Fitness expert Chalene Johnson is best known for creating the Turbo Jam workouts and the best-selling DVDs of the same name. Her workouts are intense and upbeat--just like she is. Chalene reached out the dailySpark and offered to write a guest blog post--and sponsor a contest for all of you. We knew how many members are keen on Chalene--there's even a Turbo Jammers SparkTeam--so we jumped at the opportunity!
Read Chalene's story, then get details about the contest!
By Chalene Johnson
I’m ecstatic to be writing for the dailySpark. Let me tell you a bit about myself.
I was born and raised in Michigan, the eldest of three children. Most of my relatives struggled with their weight. I remember as a kid thinking I was destined to be "chubby" or worried that as an adult I would be on the endless rollercoaster of fad diets many of the adult women in my family seemed to be riding.
A life-changing experience happened when my mother, Marge, started taking Jazzercise aerobics classes. Eventually she became a Jazzercise instructor. I remember her being so fit, healthy and happy. I remember how excited the other participants were to see each other and work out with her. Seeing her lose weight, eat healthy and help so many while doing something she loved influenced my life’s journey. Just teens ourselves, my younger sister Jenelle and I would accompany our mom to all of her classes. We were surrounded by music and dance and saw firsthand that exercise could be something enjoyable. Then at 18, I taught my first aerobics class!
I graduated from Michigan State University, took the LSAT and planned to go to law school. Yet I never felt passion for anything the way I felt passion like I did when I was helping others find a way to live a healthier, more balanced life. I needed to follow my passion.
First and foremost, I am a mother. It’s the most important thing I do. My husband, Bret, and I have two children. But I am also an entrepreneur, business expert, TV fitness personality, lifestyle coach, motivational speaker, author, clothing designer, artist and reality TV junkie!
I believe my calling is to help others find ways to simplify and improve all areas of their lives, from fitness to relationships. I am just a "girl next door"; I was not born with a fitness model's body. I have to really work at it. But when you find workouts you love, exercise doesn’t feel like work. It’s no surprise that fitness has to be fun or people won’t do it! Once you find something you love to do, like my Turbo Kick®, you’ll stick with it!
A little bit about my signature program, Turbo!
In the early 1990s I blended tae kwon do, dance and aerobics into a group exercise class that combined the sexiness of dance, the hip feel of funk with the power and strength of kickboxing. I’m a total closet DJ; I taught myself to digitally remaster and edit music to match the moves of every pre-choreographed routine. I have a blast adding sound effects and highs and lows to create exciting, electric and energetic music that will hype up the participants and leave them wanting more!
Music is such an important motivator and a huge part of the FUN factor! So, that’s how Turbo Kick® was born. Turbo Kick®, PiYo™, Turbo Jam®, Hip Hop Hustle™ and ChaLEAN Extreme® are some of the most popular exercise formats around! Despite the fact that I have sold millions of videos, I still teach seven days a week. People are often shocked when they hear that! I’m shocked they’re shocked! Why wouldn’t I do what I love? It’s a dream come true to know that millions of people have changed their lives from the ground up, using my DVDs, but nothing fuels my passion like getting in front of a live group and being personally involved in someone’s life transformation. So yes, I teach every day and I plan to continue until I’m 100!
I’m the founder and CEO of Powder Blue Productions, the fitness and lifestyle company that produces Turbo Wear, Turbo Kick®, PiYo™ and Hip Hop Hustle™. My husband, Bret, and I started the business in 1997 in a spare bedroom of our home and now it’s a multimillion-dollar company. Both of us share the same priority, our children. We share a partnership in business and in our personal lives. As partners, the commodity we work to build is not wealth, but well-adjusted children with good character. We plan our lives around them. They are first. No job, no email, no amazing opportunity will ever be more important than being there for our children. Period.
When I read my own bio, it sounds like I do a lot. I do--but don’t be misled. I don’t do it all and I have no plans to! I don’t believe you can “do it all” and enjoy a balanced life. I do what is important to me and my family, and everything else comes second. I believe in balance. I often say, "who cares if you’re the perfect weight or the perfect shape, if the rest of your life is falling apart." Balance is the key.
I want to help you live a fuller life by finding a way to do the things that are most important to you and the important people in your life. I want to help you understand how to identify your priorities, get more done, have more time and stop worrying about what other people might think! I’m your straight talking girlfriend who will give you a swift kick in the booty when I think you’re off track, and I’ll be the first to give you a high-five when you accomplish your goals. I hope that you’ll allow me into your house as a fitness expert but that you’ll understand my message is about far more than fitness. I look forward to getting to know you!
Now, about that contest…
This contest is a little different from some of the others we host on the dailySpark. It starts today and runs until Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009, 9 a.m. EST. To enter, you need to click here to join the special SparkPeople/TurboKick.com Fitness Story Contest SparkTeam created especially for this challenge. Then blog about how you came to embrace fitness on your SparkPage, then share a link to your blog on the Message Board. (Visit the Team for official rules!) Chalene and SparkPeople will choose three winners after Oct. 27. Check out these great prizes!
(Photo courtesy of Chalene Johnson)
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