I had never stepped foot into a group fitness (or group X for you industry folk) class until about two years ago…when I started teaching one.
Prior to that, I stayed close to the benches, dumbell and squat racks with which I had grown a kin relationship over the years. I have never had anything against group fitness nor subscribed to the stark gender-typing which they often fail subject to but still, they just were never my thing.
Strength training and speed work was the name of the game. It wasn’t that I didn’t do traditional cardio but if it came between the doing the same monotonous movement on an elliptical and hang cleans (no, I do not do crossfit and yes, powerlifing was a thing before crossfit became cool), I’d choose the latter. It wasn’t until I grudgingly completed Beach Body’s Insanity all bodyweight workout program (yes, the one with Shaun T) with some work friends that I became hip to the idea of group training.
After getting used to the format and understanding the principles behind the program, I thought, “I could teach that.” Coincidentally and ironically, two months later I applied for a group instructor position at my undergraduate fitness center where I already worked. I interviewed, explaining that I could teach a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout class and the rest is history. Since then, I’ve become much more versed in various formats, thus, expanding my knowledge of exercise and current fitness trends, which help shape my personal workouts and the classes I instruct for others.
When it comes to health and wellness, pushing yourself both mentally and physically isn’t just important for your body’s sake, but it’s transferable to your very life outside of the gym.
The lesson to be gleaned from this is to get outside of your comfort zone – in your hobbies, in your health and in your career. Understand that all three of these aspects carry great weight whether you realize it or not. Enjoy your hobbies and try new ones. Respect your health and challenge your body from time to time (Pro Tip: Muscle confusion and alternating exercises/workouts are the antitheses of plateau and stagnation). Lastly, view your professional career as an ever-elevating landsape, changing and diversifying as you stay steadily increasing to reach new goals, not as one of those moving walkways you see at the airport.
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