Growing up, sports were one of the ways I could tell time. In the fall, I played soccer every year since I had started kindergarten. Then, as the days grew shorter, and snow started falling, my weekends took place in basketball gyms. Spring brought on a reincarnation of soccer, softball, and then track. Summer days were spent on hot tennis courts.
My teams gave me close friends, mentors, confidence, and life lessons. Sports defined me, and were worth more than the games themselves.
However, the routine cycle of those sports, also represents the routine filled life I had the first seventeen years of my life. Since kindergarten, I moved from one sport to the next for each change of season, without question. Similarly, I attended school, hung out with friends, and did extracurriculars, all without question. I never really stopped to think WHY I was doing anything. Sure I was happy with the way my life ebbed and flowed. But it was not purposeful. My actions did not have intentions behind them.
Junior year of high school, my varsity soccer team was playing really well, and we were expected to go far in States. We had already finished regular season and were gearing up for the tournament. As we showed up to a rainy practice, our coach told us we were going to a mom’s studio to “stretch.” At this point, most of us were beat up and hurting, and a break from running was already a miracle to begin with.
This was the first time I attended a class at BodyTrio, the first time I did yoga, and the first time I met Donna Ognibene (my friend’s mum). She started us off by stretching, worked in some yoga poses, and then at the end she had a meditation/ reflection period. During this time she gave anecdotes relating to our soccer ambitions, and encouraged us to play hard, but also to listen to our bodies.
Donna has such a way with words, and her voice alone soothes you. I think it is due to her genuine nature. Upon ending the class, I felt so calm and happy. That hour had given me time to reflect, stretch, and try something new. Meeting Donna also introduced me to a kindred spirit that I wanted to get to know better. Donna is caring, reflective, and strong, and I knew from the beginning that she was someone who I could learn from.
That winter, instead of playing basketball, I decided to take classes at Body Trio. I continued taking classes throughout high school. And still take them today, whenever I am home from college.
BodyTrio was the first place where I was able to reflect on my intentions; encouraging me to live deliberately. It is a place for me to build up physical strength, flexibility, and inner self confidence. Every time I walk through the door my mind instantly relaxes and forgets about any stressors. That hour is mine to think, move, and chill out.
Since then, I have really tried to grab onto the reflective spirit found in Donna and her classes. As I went on to BC I jumped at the chance to go on retreats, service trips, and am more willing to step outside of my comfort zone. BodyTrio made me pause and think about WHY I live and HOW I want to live.
Donna, and the whole BodyTrio family, has continued to show me wonderful support and guidance. Their impact has continued to mold me, as I move through college, and think about what I want to do with the rest of my life… Would you be surprised if I said I wanted to open up my own yoga studio? 😛
I will be forever grateful for that one soccer practice and BodyTrio.