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10 Jun WEEK 4: BE YOU, Rebel

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Good Morning TOURmates,

It’s week four - can you believe it? Take a moment after you read this email to thank yourself for making the commitment to join TOUR and rise to new heights.

As we move into the final stretch of TOUR, we’re focusing on.... well, you. We’ve spent tour being BRAVE, being BOLD and being GOOD. Now, it’s time to just be you 🙂

At POUND we honor the rebel the that lives inside of all of you and believe in nurturing a community that supports and accepts each other, regardless of who you are. Watching you rise as a community and celebrate each other has been amazing.

Take this week to celebrate YOU, your individuality and what you've uncovered these last few weeks.

As a special treat, we asked our last two years winners, Marni and Melissa, to tell us how TOUR helped them on their journey to the best versions of themselves. Read their inspiring stories below:

A message from Melissa (2016 TTS Winner)

Spending so much of your life hiding parts of your body and limiting your own freedom is draining. Mentally and physically. Getting frustrated because you don't look like other girls or getting angry because you struggle to do things the same way as everyone else is draining. Mentally and physically.

And if I'm honest, I'm not sure how much longer I could have gone on living my life the way I was.  
Because I was tired.

They say that everything happens for a reason. I'm a true believer of that. Jessica McKee was my house mate.
I didn't know her before living there. I found the house randomly on an Internet search. Jess is the UK master trainer for POUND. When she first told me about it I was so intrigued. Then I realized it would mean holding ripstix in each hand. Something that someone with one arm wouldn't be able to do. Or so I thought. So when Jess first asked me to try it I felt sick.
I couldn't think of anything worse than going to a class where I wouldn't have the comfort of hiding my arm. Where I'd be "exposed". Where I'd not be able to do the same thing as everyone else. But I loved the uniqueness of this workout so much, and Jess would speak of it with so much love and passion that I pushed myself to try it.

I attended a few classes and would even do them with Jess in the kitchen when she was learning new routines. And it felt amazing. At the end of April she told me about highway to well. I LOVED this idea and for me, it came at a time when I needed it most! I was done with taking a cardigan out to cover my arm every time I left the house. I was done with finding an excuse not to go on the dance floor even though I loved dancing more than anything. And I was done pretending to be an ambassador for actors with disabilities, constantly fighting to get the same opportunities as other actors when really, I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror with out getting annoyed and upset. I couldn't practice what I preached and if I didn't love my body, why the hell should anyone else?

So at the beginning of May last year, the start of POUNDS highway to well, I decided that I would use the month to take small steps in changing my life. Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. So it was time to change. I filled my mind with their badass rockstar ethos until it started to rub off. I would pound the crap out of those ripstix and take out any frustration I had in the class. I would convert from being a microwave meal queen to a mixtape meal master (which were amazing). I would have my friends round to do weekly pound classes that they sent through in the living room. I would use hair brushes or sticks from the garden when I didn't have ripstix and I would tape them to my arm. I would breath and change my thought process every time those horrible judging negative thoughts would enter my head.
I would put photos online without limiting myself to masking the one side of my body.

And my biggest achievement...

I would go to my boyfriends rugby dinner and dance at the end of that month. And I would wear a sleeveless dress. I wouldn't take a cardigan. And I would dance. With the freedom that I finally knew I deserved.
None of this came easy.

It didn't mean that my life changed just by hashtaging highway to well on each photo. But what did change my life was this - The constant support from the amazing POUND community and everyone else spending the month learning to love themselves and becoming true rock stars. The workouts that fill you with so much energy and confidence.
The love and belief that everyone has in this unique concept. The messages of inspiration from complete strangers telling you they are proud.

I have a job to do. The job that I always preached about but found hard to demonstrate.
To show this world that disability is beautiful, it's raw, it's gritty and it's sexy and to show that uniqueness is one of the most amazing things you can own. Finding your own rhythm and not trying to fit in with everyone else's melody. And that is exactly what POUND has shown me.

In LA I got to see more of the incredible pound community.
A class where people told me of the amazing changes they had gone through themselves because of POUND. People so full of love and support and just wanting to share it with everyone. The pound posse are some of the most wonderful, dedicated, life changing people I have ever met. And the world needs more of them. The world needs POUND.
- Melissa
A message from Marni (2015 TTS Winner)
Ever since I was young I feel like I knew who I was and never shied away from showing it. But as I got older I began to question myself more, dealt with a lot of self-doubt and self-esteem issues. It’s always been a struggle, a bit of a tug-a-war with myself.

I recently went through a very big change in my life. It completely threw everything off for me. My whole life had changed in what seemed like an instant. I was so down trotted, my self-esteem was at an all time low, I was unmotivated and had let myself out of my usual fitness routine. I had started back up with POUND with a few friends right before TOUR was announced. I knew when I saw that this year was Rise of the Rebel, it was time to get back to being the Marni everyone knows and loves, the Marni I knew I was but had gotten lost in a funk for a bit.

My first Tour to Summer (2015) was pretty life changing. I finally found a fitness program that made me feel I could take on the world and a whole community of inspiring people who are there for each other through and through. My trip to LA after winning is something I will never forget. Then there was Highway to Well, where I got to be fueled by everyone else’s journeys and that helped me continue with mine. But this year was special, this rebel was ready to rise up and take her life back.

I've been taking this year's TOUR to refocus my energy, regain my physical and mental strength and remember the rockstar that I've always been. POUND has reminded me that no matter what life may throw at me, no matter how many times I might get knocked down, I can always find myself in the music. The minute my ripstix begin to catch the beat I am centered, I am a rockstar and nothing can stop me. Between the amazing POUND workouts, delicious meals and the always inspiring POUND Posse making so much noise this tour, I've been going about my days with a genuine smile on my face, using my gained confidence to move myself forward and up and spread nothing but love to everyone I encounter.

I am Marni, a strong, big-hearted, hilarious, loving, caring, kind soul that just wants to share her positivity and make the world smile. POUND is one of the many ways I'm able to do that. I'm forever grateful.
- Marni
Don't forget to download your MIXTAPE MEALS and TOUR CALENDAR
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