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2018 & A Community to Lift You

Updated: Apr 21

As we head into 2018, I wanted to take the time to post something more meaningful than just the typical New Year’s catch phrases we fitness professionals often post to encourage new and existing clients to come train with us. For me, I push our "fitness is fun" motto regularly. While I ABSOLUTELY stand behind that message, I have also come to realize it is so much more than that. If you have a few minutes, read on.

I had two ACL reconstructions since October (no, these were NOT aerial injuries: Spartan Race & snowboarding got me). I wish I could say I just took it in stride but the truth is I have been struggling to stay positive. And while I sat training and playtime out to recover, I have had a lot of time to contemplate many things: Friendships. Impermanence. Strength. Vulnerability. Ego. Hope.

I thought about so many things. I contemplated how I can sell you on wanting to train with me when my depressive mindset made me feel I do NOT have "it" [life] all figured out. I wondered if I will ever get my pre-surgery movement capability back. I stressed over the finances for the studio with surgery bills coming in. I worried that I am not a good enough leader for you. And my worries went on and on.

And all the meanwhile, I was being repeatedly uplifted by the people around me. Larissa, Nancy​ and Alanna ​each brought me dinner. Nicole​ loaned me her ice machine. Our Missoula aerial friends sent me flowers. Terri​ continued her weekly “private lessons” as a self-guided practice when I could not join her. We had two performances where I was too crippled to set up equipment, and I just watched in awe as my people (instructors and clients alike) DID IT ALL for me. Our studio’s instructors continually reassured me they had classes handled while I had to sit out. All of our students have been so compassionate, so understanding, and so supportive while we figured things out so I can sit ~6 months out to rehab my body.

So what I am getting at is this: I wish I could sell you on wanting to train with me because I have life all figured out, but the truth is that I do not have the secrets to happiness in my back pocket. But there ARE things I do know. I know Fitness IS and CAN BE fun (and, yes, of course, we can help you find that muscle you have been wanting AND achieve that skill you have been after). Further, I know that I am working to better myself, and it is inspiring to be around our instructors, friends and clients who are working to do the same. I have learned that HOPE AND GROWTH can co-exist with heartache. I know that, together, we have created a CULTURE OF MOVEMENT and healthy living in the Flathead Valley and I learned that COMMUNITY HAS BEEN THERE TO LIFT ME UP WHEN I FELT DOWN.

And so it is no longer just about fitness nor fitness being fun. It is about FRIENDSHIP, COMMUNITY, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, and so much more. I CANNOT WAIT to get back to training with all of you, and I hope that those of you who are not training with us yet will give us a chance and we can navigate this next year together, because as the old Swedish proverb goes: a sorrow shared is half a sorrow, while happiness shared is happiness doubled. 2018: we are coming for you! Happy New Year friends – thank you for everything! ALL MY LOVE, Mindy

Photo cred: Philip Granrude
Instructors: Reegan and Shelby, Photo cred: Philip Granrude

Article by Mindy Cochran. Mindy is the founder of Kalispell's Levitation Nation Aerial Studio, where the catch phrase "fitness is fun" is embodied alongside a culture of movement & women empowerment. Mindy is also a columnist for "Montana Woman Magazine." Her column "The Real Levitation Experience" shares expertise for elevating health and wellness that she has acquired through her certifications as a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and life coach. For more about Mindy, please visit:

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