use your words katie

April 25, 2014


i’ll try to use words.

there are the obvious ones: grateful, beholden, indebted, disbelieving, bed-wetting; but they all seem flat and empty compared to the marching band of thankful drumming around in my belly as i try to sit still.


wednesday afternoon, in a ballroom teeming of my heroes, idols, icons, and personal celebrities—people i look up to and admire, and never in a million years would even aspire to emulate, they’re that stratospheric, out of my league fabulous; and there i was, breaking bread, sitting knee-to-knee, posing for selfies, and talking shop on bar stools with them.


i was at the historic roosevelt hotel, in hollywood, california, for the annual equinox forum on group exercise, a global {we now have clubs in canada and london} meeting of managers and executives from every single equinox club in the world, to discuss, celebrate and plan equinox’s vision for the future.

it was obvious someone had made a GIANT mistake with my invitation, and most likely was going to get fired…..wes pedersen.


i kept my mouth shut, drank the free coffee, tried not to draw too much attention to myself by eating the free breakfast, and did my best to take it all in like the poser i am.

it was a day crammed full of inspiration.


i stopped counting the number of times i put index fingers to temples, in effort to commit my note-taking to memory. visions of the future, statistics of how far we as a company have come, testimonials from members whose lives have dramatically changed from the support of fellow instructors, people i know and love; this was an eight-hour re-affirmation {not that i needed it} of why i get jiggy with what i do.


we are in the business of changing people’s lives; every day, every single morning and night, and i feel so lucky to be a part of it. the reality of what i get to do sometimes knocks me to the ground, in holy-shit, gratitude.

winding down the day we ended with the “noxie” awards ceremony, celebrating and rewarding the best in the industry for their dedication to equinox, and ingenuity at their affiliate clubs. it still is beyond me that i was allowed to witness and join in on this celebration.


writing these next words feels like an out of body experience, as did the moment my photo and name flashed on the screen, when carol espel named me as a winner of my own “noxie” in the category of group exercise excellence.

i’m pretty sure i threw up.

there were multiple f-bombs on my part {sorry amy dixon.}

and i ruined the photos with my tears.

those are the only snippets i remember.


again, most likely there was a mistake made somewhere, and someone will be losing their job, but for the time being, i am chin-t0-chest, hands in prayer, beyond thankful and feel utterly aghast, drunk on the fireworks of support and kindness i’ve been receiving over the last 48 hours.


i once had a family member question my career choice:

all those years studying at ucla, and you’re teaching aerobics for a living?”

i’m not going to lie, this has fucked with me; as if i was less-than, or wasteful with my education or brain.

often times i’ve felt small or less erudite amongst so-called “professionals”-those who sit at desks and make decisions affecting world markets and policies for communities, teachers teaching our precious babies to be good citizens; mothers who stay at home raising future voters and toddlers to potty on toilets.

i don’t know how to do any of those things, i can’t even make a pie crust, but i can show you how to plank?


but i realize, often times i’m the link before these professionals and parents get to said desks, classrooms or kitchens.

on wednesday we talked about our “through line” for the classes we teach; what’s our intention, our objective when we go in to teach…mine is always the same, has always been the same since i taught my first class seventeen years ago:

walk out of class feeling better than you walked in here.


no it’s not profound or tweet worthy. but as i teach, cue and correct i have visions, hopes, expectations of my tribe going off on their day with a feeling of self-induced empowerment; a positivity that hopefully their spouse or partner, co-worker, or even enemy will feel.

maybe that day will be the day they’re able to forgive, let go of the albatross of bitter holding them back from living a more joyful life. perhaps a lyric of a song will remind them how far they’ve come from a bad break-up, or maybe just an encouraging woo-hoo from a fellow rider will confirm to someone else, one whose heart might be in the middle of breaking into a million little pieces, that they are not alone.

i want my students friends  family walking out of class feeling like this.

this is why i teach.

i am beyond grateful for my award, but the real award is this family.

thank you equinox.

thank you family.



  • Niloofar

    Very well deserved Miss Katie
    You are the bestest

    • love you niloo!! thank you so much for the support and love all this time…you are the bestest my love…

  • yay! f@ck those people who think your career is somehow unworthy. they are just jealous that they didn’t have the balls to follow their passion and do something outside the box. congrats from maryland. xo

    • ahhh my fellow bruin! thank you jess…my love….i hope you’re wonderfull…would love to give you a squeeze next time you’re out here…

  • Hearing you talk about what you do with such passion, it’s obvious to me that there was no mistake about it. Congratulations, Katie!

    • oh my gosh…thank you mugdha…it definitely is a passion…a love…so much…

  • Congratulations, Katie! So proud of you, xo

  • YOU are wonderful and the award is certainly no mistake. We are lucky to have you on our team. Lucky. And the only thing I hope for is that they eventually clone you and we can have a Katie Osumi at every EQ location!

    • thank you miss kimmel!!

      congratulations right back to YOU rockstar!!!!

  • Katie, somehow I didn’t make this connection… I’ve been a silent blog stalker, I mean, reader for a while… I was there too, in that ballroom and I watched you mouth “are you fucking kidding me,” from my seat over at Table 2. (I’m the GFM at DTLA).

    At any rate – I love your thoughts on this: education, wondering or being chastised for “not using your degree.” But whatever your degree was in, your using it – and more! Communication, follow-through, thoughtfulness and science are so key to our jobs… the same as an investment banker, just way more fun!

    Maybe I’ll be a less silent stalker, I mean, READER, now! (And maybe I’ll convince you to come do a special event at DTLA!)

    • aaaaaah!!! LAYLA!! i wish i could have talked to you!!

      thank you so much…{i’m so sorry for my language…wednesday, today, everyday…eeek!!}….

      i would love to come to DTLA….isn’t my girl katie horwitch there!?!? let’s do a double trouble ride!?!

      love to you!!

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