In Honor of Thanksgiving…

by: Rachel Mazzola, Alchemy Highland Park Founding Member

In honor of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share my gratitude for all of you and share my Alchemy story. Here it goes.

My story officially began about two in a half years ago. Like many Alchemy stories, mine begins with heartbreak. “Rachel, your MRI results are back. I’m afraid you’re in need of knee surgery. Your collegiate volleyball career is over.”

Everything went numb. My lifelong goal of playing college volleyball ended two seasons too early. Throughout surgery, rehab, and everyday life, I put on a front that everything was fine. It was not fine. My identity was gone, my purpose was gone, my drive was gone.

In my next two years at college, I struggled to find the competitive edge and fire I craved and needed. I would workout irregularly, striving to find something to constitute my craving, but nothing fit. I began to eat poorly, go out multiple times a week, and stopped taking care of myself. I was drifting further away from myself, and finding it harder to find me again.

Upon graduation in May, I was 30 pounds heavier, mentally unwell, and still trying to find my true self again. After graduation, I moved to Saint Paul. In June, a friend invited me to attend my first Alchemy A20. At 5:30AM on a Tuesday at Alchemy Northeast, my life took a miraculous 180° turn.

Burpees, loud music, and an unexplainable aura changed my life. From the glowing smile and greeting at the Front Desk to the final resting pose, every second was magic. I came back every day during my free week. I felt like an athlete again. I found competitiveness and fire within me again. Most importantly, I found ME again. I didn’t waste a second and I became a Member, a Founding Member to be exact.

Alchemy has done more than transform my body back to that of an athlete. It has helped me become Rachel again. You have challenged me mentally and physically, brought immense joy, and lit a fire within me that will never go out. I am beyond grateful for Alchemy and the strides I have made. I can’t wait to continue the process. Thank you, all, you amazing humans.

All my love,
Rachel Mazzola

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