I came across some rather tragic news when I was sitting at a local coffee shop on Saturday. I was there to study and write. During a quick break I came across a post that just put me in tears. I read that RK Publishing has filed bankruptcy and is closing its doors. Why is that so sad? RK Publishing is the company that published my all-time favorite magazine, Oxygen.
I discovered Oxygen just over two years ago when I was starting my serious fitness journey. I was always drawn in by the strong women who graced the magazine stands. I pretty much bought every issue off the rack each month for at least a year. I devoured each and ever issue. Finally, my husband convinced me that actually getting a subscription would make more financial sense. Oxygen day in my mailbox was my favorite day of the month. I confess household chores and other obligations often got neglected on Oxygen day because I would sit down and read it cover to cover right then and there.
You see, Oxygen portrayed the kind of woman I longed to be. The pages were filled with strong and confident women. These women did not shy away from lifting a lot of heavy weights. They did not shy away from doing tons of HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training). They did not shy away from all that goes into a clean, muscle building, fat burning diet. These women exemplified the strength and confidence I respected the most. They did not give in to societal norms for women. They were myth busters right there in flesh and blood.
I wanted to BE one of them. I had the dream of someday gracing those pages as one of the women in the “Oxygen Success Stories” or “Future of Fitness” sections. I have a long way to go that but it was a dream that I had and worked towards.
Now the chances are that this magazine, this source of motivation and inspiration, will no longer be published. I even just renewed my subscription for two years. Sure, I am kind of miffed about losing my money but it goes far deeper than that. I am grieving the loss of a constant in my life. It seemed that Oxygen would arrive in my mailbox right when I needed it the most. My motivation waxes and wanes each month and somehow Oxygen would show up right when I needed a boost. The new workouts gave me variety, the recipes were yummy, and the confidence that seeped off the pages slapped me out of my stupor. Gosh! I am going to miss them.
When Robert Kennedy, the publisher, passed away last year from cancer I grieved right along with the rest of the women’s fitness world. I cried when I read the memorial issue. That man revolutionized women’s fitness. His voice and magazine started a movement that said that REAL women are strong and confident. He made it clear that it is perfectly okay and encouraged women to dig deep within themselves and prove what their bodies are capable of. He proved that muscle is beautiful. He proved that the skinny, waif is NOT the ideal anymore. Strong is the new skinny.
I will always be indebted to Robert Kennedy and Oxygen magazine. They guided my workouts and helped shape my love for everything fitness. I thank them for the confidence I gained from this journey. When I started I was depressed and felt unworthy of just about everything. But, then I started my journey and I realized that I am indeed powerful as a woman. I can take on the world and even change it. I am a new person.
Thank you, Oxygen……for everything.