owning a fitness studio, which is 99.9% female based, Breast Cancer Awareness Month came on my radar in a more personal way than before.  Prior to owning the business, I donated to the cause, but never got fully involved.  I didn’t have family members or friends that were affected, so in a way the issue was a bit foreign and distant for me. Now, as a business owner, I had a platform to market and raise money through our clientele base. It felt right considering who our clients were. So, we did donation classes, dressed in pink…the typical things, right?

Then one day, I found out that one of our clients had just finished treatment. She was always so kind and positive. She was graceful. I had no idea what she was going through. That’s the thing about people with grace – they carry themselves with such elegance and remain so poised, that they become pillars of strength in an almost silent way.  It was how she showed up to me, my staff and the other clients, that even without her fight being known, she made an impact on our community. She was the perfect person to rally behind and bring awareness to this issue.


I spoke with her to find out more about the organization she worked with, Breast Cancer Resource Center. We have been fortunate enough to work with BCRC a few times over the years, and to build a platform to raise money with our incredible client as our mascot. Her willingness to share her story made all the difference in the world, because

  1. clients could put a face with the cause and
  2. because of her character, you couldn’t help but fall in love and want to help.

Through this process and having the opportunity to build a relationship with her, I observed a few things.  The first: a deeper sense of community.  Even clients that didn’t know her personally, felt closer simply because they could share in her story. It brought it closer to home and made them realize how close they were to the issue. They could see themselves in her, so they wanted to help and share their own stories with one another.

Community Becomes Our Support System

We observed this in the studio and it created a common ground between clients – a difference in their connections with one another and what they were sharing through this workout community. It became more profound, more real and more supportive. Community is a huge piece when it comes to our health. Community becomes our support system. We establish a group of friends that expect to see us every day, ready to work and have some fun. They want you next to them because the workout is more enjoyable when you’re in it together. And on the days when it’s hard to get to the barre, they just want their comrades there, so that they can get through the challenge together. That’s community!

Another observation was a silencing of excuses.  When you are working out to support a cause like breast cancer, it provides perspective immediately. You realize that complaining about life being busy, or being too tired, is a trivial excuse when it comes to your health. That perspective shifts your inner compass and allows you to put your head down and do the workout. You find a deeper strength in yourself from realizing that other women are coping with an issue that is much harder than getting to the studio and getting through a workout. So you just do it. Excuses are hard to admit as an adult, especially when we are productive, high functioning individuals. But, we all do it and we need to self-check often to ensure that our health is a high priority on our list. Appreciate the fact that you are healthy and don’t take it for granted. When you rid yourself of the excuses and commit to health, you realize how strong you can be. Your standard shifts and health becomes part of your natural life.

The final observation was the most moving. It’s about excuses as well… BUT its because of the tangible observation of strength. Remember the wonderful woman I mentioned before, who became our mascot and example for clients?  She still attended classes. There are days when I know she didn’t feel well and others where she felt weak or in pain. But she still came. She modified where she needed to, and stayed smart about how much she pushed her body, but she showed up and did the workout in the way that she needed to, for herself. She found that inner power and peace in class, and had the perspective to appreciate what her body could still do. It’s all about perspective. She is the example for creating a community, staying connected to a community, letting go of excuses and not taking health for granted.

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