It’s like stretchy therapy for your heart and soul. Because life happens. We all struggle. Laughter helps. But, spandex heals. Hello HaveWinders! I wanted to take a quick detour from our Bahamas tales to share some exciting news and one helluva inspiring story. If Spandex Therapy is anything, it’s about sharing people’s stories. But it is also my latest business venture! This lovely (and very funny) gal here, Rachel, and I recently launched our Spandex Therapy website and swag at a Pensacola paddle board event!
When my friend, Rachel, first came to me with the idea, my face probably looked a lot like yours did when you read the title of this blog. “What is Spandex Therapy?” you’re probably wandering. The funny thing is, YOU are probably a huge fan of what we call “spandex therapy” already, you just didn’t know it. Spandex Therapy is about inspiring and connecting people who get their bodies moving to keep their minds balanced and buoyant. We share their stories because they empower us in the face of our own struggles, because everyone has a story. Whatever you’re struggling with—whether it’s huge (the loss of a loved one or some other deep heartbreak or sorrow) or just the minor stresses of life that make us feel small, angry, stressed, disappointed, like a failure—it helps to step outside, move your feet, connect with nature and other people, and let the stress you’re dealing with start to pour out of you (like sweat!). Spandex Therapy offers content and gear that inspires people to laugh a little, love a lot, and go work IT out. It’s not exercise. It’s therapy … at your own pace.
You see? That’s some pretty empowering stuff. That’s why when Rachel asked me to be her business partner in launching this awesome platform, I said yes!
And, look at me. Donning spandex right there! I mean, I practically live in spandex!
You all have seen me in so many different photos at HaveWind getting my sweat on in spandex (often not from working out, just from working on the boat) but that counts as therapy, too. Whatever you do outside to stay active and improve yourself and your life, it counts. One of the reasons I immediately fell in love with Rachel’s Spandex Therapy concept was because it screamed of my own experience.
I wrote a good deal in my book Keys to the Kingdom about the years I spent in a bad marriage, practicing law to the point of busting an artery. I was heavy. I was drinking too much. I was hardly active. And, I knew I needed a change. While I did not know cruising the world on a sailboat would BE the change, I knew sitting in an office 8-10 hours every day working in front of a computer doing a job that made my blood pressure soar was not healthy for me. A huge impetus for my own life transition was a desire to GET OUTSIDE and GET ACTIVE. I wanted to travel, to try new things (which included sailing and kitesurfing and eventually aerial silks!). All of those activities are therapeutic for me. They keep me balanced, happy, and whole.
That is the reason I joined Rachel in her admirable cause, and because she is an exceptionally inspiring person. You see, like me, Rachel also has a life-transition story. While every other person I have met who understands Spandex Therapy has an equally empowering story, Rachel’s does stand out. Four years ago, Rachel was not the person you see today: running 5Ks, doing open bike rides, marathons, triathlons, etc.
She weighed over 200 pounds and was a smoker. She had just gone through a wicked divorce from a man who was suffering extensively at the hands of his own demons, and trying to raise their young son alone as a single, working mother. Her life was then thrown into a tailspin when her father’s son was rendered a paraplegic in a motorcycle accident. He hit rock bottom, as did she.
But, instead of crumpling, Rachel put on her sneakers instead. She found strength (as so many do) in the supportive Spandex community. She also got to witness first-hand the healing power spandex had on her ex-husband as he began racing in his wheelchair. He is now much healthier, physically and mentally, and an avid wheelchair athlete. He is an entirely different person, as is she. Rachel went from doing 5Ks to 10Ks to a half-marathon, to a full, to finally a very dark year she spent training for Ironman, where she ran the last 16 miles in the pouring rain, but she freaking did it!
Rachel finished! She did a 70-point-freaking-3!
She didn’t find out until several weeks later, however, that Ironman did not agree. When the official times were posted, Rachel saw a big “DNF” next to her name, which meant she “Did Not Finish.” She missed the 17-hour limit by one minute. One measly minute …
But, you know why that didn’t have any impact on her? Because Rachel’s got one helluva sense of humor, which I think is necessary to get us all through this crazy ride that is life. “DNF is better than DNS” she says with a smile. “Didn’t Never Start!” That gal… Despite the Ironman disappointment, Rachel is still an avid racer, runner, biker, etc. “I just have to TriHarder,” she says. Ha! Because “triathlons make me wet.” You’ll see a lot of fun taglines like these on our Spandex Swag, which I’ll be sporting often because:
Folks like Rachel and so many of her Spandex Therapy tribe members, as well my many other idols whom I’ve written about before—Pam Wall, my featured People With Gusto (Pat and Steve), my inspiring silky friend Nikki Beck—whose stories of happiness despite heartbreak, courage in the face of what would seem to be catastrophe, always inspire and humble me. They remind me that whatever little stress or struggle I’m going through likely pales in comparison to someone else’s. By sharing our stories we all empower each other to grow, laugh, and heal. That’s what Spandex Therapy is about and I’m proud to be a part of the team. Feel free to check out our platforms:
And follow the journey. Our whole goal is to: