BY SHELBY MANNING
It happened on a Sunday, February 9th to be exact. It had started out like any other of my Sundays - my favorite day of the week. I woke up, did some sort of morning routine, went to Soul Cycle in Hoboken with my favorite instructor Charlie, and was planning on going to Trader Joe’s and meal prep for the week while dancing around my apartment blasting music with my roommate, Olivia. Maybe we would attempt to clean our ancient third story walk up apartment - maybe not. Then, Olivia would watch something on Netflix in the living room and I would try really hard to get into it and join, but my attention span would give out and I would retreat to my room to watch nutrition or fitness videos on YouTube or read a self-help book. You know, what normal people do.
To give you some background on myself, my name is Shelby Manning , I’m a 25 year old Hoboken resident and roommate of 3+ years (my longest relationship to date) to Olivia Muth (rockstar, life partner, Sunday Forever team member). Back in February, I started a big job in Partnerships at a high-profile tech startup in the city after working 4+ years at another startup. I was planning to rock this Sunday, self-care the sh*t out of myself, and feel ready and prepared to take on the week head on. After all, I had something to prove.
Before I planned to go to TJs, I was casually texting my mom about how the vision in my left eye had been messed up all week. I attributed it to a new contact prescription. After some persuasion from her to go get checked out, an Urgent Care visit, ER visit, many doctor visits later, and a whole lot of uncertainty, fear, tears, and sleepless nights, we found out it wasn’t the contacts. I had Serpiginous Choroiditis (I know, it doesn’t sound like a real thing to me either). Basically, an otherwise healthy 25-year old woman (AKA me) had just been told that she had a rare autoimmune disease that affected vision in both of her eyes and took the majority of vision in the left (my lucky fin, if you will). The craziest part is that they don’t know what causes it.
Fast forward to a couple months later, things are mostly stable. I am otherwise healthy, the treatment is working, and it appears that the left eye is making a comeback by what the doctor’s say is close to a miracle. More than that, with or without the vision in my left eye, I am f*cking happy.
The turn that this Sunday took changed the trajectory of my life to date and thus my Sundays. I guess you could say I had an awakening of sorts. Today, I am no longer working in tech sales and I have become a business owner. The whole “eye thing” woke me the hell up. For years, I’ve wanted to pursue fitness as my full-time career. This event made me realize that there’s truly no time like the present. Ever since making this switch, I have never in my life felt more like myself.
image via Instagram @shelby_sweats
My company, Shelby Sweats, is a personal training and fitness & health coaching dedicated to helping high-performers look and feel their best without restriction and overexercise. I can’t really believe this is a thing and that I’m building such an amazing community of people supporting my passion for movement in the name of longevity and sustainable health (physical, emotional, and mental). It quite literally lights my soul on fire. Every 1:1 Virtual Personal Training Session, FacetIme with a mentor or peer, live group workout I teach, or conversation with a kind, supportive stranger in my Instagram DMs, reenforces my belief that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be for the first time in my life.
So this past Sunday, things were different. I let myself sleep in and didn’t set an alarm (the only time I do this during the week right now). I made a cup of coffee with cinnamon (as per usual), meditated, journaled, hung out with Olivia in our beautifully redesigned living room, and did a little work admittedly, because at this moment, it truly doesn’t feel like work. I know it won’t always be this way and that boundaries are necessary. This is something I’ll continue to work on. It turns out running a small business is like hard work or something?
I have always loved Sundays, even when I didn’t love my job, for the same reason I love New Years. For me, it’s nothing more than an opportunity. I don’t really believe in resolutions, but I do believe in second chances (or third, or fourth…), clean slates, and setting intentions. Without intention, life just passes us by. I don’t want to spend any more of my days going through the motions and not quite knowing why. I don’t want to miss it, because life is f*cking beautiful even when it’s not.
Sundays are my day to recharge, plan, reflect, and think about all the things I have to be grateful for. My grandma always says “Paris is Paris” when comparing it to other cities and for me “Sundays are Sundays.” You don’t need a Sunday to reset and recharge. Hell, you can start at 3pm on a Tuesday. But for me, Sundays are sacred.
I have no idea what the future holds - I don’t think any of us do. Starting a business in the midst of a global pandemic has its challenges. Despite everything, I believe people are mostly good, that we can always change, adapt, evolve, and that things always get better if you have faith in the future. It’s not blind optimism or some bullsh*t “Law of Attraction” mindset, it’s just what I know to be true.
Today more than ever, I wake up every day grateful for just that, waking up. And on Sundays, it just tastes that much sweeter.
Shelby is a Hoboken-based Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor & Health Coach. She is passionate about getting her clients sustainable results without restriction or overexercise & using her own non-linear 60-pound weight loss journey to help them on theirs. When she’s not sweating or working with clients, you can find her in an obnoxiously high messy bun, at UFC Gym Hoboken, drinking too much cold brew, meditating, spending time with loved ones, and dyeing her hair socially unacceptable colors (sorry, Mom). You can follow her on IG at @shelby_sweats or visit shelbysweats.com for more info