Flamenco dancer, river guide, fitness guru, entrepreneur and fifth-generation Taoseña, Julia Fernández de Maez reflects that "now is the time to realize that the small things have always been and always will be the big things."
River guide, fitness guru, entrepreneur and fifth-generation Taoseña, Julia Fernández de Maez reflects that "now is the time to realize that the small things have always been and always will be the big things."
She says, "Like standing in the line of a coffee shop and striking up a conversation with a stranger, hugging your grandma without fear of getting her sick and watching a sunset without the fear of what will happen next ... these are all the big things."
She notes that because of the isolation imposed by the coronavirus quarantine, the way we look at our concept of time will never be the same. "Before, we were already in a self-imposed quarantine on our phones and computers. We were already socially distant. Before the coronavirus pandemic, we always make time for family pets and our relationships with family and friends. Now we are being given the gift of what it means to be in the moment."
Two days after the coronavirus pandemic quarantine was put in place, Fernández de Maez's fiancé was laid off from his job at the ski valley where he's been employed for over a decade. She said when he found out, "it broke my heart and put a fire under my ass." She and her fiancé are weathering the storm cooking good food and spending quality time with each other and their pets.
As the owner of a fitness and personal training studio in Taos, The Body Shop, she's fielding a different kind of call daily from her clients. "It's a distinct style of coaching now - some just want to talk about how they are weathering the curfew and quarantine. My online coaching is not limited to the workout plan these days. The recent members are not the usual gymgoers. Before they couldn't go to a live class, now they are more comfortable in a class we offer online."
Fernández de Maez's family is from Llano Quemado. "One reason I am so deeply committed to dance is because I believe it saved my life. When I discovered flamenco, I was on the fast track to a dead end, using drugs and alcohol. As fate would have it, my best friend invited me to a flamenco class taught by Catalina Río Fernández at the Talpa School.
"I can still remember the smell of the wooden floors. I was oblivious in some ways to what I was experiencing yet understanding at the same time that my life was about to change. It was like someone had ignited a fire in my soul. That was a warm summer day in 2003. I was 17."
When the coronavirus pandemic is over and in our collective rearview mirror, Fernández de Maez hopes to travel to Cairo, Egypt, where she has been invited to perform with international belly dance megastar Sadie Marquard as part of a seven-day belly dance festival called Cairo Crazy Nights.
She's been a fan of the belly dancer for years after watching an episode of "America's Got Talent," where they featured dancers from Denver, one of them Marquard. "Call it the law of attraction, but I watched Marquard's videos and followed her dance workshops for years. Seven years after watching that initial video, Sadie Marquard was sitting in my living room, and now she is one of my dear friends."
Fernández de Maez has bought her plane ticket, hoping the international lockdown will be lifted soon.
Fernández de Maez said that if there was one piece of advice she would give her younger self it would be "to slow down, but only a little. It's been a fast, continuous hustle to get to this point. I guess I would tell my younger self to be more patient."
She is inspired by people who "accomplish the impossible despite all odds against them. "My heroes are people like Temple Grandin, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa and Captain Chesley Sullenberger."
Fernández de Maez is deeply inspired by nature, hiking, river rafting and mountain climbing. "As a fifth season river guide, I am inspired by the river and nature, not only by her power and beauty but also unforgivingness. Nature and the river remind me that the ego means nothing.
"It is important to remember that the journey to success is never a straight line. While it's easy to have the heart for what you do, it's equally important to have the stomach for it. Because it will send you on the ride of your life. My failures outnumber my success 100 to one. In hindsight, I wouldn't have it any other way, and I would do it all again."
You can find out more information about fitness coaching from Fernández de Maez on her Facebook page: The Body Shop LLC and by calling (505) 240-3687.
In order to read our site, please exit private/incognito mode or log in to continue.