seems like box + flow is gettin a whole lotta buzz these days. my face and/or name keeps popping up, even to my surprise, which is pretty wild considering how hard i fought myself to bring the concept to life. now, im waking up to emails congratulating me on my "success." ... and i couldn't be more grateful for the love + support.
the funny thing is that, my "success" is really just about being exactly who i am + finally letting it flow. my fear in creating box + flow was a fear in being vulnerable. but how i am isn't new. im as crazy as they come and when people see that, they either love it or hate it. i have a hard time living in the "grey" because im an all or nothing kind of girl. i work hard to #livyoung.
rewind to December 2009. post college, i moved to NYC to flee from South Florida and an ex-boyfriend who left me feeling empty. i read an interview by then food + wine EIC Dana Cowin stating that going to culinary school would give an edge to someone wanting to get into food editorial. and i wanted to work for her. so in the dead of winter, i decided to jump in the fire at the French Culinary Institute, hoping to refill my empty and restart my post college adult life. i avoided the pork chops + coq au vin i was cooking, in favor of stuffing myself with the pastry kitchen's mountains of buttercream icing and butterscotch pudding.
i interned at food + wine editing cookbooks for Kate Heddings before realizing that print media really wasn't for me. with Kate's priceless advice, i took five interviews with the Altamarea Group, before CEO Ahmass Fakahany hired me as Michael White's first assistant.
Over the years, Ahmass became my boss, mentor and rock + Michael became my first child and one of my best friends. I am so grateful for them...their lessons, advice, listening and trust.
After years of working for AMG, I craved challenge and freedom, regardless of the restaurant openings and exponential corporate growth. I asked Ahmass' permission to start my own consultancy and he obliged. complacency to me is like being stuck in quick sand, sinking into the depths of hell. When I used to get bored with work, I would power date men until one stuck and then played happy housewife throwing dinner parties for 14 and traveling around the world until I eventually hated myself even more than the guy I was with.
So I worked + I dated and I woke up everyday and ran multiple miles pre boxing and yoga. My routine fueled me. 5am wakeup. breakfast + run. Running allows me to think, boxing fuels my fire + and yoga forces me to feel.
for as long as i remember, I've known that I needed to create something for myself, beyond just a family and a corporate career. I have that fire, a will to win. a want for more. I was searching for something and simultaneously searching for myself. I read books, speed dated, traveled, and continued my attempt to run away from ME.
In my reading+searching, I discovered something that really resonated in Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic. It was along the lines of, "you can consume or you can create." no doubt, i wanted to create. I wanted to create something that spoke to balance. not just food + not just fitness. but something that empowers others the way I have been empowered...something that speaks to life ... and how i LIV.
My name is Olivia Young. My mom calls me Liv. I wake up everyday and work hard to Liv Young. my dream is to empower others to do the same. to LIV, not limit.
So I encourage you to BE Different. let people judge you. let them comment and question. but do not lose site of you.
I have always been different. I'm an old soul with strong opinions, many passions, strange habits, endless energy, and little patience. I need sleep. lots of it. i often prefer to go to bed before 8pm than go out partying. sleep gives me fuel to work hard. i wake up at 5am and run before the sun. i live to sweat. i laugh at myself. often. i detest surface conversation and much prefer diving right into the uncomfortable questions.
when i eat, i enjoy. when i fight, i get messy. when i love, i love big. to me, the best things in life make you sweat. food, fitness + sex. i don't take any of the three lightly.
food: i love food. good food. food is sexy, its sensual. id rather eat nothing than eat a shitty sandwich on a 16 hour plane ride. i love strong flavors and funky ingredients. i love dry aged meat, cheese rinds, shrimp heads, and chicken skin. i fry my eggs in anchovy oil, eat more sardines than you'd ever want to know about and boil eggs by the dozen. black licorice and nutella are my kryptonite and beer is one of my best friends. oh and i typically eat with my hands.
breathing: i breathe deep. breath fuels my fitness, my fight, my flow + my heart. when im not breathing deeply, i know something is out of whack.
so my point in all of this is actually quite simple.
i am ME. so just be you. your truest you. find your fire. your fight. and don't hold back. do not hide. just let it flow. surround yourself with people who support you. they will hold you up. and surround yourself with those who don't. they will push you harder. prove them wrong. in the end, the only person that needs to love you is YOU. so love YOU hard. make YOU proud. and don't back down. the people that matter will show up. the people that don't will criticize. just breathe thru it all.
box + flow is about finding your fight, your fire, your potential, your power...and then letting it flow. it is about self awareness and ultimately becoming a better version of yourself.
with that, i am so grateful to be joined by a group of instructors that believe + support my vision, who empower and enliven everyone that walks thru the 55 Bond Street 2nd Floor doors - and enliven me.
AND so I leave you with this: time is finite. make it count. its almost 2017. what are you waiting for? everything you need is inside. #fight #flow #fly