I do not know how long I have dreamed about becoming a group exercise instructor. Probably since I took an aerobic dance class (twice) at BYU. Then I had kids. Three kids. And fitness always seemed to take a backseat to gestation, birthing, breastfeeding, mothering. Not that exercise and motherhood are mutually exclusive but I seemed to make it that way. My friend Keisha was going to start teaching TurboKick at our church building in Williston. She went out of town to get certified and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was gone for several months receiving treatment. I know this is not really my story but somehow it became part of my fitness story. When she got back to Williston, I was in the Relief Society presidency and I ran into Keisha at Walmart. She was wearing a beanie and she had no eyebrows, but she still looked beautiful. She also looked so extremely happy. I asked her when she could start teaching TurboKick classes and we got them lined up to start January 28th. To say I was bad at TurboKick would be an understatement. I was so out of shape, so uncoordinated. But I went religiously twice a week. My good friend and workout buddy unceremoniously dumped me five days later and TurboKick became my thing. It was hard but I was improving and I loved seeing myself get better at something. I developed a deep admiration for Keisha and looked up to her for her poise, kindness, and skill. When we decided to move to Texas, I immediately started looking up TurboKick instructor certifications here. I registered for one in January but it was canceled because not enough people registered. The same thing happened in February. I tried to not get my hopes up for the March certification. Finally the weekend arrived. I packed a bag and headed off to Dallas.
My cousin Michael and his wife Sarah live there. It was so nice to visit with them for a few hours and I am very grateful they let me sleep on their couch! I stayed up (probably too) late reading the manual for the certification the next day.
There were some nervous people in the lobby waiting for the certification to begin. I was definitely one of those people. I had made up my mind to be very outgoing though. I wish I had decided to be more confident as well. My body issues bubbled near the surface a little since I was surrounded by such healthy and fit people. But we got started and as soon as we were working out I was right back in my happy place. I realized I was grinning like a crazy person during the warm-up. I can see this from the outside and I know that it is kind of ridiculous to be so in love with an exercise format. But there is a special feeling in a class like this; it makes me feel like I can do anything and it makes me want to try to do anything.
I made friends! Real friends. I did not expect that to happen but it did and I am so grateful. I love that I have some like-minded people who will discuss this crazy lifestyle with me. Keisha is definitely one of those people too. She talked to me for an hour one day assuaging my fears about standing in front of people trying to get them to push themselves harder than they did the time before. She also responds to all of my text messages that I send her with every little question and wonder.
|Emily and Angela|
We took so many pictures. Every time we took a break from working out, people were pulling out their phones, snapping pictures, and connecting on social media. I loved it.
Our Master Trainer was Melissa McAllister. She is the best in the business and it was a huge blessing that she ending up filling in for the other Master Trainer at this certification because I had been hoping to meet her.
|Emily, Ariana, Melissa, Valerie, Angela|
|We had to take more pictures after we changed clothes, too!|
It was a really, really, really good day. I was surrounded by so many positive, supportive people. I had to put on the microphone and lead the whole group and I was terrified because I had never cued before. But they cheered and followed and high-fived me even though I messed up a few times. It was very cool. It was the coolest! There were all types of people there but everyone was so genuine.
It is just like to me decide that I want to make something even harder. I cannot just be happy as an instructor. Now I want to be a master trainer! I need to work on my cueing first. I know there will always be more to work on. The perfectionist in me does not want to do anything that I might not be able to do really well. So instead, I do not challenge myself and I just go with what's easy because I know I can do it. I am hoping to break free from that in this case; I do not want my fear to hold me back from good things. I have noticed I miss out on a lot of great things because I am waiting for someone to nominate or choose me. Instead, I should go after what I want. I need to stop putting my fate in someone else's hands. Being a group exercise instructor may not always be my goal in life but it is right now and I owe it to myself to pursue it to my full potential.
I drove back to Houston right after the certification and met up with some friends from the Houston Moms group for a late dinner. We closed down the restaurant because we chatted for so long. I was on a post-Turbo high. I want to hold onto this feeling forever.