When I first moved to Carlsbad I’d heard about this crazy pilates instructor that put her finger up your behind to make sure you "were tightening everything.”
Not gonna lie, I was intrigued and wanted to know more about her “method."
Especially because people were OBSESSED with her class, and it was always booked.
So one sunny Saturday morning, I found myself squeezed between two girlfriends in a jam packed class warming up to Justin Timberlake, while this energetic blonde, bounced around the room introducing herself to the newbies, and hugging the oldies. I nervously anticipated the “butt touch.”
And it happened, folks. She grabbed my buns… more than once. And boy, did I tighten. Honestly, it turned out to be one of the best, most fun workouts I'd ever done. By the end of the class she had gained herself another believer.
But what happened next was where the class went from awesome to one I will never forget.
She asked us to close our eyes, lay down on our mats and she told us a story.
She said she had been trying to get pregnant for a while, and had gone though a handful of miscarriages over the last year.
She talked about how hard it was - getting older, getting her hopes up, the emotional highs and lows with her husband.
The she said, “And as many of you know, we were so lucky to share that we finally got pregnant a few months ago - thank goodness.”
I felt myself smile with relief until she followed it up with…
“I also wanted to share - since you all have been so supportive along this journey - that sadly, the baby didn’t make it and I’ll be out next week for a D&C.”
Gut wrenching silence.
All of our eyes were still closed, but you could hear the sniffles begin in the room.
Tears started streaming down the sides of faces.
I didn’t even know this lady - but she was so open and so vulnerable, and my heart was breaking for her.
She said, “I don’t tell you this to be sad, I just tell you this because I wanted to be honest, I wanted to be real.”
Because real life stories connect us.
They make us feel something deep in our gut.
They make us cry, laugh, relate.
We feel their pain. We stop comparing, and we start to see ourselves in them.
I went home from that class (after multiple hugs around the room) and made myself a promise.
I would only spend time with friends and clients that I could share the real, #nofilter truth with.
Whether that was how long it truly took me to figure out my career and start my business, the story of how I got my foot in the door at Twitter, or how often my lovely (but holy hell fiery) baby girl throws temper tantrums.
Because I left that class feeling inspired and deeply connected.
Simply because she shared her honest, raw, imperfect story.
So today, I urge you to find your “real people.”
Find the ones who will go deep, want to connect, and share their #nofilter sorties with you.
Don’t just find any mentor - find someone who will tell you the real stories - the successes AND the failures of how she got where she is today.
Don't just find a happy hour friend - find one that’s going to open up about their crappy, hard days just as much as they talk about the awesome ones.
Because the real stories are what connect us.
And sometimes feeling connected is all we are really searching for.
Oh and p.s. that lovely pilates instructor DID get pregnant and had a beautiful baby boy.