Day 34 // 3707 Madison Road


My life changed forever a year ago today.

Undoubtedly you are asking “Didn’t it just change recently with the cancer diagnosis?” Yes, of course. But something triggered the disease’s development and I stand today firmly believing it began with this email.

“Beth, I have leased the property at 3707 Madison Road therefore I will not extend your month to month rental beyond the 15th of September 2014. This e-mail places you on notice that you must be out of the building by the 15th of September.”

What? Out of the building? This can’t be! We had an agreement. Bella Forza would occupy the space until December 31st. How could you recant your words, our agreement, your promise?

Until this day a year ago, the conflict within was at an all time high as to whether or not I would continue the studio. Exhausted from the expectations placed on myself, my #‎bfflove tank was empty. The place I had built with a vision to help women physically and emotionally was crumbling in my eyes…no one else’s…just mine. My weary body could no longer sustain – the confusion within gnawing.

But this email was my wake up call. “Beth, it’s time to decide!” The thought of abandoning 175+ ladies simply was not an option. We would not be defeated by such a monster – so cold and callous – his cowardly act of an email.

And with it, a new conflict emerged.

The search for a new home, an unplanned move, legal warfare and unnecessary dollars, the hearts that could not be broken – that was my war. But one that few knew. The internal stress was oozing from my pores with each day…increasing. Like many deep cuts continuing to bleed, the wounds would not heal for some time.

My body, vulnerable, was fighting numerous mini battles. It could not stave off every enemy and slowly cancer crept in waging its own campaign…quietly…while no one was looking. I’ll give it credit – stealth it was and certainly took me by surprise.

At some point after the diagnosis, I begged my doctor to place a timeline to the tumor growth. Given my family’s predisposition to cancer, genetics trumped the “how” when it came to asking the question “why me?” Interestingly, my doctor stated that something triggered the body’s exposure. And with the “best guess” timeline, the obvious emerged.

A simple email.