Ellen's Blog

Making Connections – Past and Present

Orangetheory has been good to me thanks to all of you, so last year I decided it was time to plan a trip I’ve dreamed about for years – a trip to connect my family with our Italian roots.

Who would have thought it would take nearly a year to plan our summer trip to Italy? There were flights, hotels, drivers and tours to consider. There were passports to renew. And of course, there was no shortage of recommendations from great friends.

When the day finally arrived, there were 18 of us in all, ranging in age from 22 to 65. For 13 of our group, it was their first trip to Italy; for half, it was their first time outside of the United States.

For my cousin, Dana, it was more than a family reunion – married just weeks before, it was her honeymoon with her new husband, Robert. Talk about a welcome to the family!

For three days in Italy and two days in France, we didn’t stop for a minute. We discovered, explored and visited. We reminisced and imagined; we gazed in awe at the beauty around us. And we laughed – often late into the night.

Did I mention the food – the homemade pasta, the pizza, the wine?

We loved every minute of our adventure – most of all, the opportunity to connect. We connected with our past, imagining how my grandparents, now gone, lived in this country and emigrated to the states. How they must have felt leaving their homeland, so rich with history.

And for seven uninterrupted days, we connected with our present – the siblings and spouses and children and cousins we never get the chance to visit with long enough.

Of course, we got in our workouts along the way – even with no studios in our path, we managed our version of a workout nearly every day. And we marveled at the number of people who recognized the signature orange splat in a region that hasn’t yet experienced the power of Orange.

It’s true, the most important things in life aren’t things. For me, it’s family and health and experiences. This trip was the experience of a lifetime; I hope you’ll make time for what’s most important to you.

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