305 Fitness Instructor Wisty and Partner Julien

In honor of Valentine's Day, instructors share intimate deets on finding (and staying in) love. Below, peep our feature with Wisty, our fierce instructor in Boston and her partner Julien.

So, tell us - how did you guys meet?

Wisty: Once upon a time (2011) when I was still with my ex, I visited Boston for the first time and was invited to a holiday dinner with the Julien's family. They were so friendly, welcoming and everyone was an artist/musician in the family.

Julien:  My father is a street performer, and makes friends with a lot of different people. One of those people was Wisty's ex boyfriend, which led him and Wisty to come to our Holiday party in 2011. Before then, I had just watched the movie "Kiki's Delivery Service." The first thought I had when I saw her, before we even said anything to each other, was that she reminded me of the main character, Kiki. After sharing my observation almost immediately after introducing myself, she was impressed and told me it was her all-time favorite movie, and that she personally relates very strongly to Kiki. We wouldn't really spend much time with each other for the few years after that point, but it made for a memorable first impression!


OMG! The stars really aligned for you to meet! So, how did that progress to dating?

Wisty: My ex was also a musician and jammed with Julien whenever he would come over to their house. Two years later after my ex and I broke up, I told the family that we were no longer together and they offered to help me move out of my ex's place. When the moving day arrived, Julien was the only one that could make it and we did the whole move the two of us. We talked about improvising/jamming together, because I love dancing to live music! So we started jamming, getting to know each other, aaaandd now we're here!

Julien: A while after Wisty and her ex broke up, they were both planning on coming over our house for a small get-together (they were still friends). Her ex ended up not coming, so it was only Wisty that showed up. Without him there, she was able to talk about the breakup, and also about what she wanted in her next relationship. She talked so clearly about what she wanted, and the whole time I was listening the only thing I could think was, "That's what I want, too!" After helping Wisty move out of her ex's place, we started to spend more and more time together. The big moment came when I invited her to a performance I had at a coffee shop. I was already playing when she arrived, and when our eyes caught each other's glance, we both knew. From the moment I found out she was no longer with her ex to making out with her on my bed, it was like going from a glimmer of possibility to a living fantasy.


What are three memorable experiences you've shared as a couple?

Wisty: 1. One of my favorite first memories together was during a huge snowstorm when I got a surprise day off because everything cancelled, and Julien trekked in the snow to spend time with me. We cozied up warm inside while it was snowy chaos outside. 

2. Another time we went to Columbus, Ohio by car from Boston in one day. Julien doesn't have his license, so he was in the passenger seat to help me navigate and enjoy my trip, even when things got stressful. I love having Julien by my side and talking about anything and everything when we are driving through miles of cornfields in the middle of nowhere.

3. Our most recent trip is very fresh in my memory still- we went to Hawaii, our first traveling vacation and it was both our first time in Hawaii. We got to go parasailing together, hung out in our AirBnB, ate yummy food (which we love sharing and strategizing on how to order the best meal), had successful family time with my mom and sister, and took care of each other when we had food poisoning on New Year's Eve. Everyday was different and we went with the flow and even when it wasn't a "fun" moment, we still had each other's company to enjoy and appreciate.

Julien: 1. The first time Wisty and I collaborated together in an improvisation session, Wisty dancing and myself on the violin. We weren't dating yet at that point, but we already knew there was something magical happening.

2. We both went for our first time to a regional "burner" festival in Vermont, which is an event inspired by Burning Man. It was our first time camping together, and Wisty's first time camping period. We had so many amazing experiences there, and learned so much about each other through taking care of each other without the comforts of modern technology.

3. Our most recent trip was a vacation to Hawaii. I know we're good for each other because even on the day we were recovering from mild food poisoning, we still enjoyed it because we had each other.


What are some of your partner's quirks?

Wisty: When Julien opens a cabinet door (or microwave), he always leaves it open!

Julien: Wisty when she's well nourished can be a very different Wisty than hungry Wisty. I do my best to keep emergency protien bars around, but I still inevitably find myself face to face with The Hangry Wisty. She is getting better and better about not getting carried away with it, but what I love is that whenever she says or does something while in that hot state that she doesn't actually mean, she *always* owns up to it later. We don't like letting pride or ego get in the way of the
health of our connection.


What's the best advice you can give to another couple?

Wisty: COMMUNICATE with love and appreciation! And share as much as you can to each other (if you seek a deep close connection, which I hope you'd want!).  Even though it can be scary to do that sometimes. The more (directly and honestly) you communicate your thoughts, feelings and desires with each other, the more you can understand and feel understood, and the more satisfying the connection may be. When I'm scared of telling Julien something it means that it is especially important to tell him, so he can understand my issue and we can work it out together. When you share with each other, you don't worry about reading minds or making assumptions.

Co-creating experiences together can be so incredibly satisfying but as long as we don’t have the technology to merge our brains together, communication is necessary to make it work!

Julien: Don't ever be afraid to talk about anything! If you anticipate your partner having a negative reaction to something you want to talk about, make sure you're assuring your connection by being physically close or cuddling, speaking deliberately yet sensitively, coming out of love, and not being attached to any outcome. In any case, not talking about something you want to talk about is 100% always the worst thing you could do for the health of your connection in the long run.

Wait. Are you in love with Wisty too? Same. Fall in love with her even harder in her class this week

Sadie Kurzban