Let’s focus this Wednesday’s segment on something I know quite a bit about…
I began teaching Group Fitness classes about 5 years ago, after being recruited by the Group Fitness Manager at my gym. At the time, I was attending about 7 or 8 group classes each week. I kind of kept to myself, in the back corner, not really talking much to other participants. Often times, I do like to just sit back and “take it all in”.
The first thing I noticed about the group classes was that many of the folks who took them knew each other fairly well. Initially, I assumed that they either worked together or attended together because they were friends outside the gym.
Another thing I took immediate note of was the fact that, no matter what class I was in or who was teaching, the instructor made the effort to get to know my name and always made me feel welcome. Having just moved to Maryland from Chicago and knowing hardly anyone, this felt good. Yet, I still kept to myself, for a while, anyway.
As I continued to take classes, prior to going through training to teach them, myself, I started to feel like a part of this “family” that was group fitness. The gym was a family, in itself, but the group fitness room housed a closer knit group of people who exercised together several times per week. It was a really great place to be comfortable, fun, uplifting, and safe.
When I was recruited to teach, my initial response was, “Who, me? No way!” However, I did warm up to the idea, and eventually got really excited about it. I believe my driving force was the opportunity to make other feel, about fitness, the way group fitness had made me feel. I could go somewhere, be myself, wear my baggy shorts and t-shirt (no way was this girl, 20 pounds heavier, gonna don a tank and tight shorts), make mistakes with the choreography, work at my own level AND have a great time (while sweating)! So, I did it.
First I trained in Body Pump, a muscle conditioning program by Les Mills. Shortly after that, I went back to train in Body Flow, a combination of Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi, also by Les Mills. Finally, I certified in Indoor Group Cycling, a class I never thought I liked, but has become one of my favorites. Now, I’m up front, not in my back corner. I’m taking it all in from a different perspective.
In closing, I’d like to share a bit about that different perspective. I’m fortunate enough to teach a few classes each week at Gold’s and I love it. Great job, great gym, great family! (Come check us out, if you haven’t.)
One of my biggest rewards is when a member comes up after a class or while I’m on the gym floor or tags me on their Facebook page to say, “Thank You.” When this happens, I feel like I’m on top of the world. Just today, I had a young woman approach me after Body Pump to share her success. She’d recently had a baby and was 20 pounds heavier than she had been in the past (been there, done that, know exactly how it feels). She shared today that she was down 20 pounds and at a weight lower than her pre-pregnancy weight. Her smile could have lit up the darkest of tunnels. My heart nearly exploded for her! She then thanked me for doing what I do. She said the hour of Body Pump flies by and she finds it much easier to exercise in a group setting. Again, I know how very true this can be.
Everyone has a personal preference and group fitness isn’t for everyone. BUT, if you haven’t given it a shot and you’re having a hard time getting into the gym, maybe you need the group that hangs out in “that room” and actually has fun for an hour while getting sweaty. Give it a shot!
Do you have fitness questions for Carri?
Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to get those questions answered in an upcoming post.