Friday, May 4, 2012

Up for the challenge

Ten days.

Just 10 days.

That's all the stands between me an my first class as a BodyPump instructor.

So there you have it, the short answer: I passed my training.

The longer answer is that I received a "Pass Delayed," which means that I have to work on some things and have my group fitness manager sign off that I made the improvements. I have 90 days to do this - during which time I also need to team teach eight times and solo teach at least once so that I can submit a video to be assessed.

I know it's going to be a challenge but I know if I got through training ... well, I can get through anything. You see, the training weekend challenged me (as I said) in ways I never imagined.

The most difficult? My sense of strength and accomplishment.

I know I'm not the fastest. I know I'm not the strongest. However, I have become more and more confident in my fitness lately. A strong time in the Martian Invasion half marathon, no longer having to do push-ups on my knees and the little pop of muscle all helped me to feel more like my pre-baby self. The minute I walked into the training gym, though, I felt weak, inadequate and (to be honest) like the fat girl in high school. Many of those training were already certified instructors in other Les Mills programs or have been taking BodyPump for years (not months). They could throw up incredible weight and were in better aerobic shape than me. Sure, I can run 10 miles but that doesn't mean anything in that room.

And the one thing that was supposed to make me feel better? Well, it didn't.

The highlight of training day two is the BodyPump challenge. It is designed to encourage you to lift more weight than you think you can and force you to push outside your comfort zone. It started with a 15-minute run (hells yeah - I actually did rock that part) and then a five-station circuit that we did twice. I don't remember all the exercises but I do know that there were: overhead presses, squats, bicep curls, tricep dips and clean and presses. Let me tell you something I like about BodyPump: high reps, low weights. The whole "lift heavy, feel strong" was more liken "lift mediocre, feel like crap." I felt like I should have been able to lift more on certain things or perform better during certain exercises but I couldn't. It took all I had - and then some - to get through without crying.

So, as Nina asked, how did I get through? Well, it wasn't too different than how I get through a difficult race. Mental stamina and a few reminders of why you are doing it.

After a horrendous day one, I put on a necklace that Mark gave me just before I had Miles. I wore it (against better judgment) to remind me that, no matter what, I had two handsome guys waiting for me. Those two guys, though, had sacrificed a lot for me - financially and more - for me to be there, and I wasn't about to let them down. Every time I wanted to quit during that challenge, I felt the gold around my neck and willed myself to go on.

One of the hardest things for me is and will be actually talking in front of people. I think it's a carry-over from my heavy days. I spent so much time trying to be invisible that I don't know how to shine. But I'll have to if I want to teach. And I do. So when it got tough, I thought of the people I'm going to teach - and not the buff, over confident women I was (the ones I thought were judging me). I thought of L and her effervescent personality. I thought of Carla and her teen son who likes to crack jokes. I thought of the women who have dropped tons of weight through the gym's Biggest Loser program. I want to be my best for them and give them the best BodyPump experience I can.

And I'm going to spend the next 90(+ because learning doesn't stop) days working on that.


  1. You're going to be amazing! You're motivated and determined, but also humble and real, which makes you the best teacher. You'll be challenging but not judging. I hope I can come take a class!

  2. You will do it, and do it well :)

    Speaking in front of people is the biggest reason I DON'T teach. I have never conquerred that fear - GOOD FOR YOU for meeting it head on. Proud of you!

  3. My awesome friend-screw those buff judgmental tiny bodied and tiny minded bitches! You are so going to be an amazing pump instructor. I will share my secret with you- fake it till ya make it! I can't wait to take your class anytime anywhere! You have so much to offer-focus on what you have rather than what you think you don't have...besides I think you are a completely awesome person who isn't lacking in anything!

  4. I read your blog all the time and this is my first official time commenting to you - I think you're amazing! Good for you to step out of your "comfort zone" and accomplish yet another HUGE goal. The other women you were comparing yourself to, are human too. We all have our flaws and insecurities, some just hide them better. Again, I think you're amazing (and funny :O)

  5. You are absolutely inspiring and that is what is going to make you an amazing instructor. I have the same issue..I always tried to invisible and now I am struggling to allow myself to shine. I often compare myself to the more fit personal trainers..the ones with more experience and knowledge and I think how inadequate I am. BUT in the back of my mind I know that I am a strong woman and my own journey has equipped me to teach people on a totally different level and I can't compare myself to anyone else.

    Your story has inspired me to keep pursuing my dreams and refocus on why I started and keep traveling this healthy journey.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Congratulations!!! I wish we had a Bodypump class at the center I go to. So proud of you and your accomplishment!

  7. So awesome. Made me a little teary towards the end. Good for you.

  8. From one BodyPump instructor to another -- congratulations in passing your training. I remember mine well, which I completed in 1998. I'd never worn a microphone before, and didn't know what a beat was. It took me a year to land my first permanent class. I know the amazing journey you have just begun -- it changed my life. It has already begun changing yours. Keep believing. Keep striving to be your best. Your members are waiting to hear what you have to say.