This month, my theme has been "Jumping in June". So it felt completely right when we (Lara Custer, owner of Barrevolution and I) made a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT this week that I would be the NEW OWNER of Barrevolution. While this wasn't exactly my plan; I mean, I knew I had to do something DIFFERENT this summer... but I honestly didn't know what it was. After praying, pondering, consulting and reflecting, I decided to make this BIG JUMP into studio ownership. After all, this was my dream since 2011 when I started SMILE4Fitness LLC. However, I've jumped before. Those of you who've been supporting and following me for years, you probably remember. I jumped TWICE, falling smack on my face. The first time was financially unforgiving, putting my family at risk. It was PRETTY ROUGH! The second time, I knew a little bit better, but still I fell, landing hard. So needless to say, when it comes to JUMPING (unless in boot camp), I was kind of over the idea.
So why in the world, would I jump again? Well, this time is different. Not only am I taking ownership of an amazing business, but I have the community, the members and more importantly, the complete support of my FAMILY! Yes, it was my husband who despite having ventured down this road with me before (not entirely his choice) said, "GO 4 IT! This is the RIGHT TIME and RIGHT SITUATION!" After all, he's been beside me for the last 8 years of trying to make this happen and coming up short.
If you didn't know that this has been my heart's desire for sometime, let me give you a little history...
In 2011, I started SMILE4Fitness LLC with the goal to help people Stop Making Insane Lazy Excuses 4 Fitness by providing amazing fitness and exercise experiences. I wanted to help people find their fitness self through fun boot camp classes and individual training. I traveled to houses, worked in parks, playgrounds, tracks and fitness studios and rented ANY available space that I could offer my services. I even did boot camp in a hair salon! Still so grateful to LaKiesha Jernagin for Taking Tyme to share her space! Move after move, I'd hope to a little closer to the goal of one day having space of MY OWN to share with the community!
After 4 years of leaping and falling, laughing and crying, smiling and failing, and hosting many fun events along the way, I decided to give up on the dream of a space and take my services VIRTUAL, only renting space when I wanted to host events. In January of 2015, I met Lara Helene Custer while planning our "Family, Fitness Fundraiser 4 ALS" at Rebounders Gymnastics. Lara and her family were affected by ALS and she wanted to be apart of the event, offering her support and sharing her skills. We clicked right away and a few months later she told me she was opening a barre studio and wanted me to teach there! I was excited to be a apart of her dream even though... I didn’t even TEACH BARRE. Yes, for the 1st year I taught boot camp and CORECare at Barrevolution. Lara was so supportive, believing in my skills when I didn’t and so eager to share her space as though it were mine... hence all the (Workout Wednesday videos).
A few weeks ago, Lara informed me that she would be stepping down as owner of Barrevolution. She's been an amazing studio owner (multiple times) and is ready to focus on motherhood and raising her daughter (which is completely AWESOME!). Lara knew of my dream of a studio space to spread my love of fitness, health and wellness. When she asked me if I wanted to takeover as owner, my first reaction was Ugh... NO! Honestly, I didn't event think it was an option, anymore. After all, I've only been dreaming of this for 8 YEARS. … But Patience is a Virtue, and Timing is EVERYTHING! So with my FAITH and my FAMILY (blood and fitness families that is), it's time to step into my God-given talents and RAISE THE BARRE!
It has been a pleasure to be alongside Lara as she grew her dream into the wonderful community and space that is Barrevolution Timonium. I have enjoyed working with all the clients and the amazing instructors past and present during these 4 years. As I take on this new chapter as “owner”, I’m finally listening to Lara’s advice, “ If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough!”... Well let me tell you... I'M SCARED, so I must be on the RIGHT PATH! I’ve never had a better “boss” than Lara... and I’ve had many! She’s truly the yin to my yang, and I pledge to be as amazing an owner as she is with No Excuses, just SMILES! We will continue to Stop Making Insane Lazy Excuses 4 Fitness™ at Barrevolution, with some of the best experiences in fitness and wellness... BARRE None!
Lara & Linaya 2018
2014 Atlas Fitness
2013 Take Tyme Hair Salon
2012 The Green Machine Rec Center
2011 CCBC Essex Track & Field