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Finish Strong: Ashley

December 22, 2020

Finish Strong: Ashley

In our Finish Strong series, we're reflecting on all things 2020--what we're learning from, what we're leaving behind, and what we're grateful for. And how we're choosing to finish strong in a year that has been the most challenging of our lives. 

Ashley Aikens

Alexandria, Virginia
owner, Studio Barre Alexandria


We’re closing in on the final days of 2020, any unfinished business you’re trying to tackle before the calendar flips? 
Honestly I am trying to sit and enjoy my wins more. Really take them in. When I think about the year, 2020 has proven to be one of the most challenging years of my life, but also rewarding. I have learned so much about myself and my community. The challenges almost seem minor in comparison to some of the wins and I need to make sure I sit and absorb those moments and really appreciate what I have.

In spite of everything that’s unfolded in the past several months, what will you be most grateful for in 2020?
Community - I’ve been amazed at what an amazing tribe of humans I get to work with each day. In moments of sadness they have shown me happiness. When I want to give up, and I certainly wanted to do that MANY times this year, someone always popped up with something positive to say and just reminded me of my purpose.

What’s one buzz word (or phrase) you wish would die with 2020?
Honestly I have no answer for this. I want to leave a lot in 2020!!! LOL.  But I do have a strong disdain for the word “behove” no reason for it, just don’t like that word. 

Any favorite shows you’re watching this season?
All things Star Wars. I love animation in general but we have been watching Star Wars Rebels and are now watching Star Wars Clones. In another life, I like to think I was a Jedi!

If you could choose one word or phrase to guide 2021 what would it be?
Together. If 2020 has taught me anything, it's that we do better when we work together! I hope we can collectively continue to work together and be the best for each other.

Go back to New Years Eve, 2019. If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give yourself?

Things will be challenging but with each day you have the opportunity to reset if you need to. Remember who you are and focus on your goals. Stay focused and be creative. Learn from the challenges and understand there is growth in being uncomfortable.  Most importantly, remember that EVERYTHING is figureoutable (not a real word).

Fast forward one year. What’s one thing you would have liked to achieve? 
I really want to read more. I would like to finish at least 12 books by the end of 2021! So make sure you check back in with me on my reading list!  


If you could sum up 2020 in either a song or movie title, what would it be?
It's a toss between Thank you Next - Ariana Grande and I’m a Survivor - Destiny's Child 

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You can find Ashley at: Instagram @AshleyAikens @StudioBarreAlexandria 





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