Tanya Sharpe is a bold, courageous woman. Her accomplishments are extensive - she is a tenured professor with a Ph.D., often featured on TV as an expert in her field. Her research, which is focused on exploring the outcomes of African Americans who have been affected by homicide violence, is literally changing lives of African Americans in Baltimore and around the U.S. Despite her own incredible abilities, Tanya says, “It wasn’t until REV that I took note of them. The fact that REV saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself was life-changing.”
Tanya has been at REV since we opened our doors in 2014. When she first started taking spin classes, she also received a pivotal health diagnosis - “a literal death sentence.” Tanya was diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes. “When I got the news I just thought, this is the beginning of the end. I have lost so many family members to complications with diabetes and high blood pressure. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was devastated,” Tanya said.
Yet, Tanya came back to REV with the same determination to change her life that she has when helping change the lives of those around her. She regularly took Esther’s classes with whom she connected with on a spiritual level. Esther made Tanya ask herself the tough questions: What is holding you back? Are you being your best self? “I found myself almost in tears, with each ride I was tapping into something I couldn't quite name, I couldn't put my finger on it but I kept coming back for more.”
Over the next few months, Tanya began to notice changes in her mindset. She moved from the back of the room to the front. She went from wearing big t-shirts to shirts that now show off her shoulders. As someone who always struggled with her weight, she was able to hone in on a solution that finally began to show results. It started first with overcoming fear, fear of failure, fear of judgment, and slowly but surely transformed into learning to truly love herself. “I’ve learned to fall in love with myself. Quite frankly, I think it was the hardest thing to do.”
It’s a rarity for most to find joy through physical exertion; however, Tanya has found that joy at REV through its community. “REV is different in all facets, starting with the front desk. People truly believe in what is taking place.” Each instructor connects Tanya with a different part of herself: Nick is her “funny guy” where on Saturdays, she may be laughing so hard she forgets she’s even working out. Sean has the hip hop flare, Chelle (a former instructor) had beast mode fire making her feel like she could conquer the world, and the list goes on. Each instructor brings a new energy to each class, each one challenging Tanya not to be like the rider next to her, but her own best self.
To say REV has helped Tanya lose weight does not even scratch the surface on how it has acted as a major catalyst for change in her life. She has become physically healthier and mentally stronger. After long, stressful weeks at work, Sundays tended to bring on massive headaches. Since REV, Tanya’s headaches have begun to wane and she has developed the mental tools to manage the stress from her job. At her most recent doctor’s appointment, Tanya was told that her numbers are now below diabetic and high blood pressure levels and that she is on the way to even better health than before. “Diabetes is a part of my life, but it will not be who I am, who I become, or remotely define me. More importantly, I no longer view it as a death sentence,” Tanya said.
Tanya Sharpe represents the small, selfless group of individuals in our world who devote their lives to changing all the negative aspects of humanity. In devoting her life to care for others, maintaining her own inner fire became difficult and she felt herself losing fuel. Though the rest of the world see’s Tanya as a force, it took a little more for her to see herself the same way - until she found REV. “The workouts allow me to refuel. REV has a quiet non-judgmental accountability and people are just proud that you’ve shown up. REV truly helped me to engage in a personal REVolution, find untapped existing strength within myself, transformed me physically and spiritually, and for the first time, I was being fearless and unapologetically, ME.”