Saturday, July 17, 2010
This blog started as a post on my Cohort SP team. Beyone the first paragraph is all new.
I am now officially trained as a Zumba instructor (took the training in May) AND a YMCA group fitness instructor (took the training last weekend). I'm really excited. I can now substitute for the Zumba instructors at the Y...if my Y manager agrees to hire me as a sub. I've been keeping her up to date along the way, and she hasn't DIScouraged me, so I hope she'll take me on. Even if she doesn't, I'm sure someone will. Please read my most recent blog for more details.
Our major assignment for the weekend was to choreograph a song (they gave us the song) using an exercise band. In Zumba, we don't use bands, and the song was more disco than Latin rhythm, so I was a bit grumbly and nervous. After I got my complaints out, I decided I'd tackle the challenge with Spark and Zumba spirit. OK, it's a challenge. I've had challenges before...I can do this. So I tried to figure out a way to bring Zumba to disco music with an exercise band. I used the skills of breaking music down that I learned in Zumba training, figured out which Zumba and basic warmup footwork I could incorporate, and decided I'd have FUN with it. (Afterall, one of Zumba's mottos is "Ditch the workout, join the party!") So I started out with a calypso step wearing the band like a scarf (not wrapped all the way around my neck), then added some arm movements using the band as I switched up the feet. Then bicep curls and squats, the Beto shuffle (another Zumba step) and ending back in calypso. At least that's what I was supposed to have done. I blanked out the first time I led the smaller group of 12, so we did WAY more squats than I had intended. But I thought I at least kept with the rhythm and faked it well. My evaluation came back and the instructors said they wanted me to do it again in front of the larger group. They had told us earlier that this would be a possibility for some of us, but I was REALLY disappointed. I hated that stupid exercise band, and I wanted to be rid of it. I know I hadn't done my best since I blanked out on the choreography, but to say that I didn't get phrasing was rather insulting I thought. I've been a musician all my life and I KNOW I'm a good dancer...which you can't be if you don't have rhythm.
So I picked myself up, talked to myself and just said, "OK, Amy, you've come this far, are you going to give up now? Get over the disappointment, learn your routine SOLID, and rock it in front of the big group."
I already had my Zumba look going with my Zumba workout shirt and bright bandana, so that helped me bring my Zumba enthusiasm to the instructor's platform. I had worked to memorize the order of feet and arm switches and prayed I wouldn't get mixed up by anyone else's choreography to the same song. I started out by welcoming everyone to the ZUMBA class (so there was no question that this wasn't going to be the standard workout with a band routine) and going over some steps that weren't familiar to anyone who hadn't been to Zumba. This was a suggestion from the earlier, smaller class time. Anyway, I think I can safely say I rocked it. The instructors came up and talked with me afterwards, saying they thought I did a great job. They appreciated that I took the feedback and acted on it. I asked, "So does this mean I passed?" And they say, "Yes. Absolutely."
Then after a weekend of instructional and PRACTICAL fitness classwork, I was scheduled to teach my first Zumba class at the college where I work. July is "Win It With Your Minutes" fitness awareness month. I got this great idea and worked it out with a friend to offer three free Zumba classes to people who were interested in trying it this month. So Monday was the first one. I had four students and only one had a strong dancing background. It's a whole lot different on the other side of the room. I teach college courses, but I was more nervous about this than I have been in a LONG time with those classes. And going for an HOUR was a challenge, too. I'm pretty sure we'll have more people in the class this week, so I REALLY want to do better this coming week. I'm just grateful for this opportunity to have some people to teach for free...I would have felt horrible charging people for what I did last week.
Just think. 18 months ago, I was a couch potato. Today I'm a trained group fitness and Zumba instructor. Have I always moved steadily forward? No. As a matter of fact, I need to find my tape measure to see if the weight I've gained lately is muscle or fat. But I AM persistent, and even though I may be lax on what I'm eating and I haven't been hitting the weights like I need to, I've got this cardio thing down. I've drunk the Zumba Kool-aid and it's mighty tasty!
