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National Coming Out Day
Wellness
Published Friday Oct 11, 2019 by Erica Arvanitis

Eric Lerma: Coming Out on Their Terms

Personal Growth

Since 1987, October 11th has been an important day for the LGBTQIA+ community. This year is the 31st anniversary of National Coming Out Day—a day that serves as a way for LGBTQIA+ identifying individuals to celebrate themselves, each other, and the people in their lives who support and love them for who they are.

To highlight this day, we asked one of our own, Eric Lerma, to share their coming out journey, what coming out means to them, and how living their truth helped them to empower others. 


How has being part of the LGBTQIA+ community shaped you over the years?

I am so indebted to this community. I have been afforded an infinite amount of lessons, virtues, and affirmations–more than I could have ever hoped to acquire. I would say that I’m most grateful for my ability to understand and navigate shame. I came out in a small, country town in the Central Valley of California. The community was small, and most were deeply closeted, and many of us had a multitude of shared experiences when it came to how we were treated by our peers. While I wouldn’t wish what some of us went through unto anyone, I’ve learned how to help people through their shame. I’ve learned how to empower and instill confidence in people when they maybe feel at their lowest, when they feel they don’t have a place in the world. I’ve learned to actively practice compassion and empathy. The LGBTQIA+ Community has empowered me to empower others. 


When did you know it was the right time for you to come out?

The timing of my coming out wasn’t calculated or given too much thought, nor was it a particularly joyous occasion. For lack of better phrasing, I was very tired when I came out; exhausted even. So much of my energy was spent trying to keep my head down and not respond to any antagonistic behavior; the obscene gestures and comments in the locker room, the pointed questions attempting to get me to admit or confess my sexuality, being closely followed and taunted while I walked home from school, etc. I had been subject to and endured so many years of this harassment that most of my time in middle and high school was spent in a major depression. I remember there being a pretty distinct numbness at the time. This ultimately resulted in a sense of apathy regarding what people thought of me and a feeling of having nothing left to lose. 

So I started telling the truth. I didn’t dodge the questions, I responded to the crass comments without filter or hesitation, and owned my identity. Pretty shortly after, most of the harassment and pestering subsided. It was no longer a secret that people could use against me.


From work to personal life, using pronouns is becoming a part of everyday conversation. In your own experience, what is the best way to go about asking someone their preferred pronoun? 

I would start by saying that we shouldn’t use the word or words familial to “preferred” when it comes to Pronouns. It implies that it’s optional and subjective to each individual that person interacts with, which they’re not. You can prefer Coke over Pepsi. You can prefer Slack over email. But you don’t have a preference when it comes to your identity. That is concrete, objective, not up for debate, and should be respected as such. So, when it comes to asking someone about their pronouns, ask, “What are your Pronouns?”

 

What does “coming out” mean to you? 

“Coming out” is synonymous with living your truth. It is an act of self-care, self-love. It opens the door to self-discovery. It is one of the greatest gifts a person can give themselves.

 

What advice would you give to someone struggling with the decision to come out? 

First thing’s first, do it on your terms. Come out in a way that’s respectful and reflective of who you are or who you want to be and do so with confidence. 

Second, give yourself the time you need. You aren’t on anyone’s schedule or agenda but your own. There is no right or wrong time to come out.

Third and lastly, don’t get hung up on the labels. Sexuality and gender are fluid and exist on a spectrum. You don’t have to speak in absolutes or choose an identifier. Your identity is yours and yours alone, and it is subject to evolution and change.
 

Erica Arvanitis MINDBODY
Written by
Erica Arvanitis
Copywriter
About the author
A copywriter by day, Erica spends her free time mastering the art of puzzles while forcing her 10-year-old Chow mix to wear sweaters. With experience in PR, social media, marketing, and copywriting, Erica lives and breathes the written word. Warning: don’t test her on Friends trivia - she will win every time.
recovery tips marathon race 5K
Fitness
Published Friday Oct 11, 2019 by Jacki Carr

How to Recover After a 5K

Fitness
Expert Advice
Running

Dare I say fall is the best season of all? The crisp cool air is such a huge turn from the summer sunshine. Autumn calls for cozy sweaters, big mugs tea, trail runs, and all the back to school vibes. I feel this seasonal push to realign my values, get my habits dialed in and clearly create my calendar. Where summer is so fancy-free, fall feels more like a time to get real. A softer January. 
 
Channeling the fall vibes and exploring new habits and ways to sweat, I signed up for the Allstate Hot Chocolate 5K in Denver this month! I crossed the finish line with my sister (and MINDBODY employee), Melinda. I have to say, we had a blast training together and completing a goal together is the *best* way to kickstart the fall season.

 

running tips recovery
 

Now that the race is complete, it is time for some much needed R&R. Here are my four favorite ways to recover after running (and rocking!) a 5K, no matter the time of year:


WHAT: Pedicure 
WHERE: Glosshauz
My feet are often in need of some love after training and running on race day. They are getting a lot of movement time leading up to a race and afterward, the best way to recover is to sit down and soak in the warm water, foot massage, and glossy polish. I went for an autumn maroon polish to welcome the season and say thank you to my feet for moving me through that 5K. Runner’s note: if you pre-race pedi, keep those calluses until after the race!
 
WHAT: Restorative Yoga 
WHERE: Oasis
Nothing says relaxation like a post-race flow in a beautiful indoor environment. Located in the cozy Berkeley neighborhood in Denver, this space is an urban retreat known for its mindful and restorative practices and offerings. We love Lauralynn Sulivan and her Yoga Nidra classes. Yoga Nidra literally translates to “yoga sleep” and rest is a crucial part of recovery. Grab all the props—oh hey there bolsters—add two blankets and enjoy the yogic slumber. 
 
WHAT: Massage 
WHERE: Peace of Mind
Now, this is a must! Schedule your massage within a week after the day you crossed the finish line. Peace of Mind is off Pearl Street in Wash Park and looks like a welcoming house turned lavender-scented zen zone. While many places offer an array of services, try a Sports Massage post-race. It will promote flexibility and helps to reduce fatigue. Ahhh. A massage is a perfect complement to the endurance your body just exemplified in your 5K. 
 
WHAT: Express Facial 
WHERE: Glow Facial Bar
The chilly air and layers of sweat can create a mess for my skin after race day—and as we move into fall, the dry Colorado air and dehydration are already taking its toll! I scheduled an express facial at Glow Facial Bar to clean up my skin post-race. This fast and efficient 30-minute treatment included exfoliation, anti-aging and deep hydration to enlighten and brighten my skin. Bonus—they keep the rose quartz rollers in the fridge. Hello, lymph detox and goodbye under-eye puffiness! 
 
Cheers to your next race and always remember to recover and take care of your body—and your mind! 

 

Whether you’re looking for a good stretch session or self-care treatment after your next race, MINDBODY is your source for all things fitness, wellness, and beauty, wherever you are!  
 
 

Jacki Carr
Written by
Jacki Carr
Rock Your Bliss Co-Founder | Writer
About the author
Jacki Carr is a goal coach, writer, and yoga teacher with a real, honest style that helps connect people to their most powerful self. Co-founder of Rock Your Bliss, you can find Jacki in Evergreen, Colorado drinking another bulletproof coffee on her front porch with her husband, two daughters, and their pups.