Fifth Avenue Reflections

4:30 PM. As I left my friend’s beautiful Madison Avenue apartment to shop my way to my first Twerk and Tone class in NYC, I was filled with bubbling excitement and anticipation. I made a quick stop in Madison Square Park to take a selfie with my Hydro Flask, because, of course, I needed to capture the moment. If it doesn’t happen on Instagram, it may as well have not happened, #amiright?

Ashley cates

5:30 PM. During my walk down Madison and Fifth Avenues, I kept being reminded of three things, which I now lovingly call my Fifth Avenue Reflections: 1) how blessed I am; 2) how lucky I am to feel as happy and healthy as I ever have; and 3) how absolutely gorgeous this sunny New York afternoon truly was. People were everywhere, per the usual, but I observed that they looked happier than on cold, dreary Friday. New Yorkers clearly crave Vitamin D the way we islanders do, and on this Saturday afternoon, they meant to soak it in.

Madison square park

6:00 PM. After shopping my way down Fifth Avenue, I arrived at the location of my first class, now decidedly nervous, yet very excited. I spoke to several of the team members, and headed down to the studio to get myself ready for class.

6:30 PM. My initial thought when no one had arrived for Twerk and Tone was one of disappointment and embarrassment. Here I was in NYC, having proudly shared with my friends, family and the broader Facebook community that I would be taking Twerk and Tone to the city. I promoted my classes on Instagram, with what I thought was a strategic hashtaging campaign. (Hashtaging = a verb I just invented.) I had been beyond excited that my eight-week-old business was far exceeding even my wildest expectations to date. I held on to a tiny bit of hope. Maybe people will show up fashionably late?

6:40 PM. Definitely no one is coming. Even those who like to be “fashionable” are not making their way into the studio. I stared at myself in the mirror. I thought about how I could react. I thought about the excuses I could make- it’s a beautiful Saturday evening in the city. I don’t really know anyone in the city to invite, and I certainly don’t have a studio or a following in NYC…. The list I mentally created went on and on… A healthy defense mechanism I suppose?

7:00 PM. Now out of my class-that-never-happened attire and sporting some fabulous new leggings, I cabbed to Times Square. I met my friends for cocktails at the Knickerbocker Hotel Rooftop Bar.

Knickerbocker hotel rooftop bar

And I realized that between 6:40 and 7:30 I had made a pretty solid list of why I am totally cool with the way the day’s events had unfolded.

Here’s my list.

1. My hair looked amazing and the straightness would now last through the evening and the next day since I didn’t break a sweat.

Ashley cates

2. Speaking of sweat, I discovered Sweaty Betty on my way to the class that didn’t happen.¬†Two words- NEW OBSESSION.

Sweaty Betty
3. Also on the way to class, I stumbled upon the most amazing “walking” shoes that I will rock on the rock, even if people give me a weird look. #shoegasm…. No really, that is the name of the store.
4. I trust in God’s plan and look to Him for direction. Every little thing is never going to go as planned and bumps along the road make things more interesting.
5. Because of my trip to NYC, I was reunited with one of my most ludicrous and lavish purchases from my former life, CiCi, who doubles as my daughter. Thanks Mom for shipping her to me; she was a lovely companion.
6. I was excited and pretty proud to see my number one “strength finders 2.0″ strength, Positivity, is alive and well. Thank you Johnson & Johnson for sponsoring that activity.
7. I had another chance to Twerk and Tone on Sunday. Read about that experience here.
8. I was in NYC!!!! With my dear friend Laney. And, we’d spent part of the day in Soho, my happiest place in the city.

9. Did I mention my hair looked fabulous???

Ashley cates

Saturday, April 30- while not exactly what I had hoped to report (i.e. post on Instagram)- turned out to be a damn good day in the life of this sales rep-turned-fitness instructor who lives on a Caribbean island and has the courage to follow her dreams. What a wonderful reminder that it is often setbacks that show us our strengths. Life is good, and Twerk and Tone continues its colorful journey!


Ashley Cates, St John USVI Blogger

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