Monday, March 01, 2010
(I wanted to share this with those who might not have read it on my cohort discussion.)
I had an absolutely wonderful time in Alanta. There was a 6:00 am pilates class, and I went one day. I decided to "listen to my body" the next day, and my body said, "SLEEP!" So I did. I knew I was going to have to come back and go to the gym yesterday and today anyway to get my 12 times in this month (to get $20 towards next month's membership fee), so I didn't feel too bad about sleeping in.
Hang in there everyone! Keep on sparking, keep your eyes on your fitness goals and you'll get there. I was just thinking about how much I'm loving all of life right now, and reaching my goal weight had a lot to do with it. With clothes looking better, it's a lot more fun to shop for clothes and wear them. I'm even getting into jewelry to add just that little extra zing. Doing so well with my fitness goals has given me personal "spark"...energy to do what I need to do and confidence to take on new tasks and goals. This helped me get my job this past August, which gives me a place to wear the new clothes I had to buy because I lost the weight. It's one big joyful circle.
I really want to encourage everyone to keep on track with your programs. It FEELS SO WONDERFUL to have reached and maintained my fitness goals, that all the time and attention to watching what to eat, exercising, lifting weights, etc. is SO worth it!
Happy Sparking, my dear Sparkfriends!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Today my status on Facebook was: I spent two hours at the Y today, my day off, at dance aerobics, core conditioning, Latin hip hop and attempting to shoot hoops with my son...and I enjoyed myself! (Who is this woman, and what happened to Amy?)
I'm a changed (for the better) woman!
Yea Sparkpeople! Thanks for the tools to make the change...for almost a year!
Saturday, January 02, 2010
I missed my 9 month Sparkiversary blog, and I'm a little early for my 1 year blog...but I wanted to write something about a new experience I've had this fall. It IS related to Sparking in that since reaching my weight and fitness goals, I've found clothes shopping to be, well, FUN!
For the past 10 years, I've taught part time while focusing my time on helping with my kids' school and activities, so I've not needed much in the way of a professional wardrobe. However, since I started working regular hours this fall, I've needed to beef up my career wardrobe. As I've written in earlier blogs, going clothes shopping last January was one of my pushes to get healthy...I hated the way I looked in the full-length mirror, and I didn't like the size I had to buy. This fall has been VERY different. I'm actually ENJOYING clothes shopping. I've found cute clothes...that FIT! And it's so much more satisfying to buy sizes that make sense for a 5'3" body. While I still don't much like seeing the saggy belly skin in the mirror, I like what I see when I put on stylish clothes. I even had a Lia Sophia party this fall so I could enhance my jewelry wardrobe, too. (I realized I hadn't bought any new jewelry for MANY years.)
I've realized that I didn't care so much about what I looked like or how I dressed when I was bigger. I'd put in a little effort, but I wasn't really confident or satisfied. Now I enjoy putting some effort into my outfits, and I like my clothes, too. Some of this change might have to do with also feeling more productive with an outside-the-house job, but A LOT of it has to do with being pleased and proud of myself for having reached my fitness goals. Just another Spark benefit!
Monday, August 31, 2009
Yesterday, the interminably long dining/living room remodel moved forward again. I finally started painting my dining room. As I was digging out my painting clothes, I had a new experience. For once in my life, my painting clothes were baggy! Always before, the scrub clothes that I used for painting were the jeans that were too tight to wear decently in public and t-shirts I wouldn't be caught dead in (outside the house, that is). I got rid of those clothes awhile ago because they were so worn out and I had some others I could use. Yesterday, the jeans I had to paint in were so baggy that I had to use a belt to hold them up! And the sweatshirt I wore (yes, it was cool in MN) was a bit roomy, too. It was so nice to be able to breathe while I was painting, and I love the color in the dining room. Only 1 more room and two hallways left to paint!
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