They Make My Day
I have absolutely found a job that I love and even better, I am surrounded by some of the most amazing people. I think the fitness business is one of my callings and each day look forward to the people I work with.
Monday night was a typical Zumba (Learn the Steps) Class at my Fitness Studio. At the end of each class, we go around, introduce ourselves and get to know each other. Our groups are always so diverse in age, ethnicity and background. This night we had one young lady from Iran. She had a heavy accent and said she had been in the states since January. After class, she came up to me and said how nervous she had been for the past couple of months to come to a Zumba class. She actually almost didn’t come. After attending the class, she had the brightest smile on her face and talked about how welcome she felt and how nice everyone was. She made me feel good because she showed that the energy, dedication and passion that Jessica and I put into our classes in seen by our wonderful participants. And, my smile was doubled the next day when I saw her return for another class.
I spend the other half of my time at the Fitness Center at St. Stephen. There are many people there that are “young at heart” (but not necessarily young in age). I’ll never forget when Ms. “E” came to the gym for the first time (she’s over 70 years old). Several of her friends brought her. She walked with a walker at a slow pace. She wanted to try to use the seated elliptical. As she sat down, it was painful for her to even move her leg into position to pedal. She didn’t even have enough strength to push the pedal down. I suggested she take it easy her first day and not to do more than her body could handle. She instead went and walked/pushed herself around the track two times.
Spring forward a week later and Ms. E is sitting on the elliptical pushing the pedals down. Week later, she has a full range of motion. Weeks later, she’s doing multiple laps around the gym. And each time she comes in, her smile gets a little brighter. Here was someone so down on her health unable to do much of anything, now feeling on top of the world and celebrating all of her accomplishments.
Both of these ladies showed me that when times seem fearful and you feel you don’t have the strength to go on – don’t give up. Sometimes you have to take that first step in order for blessings to come your way. Remember, an object in motion stays in motion but you have to start moving first!
If you know me, you know that I love fitness. If you know me, you know that I love helping others. If you know me, you know that I have been seeking a career change for some time. This time last year, I was on a major search for new career. I looked on websites, talked to people – I was a woman on a mission. But nothing happened.
So, I became a certified personal trainer. I trained at a couple of places, but still held my full-time job. I continued my fitness competitions and working out. One of the places I trained had negative energy. I wasn’t happy there. However, while I was there I had the opportunity to get Zumba certified. And boy was I hooked. I kept saying my prayers to do fitness full-time.
Then I met Tomarcus. He gave me the opportunity to teach Zumba classes at APT Fitness in St. Matthews. Loved it. I then told any and everyone that I wanted to expand my business. This was December 2010. This led to classes at First G and Greater Friendship Church. First G has over 70 women coming out weekly. Then Living Social said they wanted to advertise my Zumba classes. Then Velocity called wanting to put me in the Spotlight. Then Fox 41 called about doing segments on Fox in the Morning. Then I did a panel at St. Stephen entitled ‘New Year New You’.
We always say that we want a sign from God showing us what to do. Well – all of my signs were loud and clear. It was such a breath of fresh air to submit my two weeks notice at my job. And then there was the offer. St. Stephen’s Family Life Center offered me a position as their new Fitness Director. They have so many amazing services there and I’m excited to create healthy lifestyles for all that want to be involved. But there’s more. I’ll be introduced to the congregation this weekend and every service. So, if you’ve ever wanted to see one of my fitness routines – make sure you’re at St. Stephen Church this weekend! God is good and I am embracing all of his blessings. It’s all still a work in progress. I am still a work in progress. But, it’s great to see others believe in my passion!
M.Y. January 2011
A Nasty Tone/A New Year
My Zumba group and I were working out at an upstairs location. We were grooving to the beats, enjoying ourselves. I noticed a woman watching us from the back door. I assumed she was interested in maybe doing a class. We carried on. I then noticed her standing at the front door watching us. Once again, we kept doing our thing. She finally said “Excuse me”. I stopped the music to see how we could help her. With an attitude she said that she had to lock up upstairs. I told her that was fine and that we would lockup once we finished. I asked if she minded telling the owner downstairs what she had told us. With even more of an attitude she said, “Yes, I would mind!” I was taken aback. It took me a couple of beats of the songs to get back on track. We were all surprised with her demeanor but just brushed it off.
Well, I guess this lady was going through something because the next day she came to the facility to give me a card. She apologized for the way that she spoke to us and stated that that was not the way she really is. I shared her card with the group. We realized that everyone has their good and bad days and that her attitude was probably much larger than her interaction with us.
I could have put her on my enemy list, but I did something different. I realized the value I could give to the business where she works. I reached out to the manager (and didn’t mentioned the incident) and am forming a partnership with them. As we enter a new year, think about some of the things or people that have affected you either positively or negatively. Think about how (or if) you want them to be a part of 2011. Just remember, though, you can’t control another person’s actions. If you want someone to continue with you into 2011, remember you are accepting them just the way they are. It’s not about spending next year trying to change them. Not everyone should make it into next year. That man that always hurts you – leave him alone! If he wanted to be with you he would. The friend that always lies about you behind your back – leave her alone! That’s not a true friend. That person that serves as a source of inspiration for you (even if you don’t know him/her personally) – keep him/her close! Surround yourself with positive people doing positive things. Think about all that you want to accomplish, write it down, tell the world and make it happen!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
M.Y. December 2010
As you know, I LOVE FITNESS! I already had my personal training certification but needed to get 20 hours of continuing education over the next two years. I saw that a Zumba Fitness certification class was coming to Louisville and that I could get 7 hours for that. I’ve always loved doing Zumba and I needed the hours so it sounded like a win/win situation!
After attending the training I was hooked and equally excited to get more people involved. Zumba is a fun way to get in shape. Tomarcus at APT Fitness in St. Matthews allowed me to use his space for the classes and I get to workout while working out others!
But here’s the thing I forgot to factor in. Back in June, I either had an epiphany (or mental lapse) that I was going to try to grow out my relaxer. I’d been on the fence about it for so long. Since it was my offseason from competing, I figured this would be the best time to try it. If it didn’t work, I could always go back.
Dealing with the changes in my hair were fine, until the weeks leading up to my first Zumba class. I’d practice at home every night and every night I would work up a sweat. And with each night I worked up a sweat, another bead would lock up in the back of my hair. Another edge went from straight to not-so-straight to magically appear. So I had to make a decision. 1) Do the big chop – Not for me since it’d only been 4 months. 2) Pull my hair back in a pony tail every day – Not really for me. I love a ponytail but don’t think it looks professional at some of my meetings. 3) Get a wig or a weave – this was my last resort but really the only option I felt I currently had in order to stay active.
So I called up Chenica, went out, bought the hair and let the sewing begin. I will admit, it took me some time to get used to having a full head of “not my hair” but I know it’s only temporary to get me through the process. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!
If you’re currently transitioning to a natural hairstyle or already are, I’d love to hear your advice!
M.Y. October 2010