Before joining ClassPass in the spring of 2016, Suzanne Dirks would describe her life as destructive. Her mother had passed away the year before, and her coping strategies were anything but healthy. She knew she needed to find an outlet, but traditional gym exercises didn’t offer the right motivation she needed to get out of her head and really move. That’s why she quit drinking, started eating a vegan diet and joined the ClassPass community. “It became a new high for me,” says Dirks, who has since completed more than 400 ClassPass classes. “I felt like whatever was going on outside—good or bad—didn’t count when I could escape through these exercises. It was like entering a whole new world.”
And while she did see a change in herself physically, she says she saw a tremendous improvement mentally. She’s able to devote an hour each day just for her, and with that, has found a social circle with like-minded people. “I can try exercises at different places in my neighborhood and end up finding studios I feel are like another home to me,” says Dirks. “Now, I’m meeting friends and can say, ‘Hey, come to this class with me!’”
But that’s not to say Dirks was always a fitness junkie. In fact, she admits she used to not like to work out at all. “I had been going to a monotonous gym where I was plagued with boredom,” she explains. “Once I started going to boutique fitness classes, I got hooked on the feeling of being around other individuals bettering themselves mentally and physically.”
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Self-care became Dirks’ primary focus. She found studios and workouts that made her feel good and wanting to come back — like Switch Playground and Cyc Fitness. “I feel like I’m partying and getting high off endorphins all while looking good in the mirror because of the most flattering lights,” she says. “This fitness goddess stares back!”
Her sobriety and ClassPass journey have almost gone hand in hand. “I hadn’t experienced such highs in so long, and it just clicked that this was going to be my new, now healthy, addiction,” she explains.
Her advice for those contemplating the switch? Just start out with a few different workouts near home or work to see what you like. Get to know the instructors and other class members, and soon, you might just find your own fitness squad. “This was a huge piece of the puzzle to loving and taking care of myself,” says Dirks. “It is rewarding to thank my body and mind. It is fun AF!”
To see more of Suzanne’s journey through sobriety, fitness and veganism, follow her @soberfitvegansuz.