In xoNecole's Finding Balance, we profile boss women making boss moves in the world and in their respective industries. We talk to them about their business, their life, and most of all, what they do to find balance in their busy lives.
I don't know about y'all, but when I think of fitness, I definitely don't associate it with fun. For years, it has felt like the reason I won't hit the gym, I won't grab a trainer, and I'll continue to eat delicious food that is no good for my waistline is due, in part, to the fact that exercising feels like a chore.
That's why Briana Owens, the founder of Spiked Spin, a cycling class filled with hip-hop tracks from past and present playing through the classes, is possibly revolutionary. Not only is the atmosphere filled with music eclecticism, but all instructors double as DJs, alternating music based on the mood of the crowd. So yes, you could be getting your cycle on to Beyoncé, Lauryn Hill, Tupac, and countless others.
But when you're a Black woman promoting a healthy lifestyle among the community, how do you juggle others growth while tackling your own (which is ALSO your side hustle and not your 9-5)? In this installment of Finding Balance, we spoke with Briana to find out how she balances hyping up crowds while also hyping up herself.
So we know you're a busy lady! What is an average day like for you?
For me, an average day begins around 6:30 AM and ends around 12AM. I typically wake up early to go to the gym. I try my hardest to get the gym in the morning at least 4 times a week – not even for my body, but for my sanity. The gym is the one part of my day (besides when I am sleeping) that I can focus 100% on my own thoughts and goals.
After the gym, I go to my side hustle, which is in digital advertising. During the day, I work in digital strategy for tech brands. I also use my down time to do any quick housekeeping that needs to take place for Spiked Spin i.e. replying to emails, or handling customer requests. After work, I am fully committed to Spiked Spin, whether I am teaching a class, going to a meeting, updating a deck, having a conference call, etc. I make the evenings really work for me, as that's the time I get the most done for the business! It's cliché, but I really try to use every minute of the day to be productive.
What do you find to be the most hectic part of your week? How do you push through?
Everyday is hectic because right now my corporate job has to take priority. With that in mind, I have to juggle everything else that needs to be done around those hours, and meetings, and schedules that I ultimately have no control over. For me it's hectic, but it's not hard. I acknowledge that I do a lot, but I always feel like I could do more. I don't really get caught up in what I have to do, I focus on just getting it done. For me it's less overwhelming when I don't focus on what has to get done, but instead, I focus on how I'm going to do it – my Google calendar is EVERYTHING to me.
How do you practice self-care?
This may sound weird, or not the typical response, but I always operate in a posture of self-care. From my schedule, to the relationships I allow into my life, when I take a step back, I realize that it is all things that I want in my life. I don't necessarily think of self-care as doing something nice for myself, because I am always nice to myself. I try to think positive thoughts and fill my life with genuineness and love. Everything I do benefits me — my work, my business, my hectic calendar, it's all things that I've chosen and it's me taking care of myself...so I think of everything I do as "self-care." If I think of it in the terms that it's been popularized lately, I would say I love a great manicure, and I love my morning gym routines, and I LOVE talking on the phone to my mom.
"Everything I do benefits me — my work, my business, my hectic calendar, it's all things that I've chosen and it's me taking care of myself...so I think of everything I do as 'self-care.'"
How do you find balance with...
With friends, I am open with what I am willing to give, and what I have to give. I feel like friendship is a choice, so I like it to be easy and seamless. Most of my friendships, I've had for years so the relationships are solidified, and with new friends, I lay out who I am upfront. We all understand that we all lead busy lives, however, we ALWAYS make time for each other. The same way that I schedule a meeting for business, I schedule dates, lunches, etc. with my friends.
I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for seven years, so people assume that we automatically have it all figured out, but we're actually always trying to find what works. His job requires a lot of hours, and so does mine, and it definitely weighs on me sometimes. To maintain balance, we try to talk as much as possible throughout the day, and we always like to reset in the evenings before bed or in the mornings before work! One thing we love to do is vacation! Our vacations are always a great time for us to disconnect and reconnect because the NYC hustle is nonstop! As our goals continue to change, we constantly have to reset and figure what works for us, but the best part is we always keep each other first and remember that we are partners!
One of my personal goals was to workout 4x per week outside of teaching classes because exercise is my personal time to clear my mind and focus on whatever it is that I need to get done. I go to the gym every morning to start my day.
Do you cook or find yourself eating out?
I unfortunately must admit that I eat out 95% of the time. I don't enjoy cooking, especially since it's only me and I don't have a lot of time. I typically find healthy options that I can grab quickly.
Do you ever detox?
I rarely detox but when I do, it's usually from being so connected. Sometimes I'll decide not to check social media, or even emails for a few days.
When you are going through a bout of uncertainty, or feeling stuck, how do you
This happens constantly but I don't allow myself to stay in those feelings. I have a few quotes and scriptures that I like to reference, but I mostly love to talk to God, my mom, and my boyfriend. My mom and Zach know me well, so they keep me level when I feel down, and out of those conversations, I am reminded of my purpose and why I keep going.
What does success mean to you?
What is something you think others forget when it comes to finding balance?
I think people forget that balance is personal. Everyone's self-care or idea of balance is not the same nor should it be. It's important for people to accept their truths and live fully in the ways that provide them the most balance.
Featured image by Briana/Instagram.