Is this the end?

I’ve been in fitness for 15 years. I’ve studied Pilates, kettlebells, somatics, and massage therapy. I’ve taught HIIT, tabata, TRX, barre, cycle, and step aerobics. I’ve had every business model under the sun. I’ve made every mistake possible. I’ve been called out for things that I didn’t even know you could be called out about. I’ve burnt myself out physically, emotionally, and mentally more times than I can count.

And now, I’m just tired.

I’m so tired, I’m not even sure you can call it burn out, because it won’t go away. It’s haunted me for over a year. It’s created what feels like a endless cycle of questioning. I wake up and ask myself why am I here? What am I even teaching? What do I want to teach?

Lost doesn’t even begin to describe how I’ve felt. It’s been a goddamn fitness existential crisis.

In the past, all of my professional challenges came down to not knowing enough or feeling like I didn’t know enough. Not having the right information to help someone. Not having the right connections to move something forward. Not having enough marketing knowledge to understand promotion.

Now, I have a new curse of knowledge. It feels like I know too much. I know so much that most answers are obvious. Nothing is new. I have no interest in arguing with people about the right way to do something. The possibilities for what I could do feel endless.

I just want to help. I just want to teach and on a personal level, I just want to learn. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. What avenue or niche it’s in doesn’t really matter to me. Everything is brilliant when applied correctly and useless without individualization or context. Words don’t matter to me. Only how it lands for the individual and if it’s practical. I don’t understand why we spend so much time obsessing and arguing over things that are so impractical and truly don’t matter.

I thought about quitting. Like really quitting, but as tired as I am, I’m not done yet, because I’m still thrashing around searching for answers and underneath all my exhaustion and my trauma from being “seen” in the industry, there’s still a desire to teach.

I miss being a teacher. Like a normal teacher who just teaches fitness. Not a supposed authority. Not an educator. Not a presenter. Certainly not an influencer.

I just want to teach. I just want to help. I still care. I care so much it hurts and that ultimately is the crux of my problem.

So, I’m going back to the beginning. Except virtual. Online…offline…it doesn’t matter. It’s still teaching. I’m here to help the people who want to be helped.

I’m giving myself a year to nurture this idea. If I still feel this way, I’m closing my business, leaving the industry, hanging up the fishnets, putting on pants. Making space for someone who still has some fight in them to be seen and heard. It’s not a threat. It just is.

But before I launch into the next phase of whatever the fuck it is I’ve accidentally and yet intentionally created, I’m taking a beat and going dark short of the bare min that I need to move certain things forward and take care of my clients.

Because, I’m still tired and I need a break.

Too honest? Per usual, not sure of anything, but also #notsorry and #staytuned


There are 4 comments on this post

  1. Ianthe
    4 hours ago

    I’ve always been a fan of yours and will continue to appreciate your work! Am feeling exactly the same what you are feeling right now. It’s more than burnout and perhaps we will create a new word for this ‘years of burnout’ feeling. I too feel, empty, demotivated, fucked up, exhausted, and so done with ‘trying’ and ‘doing my best’. I know my life and identity is being a movement teacher but right now, I can barely get into workout clothes to teach online lessons right now. Much love your way Nikki!

    1. Nikki Naab-Levy Author
      7 hours ago

      Thanks Ianthe. The struggle is real and back atcha. If there’s any way I can support you, let me know. <3

  2. Vanessa
    14 hours ago

    I like your honesty, really your ability to put your feelings onto words (and then the courage to share)! Check out Joan Briebart’s podcast Body Conversations. its been helping me put the whole fitness world under a diff microscope. She’s been at this longer than we’ve been alive and smart as fuck. sometimes I regret quitting working for her…but NYC is a beast. She is honest and controversial and almost 80 years old‍♀️

    1. Nikki Naab-Levy Author
      7 hours ago

      Thanks Vanessa! I’ve seen the interviews. It’s a fascinating series.


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