Thursday, January 16, 2014

Three Things Thursday: A 2014 mantra

I had the glow. After three workouts and a weekend in the gym, I was definitely glowing. But as I left the gym Sunday after our Les Mills launches, I had a sinking feeling in my gut.

It was a feeling that said: You are not good enough.

Part of the magic of the launch is presenting the workout with other instructors, and the two instructors from the north gym are top notch. They know what they are doing, their timing is great and they just had it - the charisma. As I left, all I could think about was that I wanted to be just like them when I grow up ... because I certainly didn't feel like I was.

I felt it, too, yesterday as I left my class. While there's some other things stirring in my life that are affecting my confidence, I couldn't shake that I wasn't them. And I know I'm not them but you know what I mean. Driving home, dwelling on my lack of "them," I realized the difference. Those instructors have swagger. S-W-A-G-G-E-R. I have ... well ... a shit load of insecurities.

At a recent "Brownies with the Boss" at work, the CEO talked about swagger and how our company's mission for 2014 should be about owning our product. To own it, we would need to be enthusiastic, confident and have swagger. I think he had five or six items total but I was too busy eating my brownie on the floor because all the seats in the conference room were full.

Note: I've requested Fruit Salad with the Boss but it was rejected as they didn't think people would show up for melons. Obviously, though, they show up for brownies.

Back on track: While the talk was a bit too go-getter for me, I did find value in it for me and think it translates beyond the office and into the gym and on the road.


Gym translation: I love Les Mills. Seriously, I do. I love the music, the choreography, the workout. I love the way my body has changed since I began taking the class and changed more since teaching it. The question is whether I show my participants know much I love Les Mills. I need to smile. I need to talk positively about the program and the gym. I need to cue about the changes we're making throughout the tracks.

Running translation: When you tell people you are training for race, say it with a smile. Talk about how great the course is how and how much fun it will be. You don't need to talk about how crappy your 20-miler was or how you pooped your pants on a 7-mile run. Few people will ever train for a marathon if that's all you talk about.


Gym translation: Confidence has always been and probably always will be a struggle for me. It's something about the fat girl who never escaped when I lost weight. However, time and time again, people have told me that they would never know. They see me as the fit girl. And I need to own it. I need to walk into the gym and know that I know the choreo. If I flub, I flub and move on. If I give a cue or say something, I need to use my voice and not just say it.

Running translation: We don't always have perfect workouts or training cycles but we need to own the work we do. When we show up to a starting line, we should smile, stretch and seed ourselves. We should not be cowering in the portable bathroom, trying to swallow upchuck because we don't have faith in ourselves. If someone asks us how we feel, we say I'm excited to go. I'm ready! We don't say, "Ho hum. I sort of want to throw up again."


"Swagger is a combination of motivation and self belief, resulting in a state of mind where you truly believe you can achieve anything you put your mind to." [source]

Gym translation: If I don't believe that I'm as good as the other girls, I am not. I need to believe that I know what I'm doing, show that I know what I'm doing and have fun doing it. Easy, right?

Of course not. It will take work. I liked this piece about improving confidence and swagger, as it advised two things:
  • Assess where you are. Example: I need to work on timing and engaging the participants.
  • Take action. Example: Practice makes perfect. Make an effort to follow along with training DVDs once a week and look up during class.
Running translation: Same. Be honest with yourself, do the work and believe in it. Go to a starting line like you belong in the front.

So 2013 might have been the year to make shit happen but 2014 is the year to earn my swagger.


  1. This is a great post! Especially for fellow personal trainers! So much of it is about confidence, and yes, hiding any insecurities you have! Or really, letting them go to the back of your brain so you can be in the momemnt and work to your full potential. And not comparing to the other instructors. And also, we need time to build swagger. I mean, you have been doing this longer than me, so you are probably ahead, but you just have to keep doing it and doing it and practicing, like you said, and getting better!

    And YES! Being positive/enthusiastic. Gah, I can not tell you how many times I have seen people whine about exercising on Facebook... then go on to say they want to be a motivating page. Um... that isn't motivating. Sorry. Off topic, a bit though. I have seen instructors be moody too, and that isn't cool!

  2. Short version: Love what you do and let that love shine through. I like your detailed plan. Do you have a way of getting feedback in what you do? Could you ask your clients/students to fill out an anonymous evaluation? Would it be helpful to have someone film you teaching and critique with you? Positive feedback is a huge confidence boost and will make you feel like a rockstar; constructive feedback is a huge help. Good luck with the swagger!

  3. Great post Miss Kimberly. I think most people can use these suggestions on a daily basis in life.

  4. What an awesome post, and so well timed for me. Thanks!

  5. Don't doubt yourself? You are a great instructor! I enjoyed your class and the positive attitude you demonstrated in each and every class.

  6. Amazing post! Excited to see you with some SWAGGER.

  7. Love this. You've already earned the swagger in my book. Can't wait to see it in action.