REVTribe: Malissa Austin
Posted on October 28, 2018 in REV Community

WE asked. YOU answered! The #REVtribe submitted stories on how REV inspired them to step out of their comfort zones. Turns out, the #REVtribe is what makes REV so freaking badass. As we sweat, we become. We become: One Team. One Heart. One Tribe.

To say that REV has changed my life is an understatement. Joining the REV tribe has had a substantial and very positive impact on the person I am today. It's only been a few months but so much has changed for the better since the first time I stepped into the McHenry Row Studio last December.

As an avid stand up paddle board racer, I was looking for some fun off season training that would motivate me to get out of my comfort zone.  I am not a morning person, so just getting up and making the 45-min drive to the studio from Annapolis is an accomplishment. The 4:45 AM alarm is awful, but I’ve never missed a class because I could not get out of bed.

REV HEALS: As a victim of early childhood physical and emotional abuse, I have been diagnosed with PTSD. I've struggled with self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth my whole life. Prior to shedding a whole bunch of tears on the McHenry Row studio floor, I was uncomfortable in situations with new people. I judged myself so harshly and assumed that others did as well. It was difficult for me to make eye contact or smile at strangers. Through the sharing of Esther's story about her father's suicide (my brother committed suicide also), and stories of other tribe members,  I was able to connect and feel free to open myself to the healing that needed to be done so that I could thrive rather than simply survive.  Attending Esther's Goal setting workshop was a turning point in my life. I was able to let go of so much pain that I had been harboring through sharing with other tribe members. Chani's empathetic tears had a very powerful affect on me and allowed me to be painfully transparent. There is no other TRIBE like the REV TRIBE.

REV IS POWER: About a month after I started attending classes, I mustered up the self-confidence to post a video of myself on an INDOboard demonstrating paddle stroke technique. The video has been viewed by 9000 people around the world, helping and inspiring people to see new ways to improve their physical fitness, balance and agility. I still struggle with feeling comfortable in front of a camera but I've realized that in order to connect with others it’s inevitable.  I have since posted many videos and I feel so much joy in inspiring people to get off the couch and get out of their comfort zone so that they are able to be free from the bullshit that is holding them back.  There is so much HEALING POWER in helping others and by putting myself out there. As scary as it was, I have been able to release much of the self-doubt and criticism that I once felt would forever be a shadow on my soul.

Thank you for reading. It was not easy for me to put this out there. I am not sure where my journey is heading, but I know that on Thursday and Sunday mornings when I walk out of the studio, I am headed in the right direction and my light is ON, ready to accept all the LOVE and crap that the UNIVERSE throws my way. Love you, REV TRIBE.

-Malissa Austin

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