Being a new client at a fitness studio can be intimidating—it’s easy to feel lost when you feel like everyone knows what they’re doing except for you.

Since I’d grown up participating in sports, exercise was a part of the balance of my life, and something I wanted to continue after I moved to Austin for college. I started out by hopping from fitness studio to fitness studio, trying out group classes that ranged from spinning to yoga to Pilates to kickboxing. At each new place, there seemed to be so many bells and whistles to familiarize myself with. But the hardest part was feeling like I was alone in adapting to the new environment and exercise. I was happy to be active, yet I realized that I missed the aspect of community and support I’d always received from team sports.

When I started coming to DEFINE, I immediately noticed that the atmosphere was different from anywhere I’d been before. Not only was the variety of workout classes a positive challenge, but also the little interactions around the studio made me excited to come back for more. I’ll give you a few examples of what I mean by “little interactions.” Even though I was a new face at the studio, the front desk staff always greeted me with a smile—and that made me feel like a regular. During rev, even from the bike on stage the instructor would find a way to push me when I needed it yet also know when my body needed a break. In every body class, I felt a sense of camaraderie when instructors would hop on the mat next to mine and join in on the movements. Bounce classes can make anyone feel silly, but the instructors somehow filled the room with an infectious energy that made the choreography so fun I forgot I hadn’t been on a trampoline since I was twelve. And the mind classes . . . hanging upside down suspended in the air like the bats under the South Congress bridge is a feeling most of us don’t have in our daily lives, but after the instructor had explained the benefits and led a newbie through the motions, it suddenly turned into an activity I wanted to do repeatedly.

The amazing thing about DEFINE—besides the things I just mentioned, which all continue to happen—is that the instructors create an atmosphere that makes me feel like I’m working out with friends every time I walk into the rev or body room. In every DEFINE class, instead of being given instructions or feeling taught at, I feel like the instructors want me to find and reach my full potential. Then the fear vanishes of being judged by how fast my legs can spin or how heavy my weights are. The energy at the studio is fueled by positivity and support, and it infects anyone who walks through the door. Whenever I’m feeling tired or weak, not only are the instructors great cheerleaders, but the people taking the class alongside me also inspire me to push through. Whether I come to the studio with friends or come by myself to clear my head and get away from the chaos of the day, I know I’ll come to a class filled with people who have the same general goals in mind. Every revolution on the bike, pulse on the mat, jump on the trampoline, and stretch on the hammock is a step each of us takes together, as a DEFINE team and family, toward reaching our best body and mind.

Priscilla Tanamal, DEFINE body & mind South Lamar Client and Experience Expert