My Sliding Doors Moment
Theresa Polley
January 19, 2024
February 6, 2024
My Journey

It all began with a sliding doors moment. That moment when circumstances allow your life to go in a completely different direction. The phrase comes from the movie, "Sliding Doors."  It depicts the life of the main character going in two different directions based on one moment. I am fascinated by the concept. This is my story of how one seemingly insignificant event, turned my life in a completely (and unexpected!) direction.

My Journey Into Health and Wellness

I began my journey to health and wellness when I was 30. Having just had my second child, the "take the stairs instead of the elevator exercise plan" was no longer working. A group of friends started going to the YMCA and encouraged me to come. At 6 am! By the time I made it, they had all stopped going, but I was hooked.

At first, I was intimidated AND out of breath and struggling to stay upright on the stair climber. Then I ventured into the weight room - I loved lifting weights, but the constant noises the men were making was a bit much.

But I kept at it. All of it. Not only did my physical body change, my outlook on life was transformed. I found relief from my ongoing struggle with depression and anxiety. What kept me coming back for more was how I felt walking out the door after a workout. I felt amazing!

At first I was terrified of the group exercise classes - all of those people staring at me! Now I know, most of us are too focused on what we're doing to notice what anybody else is doing. I dove right into a cycle class - because how hard can it be? Physically, it was incredibly challenging - even worse my butt was killing me - but in spite of that I loved it.

An Invitation From the Universe

I continued to go to class, loving the music and the challenge. My instructor at the time was 9 months pregnant! But very fit and young. One morning she didn't show up to teach, and the class looked at me and said why don't you teach? My first thought was I don't want everybody staring at me - so I turned it down. Luckily it happened again the next day. This time I said yes, thinking (again!) how hard can it be?

I immediately fell in love with teaching cycle. A month later, I was at the Cooper Clinic getting certified. From there, I moved into teaching other exercise classes - including step - which was difficult as I have no idea how to find the 8 count in music. For years, I was running around town teaching various exercise classes at different gyms. It was exhilarating. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to pay the bills, so I was also working a corporate job.

Everything Led Me Here

My journey as a fitness instructor led me directly to dream of what is now Retreat in the Pines. I have so much gratitude for my journey. The things that worked out and the things that didn't. The people who encouraged and supported me, and the people who challenged me.

I sometimes wonder where my life would be if I had said no both times to stepping up and teaching the cycle class. I certainly wouldn’t be writing this blog. What’s so interesting to me, is the fact that the opportunity came around twice. As if the universe said - hey pay attention this is your moment. Wake up and take it. Even more interesting, so much of my journey to create RITP was just that way. If I didn’t pursue a particular opportunity it came back around. It's as if the Retreat in the Pines community was meant to be. I believe what I created was much needed and talking to guests at retreats - they always tell me how much they need what we offer.

Share this Story

Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

Retreat With Us

All Women Welcome
No Judgments
No Expectations
Join Us