Apparently I'm supposed to have an about me page.
SO, HI. AGAIN, I'M ESTHER. AND I'M TELLING MY STORy, MY WAY.
I was born in Nigeria, and then my family moved all over the world.
But despite all this, I’ve spent the better part of my life feeling like I wasn’t enough. And that’s the story I want to tell you today.
My dad is Italian and my mother is French. They met in Nigeria. I was born in Nigeria. Needless to say, I didn’t look Nigerian. Kids would ask me why my skin wasn’t black.
When I was 18, I took a trip to France with my best friend that summer. I was held at Customs because I was traveling with a French passport and I had this crazy, thick Latin American accent. I wasn’t even French enough to have a French passport.
I loved gymnastics (and I was really good at it!), but one day, I broke my coach’s nose when he caught me during a tumbling routine. I was so embarrassed that I quit. Yep. I never went back.
THINGS I’VE STRUGGLED WITH
You know what really sucks? When someone calls you a “slow learner.” Well, that was me. I had tutors for math and English and I was never anything more than a C student academically. Even though that sucked, I did discover I was pretty fuckin’ good at sports. Badass, even.
ABOUT SPORTS (AND STUFF)
We already talked about when I quit gymnastics. But let’s talk about horses. I loved riding horses and dressage (y’know, when they make the horse dance all these cool moves?) – THAT was my thing. And I was really fuckin’ good at it, too. Until I had to compete against my brother. In the national championships, he placed first and I took second. It was a huge blow to my ego because horses were my thing.
Also, I really hated ballet and piano lessons. Hated, hated, hated them. OMG – look at that kid right there. She is HATING this. (Oh, that’s my brother in the back. HE had to do ballet, too.)
THINGS I’VE DONE WHile LOOKING FOr my “ME”
Wildlife field biologist tracking and collecting samples of the endangered Patagonian Huemul (Google it).
Marine biologist for the Smithsonian.
Spent countless hours hanging upside down from docks from Alaska to Panama and from New Hampshire to Florida. And riding commercial ships from Europe to North and South America, and between Australia and New Zealand. Why? Why not?
LOSING THINGS I LOVE
Actually, it’s people. My dad. This is me with my dad and I miss him every day. He was an incredibly loving man who saw the best in everyone – everyone but himself. That’s the demon that is depression. My dad took his own life and that put me in a very dark place.
Losing my dad made me lose myself. Actually, I gave myself away. And in retrospect, that was total bullshit. I drank. I did stupid things. I ended up in an ER with 38 staples across my stomach wondering if my intestines would ever work right again on account of stupid shit I’d done.
I’d finally lost my pride and started looking for my ME again.
HOW I FOUND HER
If everything above seems kind of bleak – it IS. But shit got way better when I stopped running from everything I wasn’t and started thinking about who I am and what I want.
Oddly enough, I started teaching indoor cycling classes as a way to get rid of all this fucking anger I had. That felt GREAT.
Moving, sweating, getting everything I didn’t need out of my system and leaving room for nothing but the good stuff – my heart. My mind. MySELF.
HER – UNLEASHED
I met my love while leading my first ever indoor charity ride, ENDURE in 2004. We’ve now team-taught ENDURE for the past 14 years. This guy…
I founded REV Cycle Studio in 2014. It is, hands down, one of the most amazing things I’ve ever achieved in my life. Every day for 5 years, I got to share the gift of sweat with whomever was brave enough to walk through my doors, my tribe. It was never an easy ride, but damn – it’s a good one and they were always glad they came.
This was my dream for so many years to open Baltimore’s first cycle studio and I fucking did it! I created a legacy in our city and in 2019 it was time to expand, to grow, and step once again into the unknown. I have been here before. Change is hard, and this decision to sell my 50% share of REV, my dream, my baby, to my business partner had been an incredibly difficult one to make and yet I am following my heart as we are all born for greatness.
I’m surrounded every day by people who don’t censor me – my language, my dreams, my thoughts, my fears, my loves. Dreams don’t expire. They expand.
UNLEASHING YOUR YOU
I know what it feels like to not be enough and be on the path to figuring out who you are and what you want.
If you’re tired of wondering and settling, you’re in the right place. I do what I love. And it’s okay to wonder who you are and what you love. Together, we’ll sweat it out.
BECAUSE OF LOVE
I sweat for love. Love for myself, my members, my clients, my audience, my loves…I’ve stopped sweating for all of the bullshit that held me back, told me I wasn’t enough, and held me back from ESTHER. Because baby, I am Esther Fucking Collinetti – and that is MORE than enough.