Like many little girls, I grew up dancing. I had loose ankles which gave me a unique talent for tap dancing. These loose ankles were not an advantage for ballet. As my peers moved into pointe shoes, I stayed in pre-pointe. My teacher was kind and helpful.
It was hard to have taken all the same classes and not have the strength and ability to move on. At that time, with encouragement from my teacher, I began working even harder. I was determined to get those shoes! Each week, I strengthened and practiced. Eventually, I made it into those point shoes.
That was the beginning of my determination. As the years went on, I continued to work hard. There were many challenges. I wasn’t as flexible or strong as many other dancers. It wasn’t until I was nearing college graduation that it all fell into place.
I finally learned to let go and trust my body. I had built the strength and found some flexibility. It was in letting go that I found my true strength! Once I trusted me body, my dancing improved by leaps and bounds. Letting go and simply moving was one of the most freeing moments in my dancing career. I hold onto that feeling as I try new adventures. I know I need to build the strength and believe in the process.
Somewhere along the way, we have to let go and trust the process. We need to have faith in our bodies and our instructors. This is often the hardest part of the process. We worry about adding weight or speed to our workouts. We need to trust the process and try something new, take that next step.
Do you find it easy to trust the process?
I’m not sure if I’m relieved or a little sad. Writing everyday was definitely out of my comfort zone, but it feels great to have accomplished my goal. There were days I REALLY wanted to give up, but I found a way. Some posts were better than others, that is true with everything in life. When we are reaching out of our comfort zone, there will be slip-ups but the decision to keep moving forward is the victory.
I hope you enjoyed the journey and maybe learned a little more about me. I am so thankful to all of you supporting me through the month. I’m looking forward to some fun holiday posts – although not daily
While many people were shopping this morning, I taught yoga. I didn’t know what to expect. I thought the gym could be busy or quiet. It was hopping! I was so impressed by the number of people who were working hard.
I entered the studio and began to set-up. As my students came in, they introduced me to their sisters and daughters. Almost everyone brought a family member. I couldn’t have been happier or more honored. What a great way to celebrate family!
Not only was there a great sense of community, people seemed more at ease. Everyone went a little further out of their comfort zone. People were willing to try a different variation and didn’t worry if it didn’t go as planned.
Our boys enjoy yoga and exercising. They aren’t ready for a full class at the gym, but I look forward to sharing a class or workout with them in the future!
Do you share exercise with your family?
Last year, I decided to make a few different videos. As my schedule allows, I will be getting back to making more videos. Here is the first video I ever made. I hope you enjoy it
*Please consult with your doctor before changing your exercise or diet regimen*
Here is the video, Core work using a ball (any bouncy ball or a pillow will work)
It’s been a busy week. I brought the kids to school early Tues and Thurs for a trial run of the BOKS program. We were practicing for last night’s Fit Friday where we demonstrated the program for the school.
Each year the school hosts two Fit Fridays, one in the fall and one in the spring. It runs for an hour and is designed to get the whole family moving. This time, we ran a bunch of the games featured in BOKS and ended with a little yoga.
The early run throughs were a great success for a variety of reasons. It showed us that the younger kids need a little help and some of the games run better if the kids are similar height. The preparation also provided us great helpers. Our kids were able to help demonstrate the games for the other kids. Thankfully, everything ran smoothly!
All of the kids did a great job through the evening listening and following instructions! I have to say the yoga was a highlight for me. Every child in the gym engaged with big inhales and exhales, they mooed and meowed through cat/cow stretch and they were ALL silent for savasana. They were so cute through our quick sequence!
Our boys absolutely loved it and want to do it everyday. I can’t wait to do it every week in January!!
Do you have BOKS at your school or Fit Fridays?
These words create fear in my students. Every time we step up the effort, I say how “it’s so much fun”. Now, some of my students beat me to the punch. In the name of having fun and working hard, we have monthly challenges.
It began as a circuit (6 stations around the room) on a Thursday to mix it up. The next month we added a plank challenge on Tuesday and today we had some fun in Killer Abs with partners and medicine balls.
These monthly check-ins work on a few different levels. It shows everyone the progress they are making. It mixes up the routine and most importantly creates an open atmosphere where people talk and laugh.
It took a little while for everyone to be comfortable in these scenarios. I encouraged everyone to join the plank challenge and let them know table is a great place to be. We generally have a big conversation to distract everyone. Sometimes it’s what we’re making for dinner, what we did over the weekend, etc.
Thursday’s challenge is a little different. I set up 6 stations around the room and they are at the station for one minute before moving to the next. The class is varied so they are basic exercises near the equipment being used. For example, anything with weights is near the rack so people can use what they are comfortable with. The groups are generally three to four people. This class is usually a highlight. Everyone chats and class flies by.
