Sunday, March 25, 2012


2 years I ago, I became a licensed Zumba instructor!

I love Zumba Fitness! It's a great workout program. I discovered it about 5 years ago. I was looking for salsa lessons. Instead I found about a workout that mixed salsa, merengue, reggeaton, and other latin rythms. One class and I was hooked. 

A tall skinny white boy started the session. What's he gonna be able do - I thought? Within 15 minutes, I was dying. I barely made it through the rest of the class. I later would learn that Tony (the skinny white boy) and his wife, Jessica, the owners of the studio - were not only Zumba instructors but 12 of the original instructor specialists selected by the founder of Zumba to teach other instructors.

A few weeks later I found some classes that were closer to home. I loved the class's energy and the instructor's style. It was there in that class that I thought I would love to teach this someday. I had never wanted to teach a fitness class before...In fact, I had never taken any other aerobics class before Zumba. I really don't know what possessed me!

I continued Zumba-ing on happily as a student. The following spring my church announced that they would do a fitness program just for the ladies. I was home terribly sick. My mom signed me up and let me know the next week there was a meeting for volunteers. I was at a lost for words! 

How could you sign me up? I am not a fitness instructor! Well...she want to teach Zumba. Yeah...I said...but not now. But, anywhoo, I did indeed volunteer and we created an unique program which featured a dance aerobics portion...we made up routines to beyonce, mary j. blige, and nina skye. It was a blast. I made some wonderful friendships that are ongoing today. So in the end, I thank my mom she gave me the push out of my comfort zone to give teaching a try...

I didn't start teaching until about a year 16 months ago (long story short - terrible knee injury and several months of various treatments). 

I LOVE teaching!!!! I'm so thankful for the opportunity something that I enjoy and to share that with others.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Realization: The St. Paddy's Day Run

This morning I ran in the 34th annual St. Paddy's Day Run. It was the first time I running it. I had a blast. The weather was beautiful and the crowd was great (lots of fun costumes). It was supposed to rain....Thank you, Heavenly Father, for hearing my prayer for no rain and upping the ante with beautiful temps and sunshine!

The run is a 4 mile winding through a historic part of town and is hilly at parts. I ran the first mile and alternated running and walking for the next two and ran almost all of the last. I've been (slowly) working on building my mileage. For two reasons...1) After Zumba and Urban Fiit Hiit classes (and work, life, and everything in between) I have limited time. 2) I am over so cautious of a re-injury my knees. 

I think running may be the first fitness activity that I fell in love with. My father ran track in high school and college and continued to run after. He would take us to the park and track with him and encourage us to run around too. My sister and brother ran in high school. If I had attended a school with a track team, I am sure I would have too...

Instead, I would run around the neighborhood at my pace - doing my own designated routes. 

As I approached my 30th birthday, I chose 30 things to do before I turned 30. I thought about doing something physically challenging. And, so I decided to run a 1/2 marathon (13.1M). While preparing for the 1/2, I had a terrible knee injury. It took months and months to get better...including 7 months of physical therapy, 1 month of chiropractoric work, 3 months of acupuncture, and several months of no heels.

I've run/walked a few 5k and 4m races since the knee injury. And in the back of my mind, I've thought...I'll run that 13.1M someday. Lately, I'm finally feeling good and strong. A few weeks ago I was invited to do a half-marathon in July and I gave it some thought. I could run/walk it. Or, I could do some training and maybe run it all...

BUT, I started to doctor and physical therapist have commented that my body shape can predispose me to knee injuries - particularly in terms of longer distance running. I love teaching Zumba and taking other types of fitness classes. Running and preparing for longer distance races takes a significant bit of time and limits my other fitness choices. I am happy to be back in heels. I am ecstatic to be pain free. I don't remember getting hurt when I did shorter runs...

These last few weeks as I prepared for the St. Paddy's Day Run - I realized that a mile is a long way to run. 4 all the more. That is physical challenging. That is an accomplishment. I don't really want to run much more than 3.1 to 4 miles. That distance allows me to reasonably participate in running with no special plans, eating plans, and shoe and clothing restraints as well as a reduced chance of injury. And, it puts me back to running like I used to when I was younger - when I ran at my own pace and my own route - just for the fun and the challenge of it.