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Barry’s Story

I was living in Dubai- working for a fitness studio called Flywheel that had expanded out there from New York. We were going through a period of growth and offering another classes series other than indoor cycling called FlyBarre. The company flew out a master instructor from New York to train the team we had selected in the method. However, many of the trainees didn’t pass, and having no other option, the owners asked me if I would consider teaching FlyBarre since I had a background in yoga. I agreed, and the company flew out another instructor. Her name was Shay Kostabi.

She trained me just over the course of a week, and I showed her around the city. However, even though we only spent a week together, and she went back to New York and I stayed in Dubai, we continued to keep in touch with each other over WhatsApp. We would leave each other voice notes almost every day ranging from everyday topics, to our pasts, to existential, esoteric, and intellectual topics. Sometimes a single note would be eight minutes long, and a string of notes could last an hour.

Despite there being so much distance we continued to get to know each other and grow very close- over a period of two years before we both moved to Los Angeles within two months of each other. We began working with each other more in LA- collaborating and creating content. Just last year, she got another opportunity to work abroad helping launch a studio called SpaceCycle in Taipei, Taiwan.

When the company was ready to open another branch in Beijing, and wanted someone to live there long term, she got them in touch with me, and I took the job. We now find ourselves in a similar situation where we leave each other voice notes over WhatsApp despite my being in China and her being in LA. I don’t talk to anyone nearly as much as I talk to her- and it’s all through leaving voice notes for each other. We will occasionally see each other when we’re both in LA or China now, but our relationship remains one of the most unique and special that I have ever experienced.

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