Today, we mixed up with the medicine balls. I often use the smaller ones, but today we got to use the big ones and throw them on the floor. We partnered up to throw the ball back and forth. Again, it allowed for chatting and a fun atmosphere.
Everyone will agree these classes are truly, so much fun!
How do you mix up your exercise routine? Do you like it when class is consistent or changes?
I have been struggling with running for the last month. Before running the Oysterfest 5k, I took it easy to save my legs for the race. Then the craziness began. I took the day after the race off from running. Then our son was sick so my next run was cancelled.
Finally, I was sick. I’ve been battling a cold that went into my chest. It took all my energy to teach my classes. I didn’t add anything extra. I finally got back to the treadmill and had to find my motivation.
I went back to intervals. This allowed me to take it easy and run for 2 minutes and walk for 2 minutes. After one week of intervals, I’m back to running the entire 30 minutes and it feels great!
I think it was important to give my body the break; however I was a little surprised by the lack of mental strength. I wish I could have jumped right back where I left off. Thankfully, I could draw on my experience and use what got me going when I first started running.
I am ready to keep training for our next 5k in December. The entire family is looking forward to that race. Again, our friends will be running with us. It promises to be a great day
How do you handle life getting in the way of your workouts?
This is one of my favorite slogans out there. It can be found pretty much anywhere. I have to admit, I was a bit surprised to hear not everyone feels the same way. Basically, it comes down to perception.
Some people feel this only refers to women who are extremely muscular. The idea is that if you aren’t completely toned, you don’t qualify.
I couldn’t disagree more. To me, everyone is strong. Strength is something we can embrace and have control over. We can’t control having curves or being very thin. Each body is different, yet each body has strength. We just have to find it.
Strong doesn’t always look the way it does in magazines. I always joke that I’m a decoy at 5Ks. I look like I should be faster than I am. It doesn’t matter what I look like or the people who come in ahead of me look like. We all completed the challenge. That is the beauty, the strength ~ knowing that you overcame an obstacle.
These obstacles are not always physical. It can be getting out of bed and facing the day, making healthier choices and yes, it can be walking into a gym and exercising.
We can all find it within ourselves! When you see this phrase, appreciate your strengths and beauty. If it motivates you to go that extra mile or do one more rep – that’s awesome! Embrace your struggle, know that you are stronger than your challenge and of course, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
What slogan motivates you in your day?
Last fall, I ventured into a ballet class for the first time in many years. I had no idea what to expect. I was in pretty good shape physically, but I hadn’t picked up choreography for a long time. I had other thoughts too, how big would the class be? would I fit in? would it be fun?
Class size varies every week, but there is a core group of eight women. We vary in age and experience but we have a great time. We laugh at ourselves and enjoy every moment.
Some of these women have been taking this class for over ten years. They know everything about each other and the choreography. All this being said, they couldn’t be more welcoming. They take the time to give you a little background and include you in the conversation. They also help break down the choreography.
It is more fun than I can express. There is continuity in the class and our approaches. Everyone has a different strength and we all appreciate what we each bring to class. There are many smiles and laughs.
I should mention that our instructor is amazing! She gives a great class with a grace that can’t be duplicated. She brings a great wealth of knowledge and beauty of movement. We are so lucky to have her
After class today, we went out for margaritas to celebrate the 50+10th birthday of one of the women. We laughed, shared stories and got to know each other even better. I couldn’t be happier that I took the risk and tried ballet last October. I look forward to many more fun classes with this wonderful group of women
Have you joined any adult dance classes or sports leagues?
Really, ask my kids Well, maybe not (don’t tell the kids) but I see everything when I’m teaching. You might not know it, but I can see everyone in the room. I’m constantly assessing form and effort. It’s my job to give everyone a good class.
I also spend a lot of time on research. Luckily, I think this is fun and love spending time looking for new exercises. This means everything from magazines, Pinterest to YouTube. I do take classes from other instructors to keep my body happy and moving. Talk about a great way to pass the time
I’ll be honest, I can be a little slack on my music. It’s difficult to keep everyone happy. I figure if students are focusing on the music, I’m not engaging them enough in class.
I don’t always feel like teaching. Like everyone I have days when I’m tired, not feeling well or have a lot on my plate. There is something magical about walking in and seeing students. It makes it all worth while and I immediately change my energy and enjoy class.
I give options so you can use them. Finding variations is hard and I want you to be safe. Sometimes, it’s time to take the next step. It’s really hard to find your own pace so enjoy the process and give it your best effort.
Class is truly meant to be fun. I try to keep it light and work hard. Smiling really does make it hurt less
Accepting not everyone likes you and that’s ok. This is the hardest lesson as a teacher. I focus on the positives in the class and love my students. It’s an amazing sense of community!
What are your favorite qualities in an instructor?