As many of you know, Emily and I don’t live in the same city. She’s in Kansas City, Missouri and I’m in Los Angeles, California. (If you didn’t know, now you do.) Running a business together while physically separated is daunting. Fortunately we live in the day and age of FaceTime, G-chat, Snapchat, Instagram, What’s App, and good old fashioned email, but nothing replaces face to face, in person quality time. Last weekend Emily came to visit me in LA, and we worked ferociously. We had brunch meetings and dinner meetings and cocktail hours and sat in my apartment on our computers for more hours than I’d ever want to admit.
On Sunday, we knew we wanted to go to church at 8PM, so we worked all morning until about 2PM when Emily acknowledged we should probably move or at least stand up. (It’s easy when Emily and I are in a rhythm to become so focused on work that we forget the little things like eating or basic blood flow.) We looked up spin class times, and decided on the “Taylor Swift and her ex’s” themed class. I was all about the idea of going to spin class, but when it came time to actually get up and get my work out clothes on… I changed my mind. I basically sat on the couch and whined for a solid 5 minutes. “Are you sure you want to go? There’s so much we need to do. You’re only in town for a short period of time. My legs hurt. I hate spin class.” Not my most attractive moment… Emily was persistent. She wanted to spin, she wanted to get out of the house, she wanted to get up off the couch, and she wasn’t going alone. I begrudgingly put on my workout clothes, because I knew she wasn’t going to let me lounge about while she got her sweat on. Emily grabbed waters, I grabbed towels, we have a flow when we’re together. We look out for one another and tend to know what the other person is going to do and what the other person is going to forget/ not think about.
When we got to Soul Cycle, I immediately wanted to leave. I hate crowds and working out, so group exercise classes are a pretty rough experience. However, Emily handled check in and threw her little credit card over the counter, so there was no time for escape. As we set up our bikes, I started to settle into the idea that I’d have to work out. So then I decided I might as well make the most of it. Supposedly you can burn 500 calories in a class. I’m about that.
If you’ve ever been to a spin class before, you know they start off slowly with a warm up. I started off with a little more hustle than usual because I was riding next to Em. As the class continued, I found myself keeping stride with her; if she’d turn up resistance, so would I. The faster she rode, the faster I rode. It wasn’t that I wanted to keep up or show off, it was this idea that if she could do it, I probably could too. We’re pretty similar in a lot of ways, even though she’s way more fit than I am, but riding next to her was different than comparing myself to a spin instructor. I can justify my way out of riding as fast as the instructor does. “They’re a professional. There’s a reason they’re teaching the class. Look at his quads, I’ll never ride like him.” And so on… But with Emily, I was motivated; her focus and intensity were contagious.
I finished the class off strong, and only fell a little bit when it was time to get off the bike and my legs turned to jello. But I realized that that class was so symbolic of our business partnership. With Emily by my side, I can do things I didn’t think I was capable of or that I didn’t want to do. But afterwards, after all the hard work, struggle and heavy breathing, it’s worth it. Don’t get me wrong, I was sore for three days. But since she left, I’ve been to spin class three times on my own. There are days working on By Grace I get so overwhelmed that I want to crawl in a hole and never speak to another vendor or boutique owner. But knowing Emily is chugging away in Kansas City prevents me from quitting. I would never give up on my partner, and because of that I will never give up on myself or my dreams. Sometimes you need that partner—or simply their motivated, working alongside you presence—to remind you of what you are capable on your own—in business, in life, and definitely in spin class.
Until next time,