A couple of weeks ago, I shared how I passed my BodyStep certification. If you had asked me this time last year if I would be interested in becoming a group fitness instructor, I would have given you a definite no.
No way. Standing up in front of a large group of people? Just me? Memorizing and delivering choreography? I don’t think so.
Yes, I love group fitness. It’s the most fun way I know to exercise. It’s my favorite, the thing I do every single day.
But teaching is a whole other thing.
Last year, I wouldn’t have believed I’d ever be fit enough to teach group exercises classes. You’ve got to be fit enough to speak – and speak lots – while jumping and lunging and squatting and performing all sorts of plyometrics. That seemed beyond my capabilities.
But then around September of 2011, I experienced some not-so-good stuff. An opportunity I thought would be good for me turned out to be not so good. In fact, worse than not-so-good. It sucker punched me right in the stomach and made me believe I was worthless. Not good at anything. I was so down and out, I let the stress eat away at me.
After a yucky Fall and an even more terrible December, I new that come January, I had to make a change. I could continue to let what I perceived as a personal failure keep me down. Or I could use this opportunity to do something different.
I met with my group fitness idol and friend, Kim, and talked with her about becoming a BodyStep instructor. Kim told me about the process and what I’d be expected to do and how I’d need to train to become and instructor and continue on as an instructor. In my heart, I wanted to do it. But I was still reeling from this previous bad experience and unsure if I was just grasping at straws and setting myself up for failure. Or if this is something I needed to move on.
Then I did what I always do when I feel like I’ve hit the lowest of lows and need a way out. I push myself to do the most extreme thing I think I can do. After that talk with Kim, I went to my computer, searched for the closest BodyStep training, and before I could second guess myself, I signed up.
In the weeks before the training, I practiced and practiced and practiced the release I’d need to know for the workshop. I met with Kim to go over choreography. I attended as many BodyStep classes as possible. Ordered a Step to practice at home.
I knew every part of that release when I went to my training. At the training, I dedicated my body and mind to learning and kept myself open to feedback and suggestions, so I could take those words and grow as an instructor. I received a five out of five for my initial training assessment – the highest score. And I went on to team teach back at my home gym and worked up to teaching classes on my own while I prepared to tape my video assessment.
After about six weeks of team teaching and solo teaching, I made my assessment video, and when I received that email with my pass notification, I felt full knowing that all that hard work payed off.
And now I’ve been teaching regularly for about three months. And here’s the thing: if I hadn’t had that bad thing happen to me last Fall, I wouldn’t be here. And here is such a good place to be. I’m at my best physical shape ever. I’ve grown my confidence. Made supportive friends. I continue to shock myself at how well I deliver a class.
I don’t say this to be a braggart. I say this to empower. We all have bad things that happen in our lives. And they can feel so terrible. Like giant weights that crush our spirit and make it seem like the world will never be shiny again.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. When you’ve got the down and outs, that’s the time to shine. Force yourself to push the envelope. Make a big-to-you change. Say, “why not me?” I think you’ll be surprised.