Keep Calm and Never Give Up
Dancing was always my thing.
If I wasn’t dancing around the house and trying to sing at the top of my voice, I was making the clippety-clop sounds in my tap shoes at the local dance school. There was just something about the way I could feel so good after spending a few minutes tapping in time to the music.
Fast forward to my late twenties and I finally took a step to include dancing back into my life. I had no idea before I made my way down to the new gym that I’d love the classes so much I’d develop a love for all things stretch and Zumba-based. It seemed to happen overnight - like it was meant to be. There are few coincidences in life that feel so right.
After generating the same thought again and again that “I could definitely do this myself,” I looked into the training and off I went. Not a hesitation despite some negativity I encountered along the way. When there is something you need to do - it will happen. You can make it happen.
I did worry that I might not be “as good as other people” or that I’d get “found out” but this is what happens before you have the self-belief to back up your actions. This came a little later and welcome, it was!
Amongst more negativity about my training background, I managed to get myself a class at a big local gym chain and never looked back. There did come a time when I wanted more though. I wanted to train properly and to be “as good as everyone else.” I can see now that the only competition I really had was with myself.
I made my way through the Level 2 Group Exercise to Music qualification and felt so much better and increasingly well-prepared for my classes. I used to spend hours and hours choreographing for a song a couple of minutes long. It’s amazing what you will do when you love something so much. When it means so much to you.
The happiness never faded. The light is still burning bright for Zumba for me today. It opens up a feeling in me like no other. It is time to let go of any worries, inhibitions, anxieties and anything holding me back. Zumba is a freedom that never fails to lighten the darkest day.
Soon, I wanted more. Yoga has always been a secret love which stemmed from a stretching-based class I used to attend. I started to wonder if I could work hard and teach Yoga too. So many thoughts about Anatomy and Physiology clouded my way for far too many years and I finally ‘took the plunge’ in 2018. It seems that no matter what the adversity, that if the passion and intention is there - you can do anything. Even pass Level 3 Yoga when your Science, and in particular, Biology knowledge is somewhat lacking!!
I spent the next few months knuckling down. Every evening after work, every lunch time, every day off. I wanted this so much - I’d do what I needed to to achieve it. I was wholly focused on the tsk ahead.
Deep down inside I was pulling a metaphorical face at my old PE teacher who was less than complimentary about my efforts. Sometimes I do dream about telling her to “look at me now!”
Sometimes it’s good to prove people wrong and to prove yourself wrong. You can do anything you want to do.
And when you think you can’t change or adapt to new situations - you’re telling yourself just that. When you believe you can - anything is possible. Even when medical professional after medical professional tells you that you won’t be able to dance properly again.
A Day in the Life of a Group Exercise Instructor - Part 1
Thought it would be nice to reminisce about the normal every day goings on (until recently.) Feels good to think back to a simpler time (or was it?) :)
I would like to add that this is about a number of experiences from more than one place over a period of years. Any references to specific places and people are coincidental.
Thinking back to all of the times at the gym - I begin to laugh out loud. I had a feeling the last time I was at one of the gyms, that it might be the last time for a while. No idea why the feeling washed over me the way it did but sometimes we know things on a deeper level than we even realise.
Anyway, I begin to think about the different things that would be happening if we were ‘back to normal.’ This is how it goes…
Rushing around like a hurricane: picking up a selection of bags and equipment, I shuffle to the car. The blocks that take up half of the car (who made the mini boot so small?) make it a challenge to squeeze everything else in but I am a seasoned professional at this and breathe in, hold the last item sticking out and quickly drop the boot over everything. Always a great start to the day!
Sometimes the traffic isn’t too bad but sometimes it is unexpectedly busy. It makes no sense considering the day and time but nevertheless, I begin to feel my heart beating faster staring at the traffic lights from ‘too far back.’ The reassuring idea that ‘they can’t start without me’ doesn’t last long because this would create all sorts of issues: after all, my classes today are stacked up one after another so if one thing goes wrong, the rest will fall down like dominoes.
After trying to empower myself with some calming yogic breaths (which just aren’t working) I turn into the car park to find someone blocking the entrance looking lost; a distinct lack of spaces and a scatter of people standing at a car park machine looking unbelievably confused whilst the ‘attendant’ hides out of view. As funny as this is, I have 7 minutes to get in, sign in, get a ticket for the car park, put everything in my locker, nip to the loo and get up to the studio and ready to go. It never ceases to amaze me how this happens every week but in its own strange way whilst I’m shooting around like a bullet, it seems to work. This reminds me of gyms themselves - sometimes I do wonder how on earth some of these places keep going when even the smallest of things seem unfixable.
Part 2 - Coming soon!
Many of you will know about the journey I have been on so far with my diet. For those who don't - here is a short summary for you.
2 years ago I finally stopped and realised that whatever was going into my body was causing me a LOT of tiredness and issues. I'm pretty active; usually found in a Yoga pose or jumping around to my favourite song and it just 'wasn't right.'
It took me a good while to really look at what I was putting into my mouth. I had tried just about everything else: tests at the doctors;' online tests to ascertain levels of different vitamins; hospital visits; visits to consultants - the list goes on. My sinuses were also in a bad way.
It soon transpired that dairy really wasn't my friend (amongst other things!) even though I used to love a bit of cheese.... and chocolate.... and yoghurt. I just don't think I ever really understood what was in many of the foods I was eating. I was, in a way, oblivious to the monumental effects diet has on health: and specifically every issue I had.
And it was one of the best changes I have ever made. (Bear in mind I was probably the biggest buyer of a very well-known chocolate brand beginning with the letter C!)
Anyway, (thought this was the short version - I promise you, it is!) I made a choice that meant a lot of the foods 'had to go.'
Thankfully, I had an awakening and from that moment on - everything changed. I changed.
Now I won't go into how difficult this was because at the start - it really was. It was a huge change. But a huge change often brings amazing results - and here they are.
Since then I have tried to pass the knowledge on to others but have found that it only really works if someone is at the right stage in their life: wanting actual change and making a commitment. This is usually the case with most things to be honest. I speak lots about this in my Make a Positive Change Series which I have been working very hard on lately and have now finished it!
I sit in front of you today able to advocate Yoga and a healthy lifestyle with the exact experience of feeling a ‘lot less’ than I should have before I made the changes. It was worth every groan and grumble and every surprised look from the faces of my friends and family. What a journey it was - and still is.
If you'd like to know any more about this, let me know! I am offering limited 1-1 online sessions about this at the moment but have restricted availability between the live online classes and my other work (I feel I could talk about this a lot!)
It is so much more than this and I am very grateful I welcomed the positive change and am still reaping the benefits.
So from here, I began to look for food that was free from the harmful ingredients I had willingly eaten before and I came across Enjoy. The rest is history!