Alyssa's Farewell to the Strong Women of Uplift

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This is a letter from our beloved colleague Alyssa Exposito who left us this week for the warmer climes of Miami. Stay tuned for the Miami retreat and other special events with her!

This is in no way a farewell letter…it’s more of a THANK YOU!

Uplift: it is has been such a blessing to have had the opportunity to have grown alongside some of the most undeniably badass, amazing women. 

I’ll never forget the moment I first heard about Uplift: I was then working at NYSC and my co-worker/classmate forwarded me an internship opportunity for an all-female studio with the words “this is perfect for you.” 

And he was so right. 

The following day, while I was crouching in the custodian’s supply room, I had my phone interview with then-manager Britt Gage, who asked me to come in and take a class and check the place out. Immediately upon walking into Uplift and being introduced to staff, I felt incredibly excited and moved by the space and community. 

I came in as an intern to learn the business aspect of running such a space. Little did I know then what was in store for me.

A couple of months after, co-founder Leanne asked me if I would like to be a personal trainer then soon after that, I was asked to audition to be an instructor. 

That time felt like a whirlwind of surprises. Not only had I no original intention of becoming a personal trainer in the first place, I definitely did not expect to become an instructor at such a premier boutique studio. But am I so grateful that the doors I never thought of as potentially turning, being opened up for me. 

It has been incredibly hard to put into words how much I have grown as a woman, and overall human being, working at Uplift. 

From graduation, to heartbreak, to terrible dates, to great dates, to more heartbreak, to pursuing my doctorate, to creating events to bring the community closer, I couldn’t have done a single thing without the women who walk in and out of that door. 

I have learned so much about myself by working, managing, instructing, and educating alongside all of you. There are simply no words to describe the amount of love I have for each and every one of you who trusted me to guide you through movement. There is no amount of gratitude I can express that equals how much I appreciate all of you who believed in me.

And that’s all it takes: a belief. A commitment to set out to do what you believe you can do. And it’s been amazing to see how many of you broke the barrier of “I can’t” to “I will” and “I am” and is so wildly significant. That has been the pride and joy of my time here. 

As many of you know, educating has been one of my biggest passions, because it means I am always learning alongside everyone I come across. You all inspired that in me. To continue to challenge and question myself so that I can show up and be better than I was the day before. 

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to grow. Thank you for giving me the space to make mistakes and learn from them. Thank you for giving me the safety to share my stories with an open heart, wide arms, and all ears. 

To the ladies of Uplift, I hope whatever encounter you’ve had with me only empowered, motivated, and ultimately Uplifted you. 

I hope you see how each of us working together creates the ripples that make those tidal waves that crash right over and through, working to break the patriarchy’s tight grip. 

I have learned that each one of our stories are equally important and even more so, the ownership we take in our narrative. You have given me so much strength throughout the years to continue to create and relentlessly edit mine. 

A huge part of my story in NYC lies in the hearts of every single woman in that beautiful sacred space we call Uplift. I’m excited to carry it all into my next chapter. 

Never forget: Strong Women Uplift Each Other, and there wouldn’t be an “US” without you. 

All the love and then some,

Alyssa

Ilana Diaz