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January 14, 2021 2 min read 3 Comments

Guest Blog from Boise Oulakin Carrie Mansell
Hellooooooo friends! 
I wanted to share a little story about what I AM HERE is meaning for me right now. 
I am not pregnant, but I have put on enough weight this past 9-10 months to bring a baby to full term. Probably even a little extra.  I don’t feel good in my body. While dancing makes my heart, head, and soul feel freaking fantastic, it’s taking a toll on my body. And my body is taking a toll on me. My person. My mental health. Here is what I know... I AM HERE FOR IT. I have gained and lost weight in the past. Many times. Too many to count. It’s been a battle since I was a child. It’s part of who I am. It’s a struggle I will always struggle with. And I am here for it. 
I think of all the people that have died this year. Some I knew well, some I loved, and some were strangers....And it makes me cringe. Then it makes me so so grateful that I am here!!!! I am not able to teach in the same way I did pre-pandemic. And I am here for that too, I pivoted. And guess what??? People still show up to my outdoor classes. In 96 degree heat, and in 19 degrees freeezing cold. They are here for it too. 
Where am I going with all this? I don’t know. I just know that I am still an awesome Oula instructor. I know that my classes don’t give a single fuck if I can jump as high, or if I run out of breath, or if I have to ask someone to co-teach with me (or mostly Kelly Lynae volunteers, because she is an angel). 
And I know I am so grateful for this Oula community. I AM HERE was my training song. It’s so incredibly special to me. And Oula is so incredibly special. I know I don’t “LOOK” like a typical fitness instructor. I knew that when I signed up to be an instructor, and here I am some 2 1/2 years later, still not looking the part. But I AM HERE... still believing in myself. Sharing my I AM HERE playlist in hope it will inspire you, or even just to share it because sharing is caring. And I do both of those things very well. 
Xoxo Oulaverse, you are loved  Carrie Mansell
Better When I'm Dancin' - Meghan Trainor
Water Me - Lizzo
Matches - Britney Spears & Backstreet Boys
Boyfriend - Mabel
Confetti - Little Mix
Confident - Demi Lovato
S&M - Rihanna
Whip It - Nicki Minaj
Love Don't Die - The Fray
Microphone - American Authors
Warriors - Imagine Dragons
Never Give Up - Sia
Higher - Bishop Briggs
I Am Here - Pink
Fly Away - Tones And I
Stay - Rihanna
Good Job - Alicia Keys

3 Responses

Michelle Smith
Michelle Smith

February 22, 2021

Thanks for being willing to be vulnerable. I totally see you and get it. I just finished submitting all of my assignments to be an instructor. For This is Me, I thought I did really well. Then I watched myself. Total shame attack! I hated the way I looked. I thought, who is going to possibly take me seriously as an instructor and want to attend my classes? It’s a battle I’ve waged my entire life too. Gain, lose, gain, lose. Holy shit PANDEMIC! I’ve lost close to twenty pounds over the past six months and am going to try to continue to lose for my health. Trying to use positive self-talk when I have these shame attacks, which is really very frequent and frustrating. Just keep telling yourself. I am enough. This is Me. I am here. I am a good person and instructor. Be proud to be you. You are such a supportive and encouraging person even though I’ve only known you through this certification process.


Sonja Shadow
Sonja Shadow

February 01, 2021

Carrie! We don’t know each other at all, but I am so moved by your example and words. Cheers on this historic day for humankind as “…there is always light if only we are brave enough to see it – if only we are brave enough to be it.” -Angela Gorman
Much love to you and gratitude for your brightness and bravery – for helping me remember that, “I am here!” ❤️❤️❤️

Ann Snyder
Ann Snyder

February 01, 2021

Thanks for your inspiration! You are here and wonderful. This is what Oula does you said it well.

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