Good Day Monday. In the spirit of Thanksgiving I feel an over abundance of gratitude. This weekend was a very emotional weekend for me and many others. Richard Simmons Slimmons Studio held it’s last class in Beverly Hills CA. I was lucky enough to be living back in LA to attend the last class. It was such a bitter sweet moment, a reunion and a goodbye; yet for me the connections and friendships will last a lifetime. Richard Simmons himself did not teach the class, and he was missed dearly yet it still was such a beautiful moment, a gathering of people from all ages who are forever connected by Richard Simmons and his message. Love yourself, love others, such a simple yet profound message.
If you have followed my weight loss blog and journey you know in the beginning in 2013 I was in the Richard Simmons’ HairDo video, and soon after I was a regular and a member at Slimmons Studio in Beverly Hills. I met so many wonderful people through my Slimmons experience, and getting to know Richard Simmons was indeed a high point not only in my weight loss blog and journey but in my life. I made life long friends, I became part of a community where everyone is welcome. We are all on the same path, working towards better health and wellness and Richard Simmons, the Slimmons staff and members of Slimmons welcomed me and everyone with open arms. I felt like family.
In 2014 I moved to San Francisco, and it was about the same time Richard Simmons decided to take a break from public life. He stopped teaching classes at his studio. I continued to follow my friends online and I followed his Facebook page from afar. Like the rest of the world I was concerned about him. I am so grateful I was back in LA to be at the last class taught before Slimmons closes its doors for good.
A little back story about my Richard Simmons experience. Way before I ever met him, before my little appearance in his video, and before the classes, I was a dancer who did my Mother’s Sweatin’ to the Oldies tapes with my sister in our living room in Cleveland, Ohio. I can still do all the routines. My favorite tape was Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2, it had the best music. I dreamed of appearing in one of his videos. ( little did I know that one day I would be in one of his videos). Every time I hear the song Heatwave, or Shout I bust into a routine and skip through a grapevine, it doesn’t matter where I am or who I am with.
I am and always will be in awe of Richard Simmons and the whole Slimmons community and I am forever grateful to call myself part of it. Richard Simmons and his community were the beginning and inspiration that got me rolling on this weight loss journey and blog. The video was in July 2013, the exact week I began my weight loss blog. I almost did not go because I was so embarrassed about my weight. Since that moment I am now at 164 lbs. I am 29 lbs away from goal. I have learned many lessons along the way, lessons from Richard Simmons and his community.
I owe so much to Richard Simmons, Slimmons and the friends I met along the way at that little lively Studio in Beverly Hills, CA. Saturday was a moment of memories, of tears, of people gathering around and dancing to the music. The energy could light up all of Los Angeles. Richard Simmons was not teaching, but the wonderful staff (Sherry, Michelle, and Anne) captured that same spark, that feeling that I kept coming back for. I am alive, and I love life. That is the feeling I got from Slimmons classes. It was not about the size of my thighs, or how my body image felt on that particular day. It was this sensation, you know that magical feeling when the hairs on your arm stand on end? That is what it felt like to dance within the hallowed walls of Slimmons.
It was Magical.
I am only half way there but so grateful for the journey. In my head I will always hear Richards words of wisdom:
Drink your water
Move every Day
Watch your portions
Be kind to yourself and to others.
The closing of Slimmons was a reunion, a sad yet joyful reunion. I was just grateful I had the opportunity to be here and share in the moment and memories with the people I now call life long friends. My inspirations, my mentors, my contemporaries, the loves of my life. People of all ages, we are all connected by Richard Simmons.
I walked away with renewed willpower and inspiration. I am looking into becoming a group exercise instructor myself. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time and Marie a member of Slimmons (and an aerobics instructor) inspired me to go for it. I admit the last few weeks my will lass been at a low. I got sick, I have an injured rotator cuff but reuniting with the Slimmons family was just what I needed to keep going. I am sad it is closing but so grateful for the experience.
I will take this renewed inspiration and move forward. I will try harder, work harder, and be kinder to myself as I am out chasing my goals. I will keep in touch with the lovely souls from Slimmons I call friends, and I will attend classes of those who now teach in the style that captured the world by storm. The eye of that storm as retired yet his influence will go on forever.
Next time you take a sip of your water with lemon, remember Richard Simmons is the straw that stirs the drink. Keep Dancing. You are beautiful. We are family.
Much love and Light to all
We love you Richard Simmons