On July 4, it occurred to me that I was really lucky to be standing in my own shoes.
I was creating my Dance Trance playlist and trying to nail down patriotic songs and routines. A few were obvious: Freedom (Nicole C. Mulins), or Freedom (Pharrell), but then I started adding others - Salute (Little Mix), which is a tribute to women and that made me add I'm Dat Chick (Kelly Rowland) a song about being able to make it alone as a woman, and that's when it occurred to me, 'I'm really lucky'.
I'm a lucky Latina girl from Texas who grew up to be a writer/journalist. I am lucky that friends and family believed in me for years and helped me now own my business and run it however I like.
I am lucky that I dance when I feel like it, in the street and on rooftops and I don't get arrested. I am lucky to drive where I wanna drive, vote in elections, have friendships with women and men, own a home, raise three soon-to-be men and on and on and on.
This is my July 4th blessing; Freedoms that are not waisted on me.
Nor, have I lost sight of the fact that right now - three Richmond-area gyms have shuttered their doors; A fourth studio is currently up for sale.
One of those shuttered businesses, Victory Lady, was owned by Wendy Campbell. I met her and worked with her while at WTVR in 2002. She used to be in a spot we produced at the station. I remember thinking it was really cool that she owned her own gyms. She would come in, though, and was all business and she had a reputation for being tough. It's probably how she sustained being open for 29+ years.
The fitness industry isn't easy. Like journalism, it's scary and tough and no one, I repeat, no one does it for the money. What money? You do it because you love it and you love your people, or you fail.
So, you can see - Wendy rocked it! Factor in that she was in a male dominated industry, and owned and operated more than one location for a long time and it all means she kicked major trail-blazing ass!
Taking all that into account, I am truly lucky. Lucky that I have been able to chase my dreams and share them with great friends and clients - some are both. Lucky that I live in a country (though not perfect) and a city that embraces those dreams.
Very lucky indeed.
About the Author
Sandi Cano Cauley is a small business owner, fitness instructor, dancer and retired broadcast journalist. She operates Turn Cardio Jam Studio in Richmond, VA (founded in 2015) with goals to mesh dance + fitness and connect others with some of their youth. She is also a 3 x boy mom, a Tejana, a wannabe