January/February Editor’s Note: Sweatin’ and Stressin’

editorCheers! Happy New Year from your managing editors.

I’m not really the kind of person who enjoys a lot of physical activity. I bike everywhere (out of necessity – it’s cheaper and faster than driving or taking the T), and I will occasionally go hiking (which I mostly enjoy because I get to pet other people’s dogs). So when I was photographing a group of go-getters while they worked out at Achieve Fitness for our Class-y New Year feature, I sent my fellow managing editor this string of texts:

“Omg, I am so out of place in this fitness center.”

“They all know I don’t belong here.”

“I feel lazy.”

A little melodramatic, I know. But it’s pretty much how I felt! Here I was, exercising only my right pointer finger as I snapped some photos before I left to cram a cheeseburger down my throat, and I was surrounded by people who were voluntarily squatting, stretching and sweating their hearts out in the name of self-improvement.

Of course, any new situation is bound to make you feel a little uncomfortable. Yes, I was definitely being over the top, but that fear of not belonging, that desire to fit in – that’s what makes it so tough to get out and try something new. It’s why I wanted to write a feature that helps people stick to their New Year’s resolutions in the first place.

I could learn a thing or two from some of the fearless Somervillians we’ve highlighted in this issue. There’s fashion designer Ashley Rose, long overlooked by the Boston area fashion community, who just shrugs, keeps working and books her own shows. There’s little librarian Ruth Faris, who’s sharing her passion for books with the whole community. And there are the people who attended the 15 classes we featured in this issue, all of whom are working toward their own personal goals.

It can be difficult to admit that you might want (or need) to make a change in your life, and tougher still to follow through when obstacles inevitably pop up. But if you’re trying to make a change in 2015, know that there’s a whole community of people going through the same thing, and they want you to succeed.

And, hey. Happy New Year.