meet a misfit: rey tabarrok
Here's my story... I'm a middle-aged woman from the middle east in a perpetual quest to find where I belong...whether it's a place, or a feeling, or a tribe. I'm an immigrant with a divided sense of connection to my homeland and the many places I've called home over the past 3.5 decades. Same goes with people. I think I woke up to the decision not to seek relationships that were superficial, when I turned 30, at the peak of my career in the most pretentious and superficial industry. I have a strong intuition and great love for myself.
I fell into misfit ironically via the same platform that bullied it to cancelation (temporarily- what a relief); social media. I was an avid yogi with a 20-year dedicated practice that began with Ashtanga and morphed into variations of vinyasa. To back up a little, I struggled with body image and eating disorders in my teens, and was always longing to transform physically. Hated sports, loved food, and modelled Madonna's transformation from a cherubic to lean physical goddess as a sign that Ashtanga yoga would take me in that direction. By the time I arrived at my first Fusion class on a Saturday morning (straight from a hot yoga class), I was ready to stop beating my body into submission or at least have fun doing so.
My stand out memory is one that repeated itself over the course of the next couple of years as I prioritized misfit sessions into my already jam-packed week; the consistency of the atmosphere (or vibe if you will), with strong visual cues, mostly dance images in black and white, somewhat other worldly, the smells, the music, and the energy and musing of Amber, that woke up a sense of playful curiosity in me. I was hooked. I felt an inherent sense of belonging in a room filled with women mostly much younger than me, of all levels of ability, celebrating themselves and each other.
While each instructor brought their own iteration of the classes, with plenty of options that spanned ranges of exertion and targeted areas, there was a unified vision and 'method' to all of the classes. I felt safe to attend them all and my usual insecurity around physically rigorous practices I may have not been familiar with (Bosu) surprisingly low.
The classes were a physical and emotional trip, providing me with a physical unleashing no yoga practice ever did, a deep connection to my vibrant younger self and a happiness that transcended the usual post-workout buzz. Whether I had roared (with my tongue out) in release, or pony'ed to a 90's R&B tune, my entire being vibrated with joy. I followed this feeling to 2 new locations, neither one of which was convenient for me logistically, but worth the drive and essential for my well being.
The pandemic definitely shifted all my personal habits and rituals including in person classes at misfit. I was committed to the digital classes until those came to a stop early in the summer of 2020. I have since bought a Peloton bike and try and get 3 classes in a week, practice yoga1-2 times a week and Misfit (preferably live) 1-2 a week. I work at home about 8/9 hours a day with very little break, and try and make up for lost time on the weekends. Ideally, I'd like to have my physical practice done and out of the way in the morning. It's hard for me to get motivated in the afternoon or evenings. If I haven't started something by 8/8:30am, it's highly unlikely I will start. I make an exception for Misfit live at 9am twice a week and enjoy the 25-minute sessions. They're just the right amount of exertion with the flexibility to be able to show up at work in a timely way. I wish I was more disciplined about doing the On-Demand videos (which were my only option for the better part of a year)...but there's nothing like LIVE with Amber even if we are on screens the entire time, I feel the connection with the people and community and that fills me up!