Day 17 – Work – What sort of work did you do in 2014?
I could bore you to tears talking about government contractor pricing… zzz… I almost fell asleep just typing it.
But, I have no interest. And, you wont’ either, trust me. I do love my job. I am well suited for it. But, it is a means to my ends, and I work in order to live my life, I don’t live for working.
I’m really lucky to have two jobs that I love. My professional Big Girl job which earns my way through my life, but primarily my mortgage, and my fun job which earns me enough to take cool trips, get regular pedicures which I am in hella need of right now, and all of the lululemon my heart desires.
My fun job is teaching group fitness classes. My interest in group fitness started when I was in college, a girl named Ashley taught a freestyle kickboxing class at Virginia Tech’s McComas Hall and her music was awesome and I made friends in the class who kept me accountable. Group fitness is the perfect storm of energy, motivation, hard work, and social interaction. I progressed to spin and step classes. And when I moved to the Northern Virginia area after graduation, I found a brand that upped the ante with its perfectly choreographed to-the-beat movement and amazing instructors — Les Mills.
I never considered teaching classes myself. I wanted the hour to be a sacred slice of time that I dedicated to myself. I also suffered an insecurity about how I could possibly be a motivator for others. What if I just wanted to go to the gym to feel good about myself, catch up with my gym friends, and check a box instead of really working? Sometimes we all have those days, and it’s OK. Instructors… they don’t have it so easy. They have to be On. They have to be Energetic. They have to be Inspiring. That’s a lot of external demands for an introvert.
I was harassed by my RPM instructor, Gerry, for at least a year before I started to think about it seriously. And, in 2008 I decided to dive in with RPM for my first certification with the amazing Heather Bedell. It went well. I felt confident at the training. But then, scared to death to put on a mic and tell 30 people on stationary bikes what to do. It went like this… Add resistance. Race. Climb. Recover. Add resistance. Attack. I’m falling asleep again… I was stuck in my head thinking about all the things I wasn’t saying instead of just having a conversation with my crowd. My initial taping video for RPM is hilarious!!! I have no idea how I passed, I don’t think I would have passed me, watching back. I had good technique, I rode on the beat, but I was awkward and boring. Fortunately, they saw potential.
So I taught my first few painful classes, and then I built my vocabulary and felt a little more comfortable. It was easier to teach to a room of strangers than to my friends who I knew were super supportive. I got my Friday morning class at Golds Gym in Merrifield, which I still teach to this day (!!) and have come a long way.
From there, it was BodyStep, then BodyAttack (my other all time favorite). I thought I was done but then decided BodyPump would be my last addition. Then, I thought I was really done, but just taped my initial video for GRIT series. OK now I’m really really really done.
It is a job. It’s work. But, I definitely don’t do it for the money. Initially, I did it for me. But now, I do it for the many many gym members who have touched my life and I have come to know and love like my family. I think that it’s one of the most important things that I can do – connect with my community and keep the people that mean so much to me healthy and feeling good. I am so fortunate to have this opportunity to change people’s lives. I see it every day, the progress that is made over time, and it makes all of the hard work worth it. Teaching group fitness is one of the greatest joys of my life.
Teaching 5-6x per week also allows me to eat excessive frosting now and then.
Why hello there May! You are quite the sight for these sore, puffy, red eyes. It was perhaps 2 days after I wrote about how April hasn’t been that showery that this happened:
This picture was taken moments before I needed to leave the house to go somewhere, of course. It snowed on April 15th after exactly 1 day of being over 50 degrees. I might have said that morning how amazing it feels outside. I have negative weather karma, so on behalf of everyone who lives in the Mid-Atlantic, I won’t speak or write about mother nature again. Your welcome. All my karma energy is spent in parking lots, where I do quite well.
Aside from a brief moment feeling old ish, my April was pretty fantastic:
What I loved:
- Getting back on my road bike. To the average cyclist, this seems like a regularly scheduled April-ish thing to do. But between G’s shoulder surgery in February 2013 and my wrist injury that has been plaguing me since July 2013, the last time we were on our bikes was July 4th last year when I proposed. And before that, it was the season closer in October of 2012! So it has been quite some time, and the task of getting the bikes cleaned, tuned up, pumped up, oiled up, with our arses in the saddles is a very daunting task. We told ourselves that we wouldn’t do distance, we would just go out on the W&OD trail from our house for 1 hour, turn around and come back home. No pressure. We clipped right in, rode stronger than ever out to Ashburn, said we could go further but didn’t want to push our luck, and zipped home in almost record time. 17.8mph average speed on a windy day, 37 miles under our belts. I’ll take it! Getting over that first hump is the hardest. And now we are reminded why we love this sport so much. ONWARD!
- Second quarter launches for our Les Mills programs at the gym! We get new releases 4 times a year and sometimes team up to deliver them for the first time to our classes. For the first time ever, I had the opportunity to team with my bestie, maid of honor, and pump buddy Orjiugo (and it was obviously “wild animal” themed and we obviously just dressed in black with some cat ears and called ourselves jaguars- we embrace cheesy in very guarded and classy fashion)
- Cleaning off the deck furniture to enjoy some of the non-rainy days for some al fresco dining! Grilled meat? YES PLEASE. And I love my home made salad dressing. I will actually foray into posting a recipe later this week- it is the easiest dressing to put together and is so much better than anything you can buy in a bottle. Stay tuned.
- Celebrating Levi’s 7th birthday with a long 3 mile walk (the old man can keep up nicely now that we are back into our habit), a bath, an eyebrow grooming, and some tasty treats from Wyle Wagg. I love this dog so much. How could you not?
What I learned:
- Teaching (and for G, taking) my RPM (indoor/stationary cycling) class 3x per week is really the ticket to staying in good cycle shape out of season. WOW. And our “out of season” was nearly a year and a half! It’s true, a 45-60 minute high intensity interval training class on the bike a few times a week can keep you in shape (I daresay make you stronger even) to pick right up where you left off and feel great. If you are a cyclist, or an athlete of any kind, wanting to cross train or stay in shape for whatever season you are biding your time for, try an RPM class. You can leave a comment or message me and come to mine! Or, you can find one near you on this map.
- I haven’t heard from Martha Stewart yet, but as my calling to be a paper flower crafter becomes more and more obvious, I think she definitely should hire me. I learned how to make a lot of different flowers using patters last month, but my learning curve has been exponential and my efficiency at making these has skyrocketed. I’ve also gotten into making my own patterns for different types and sizes of flowers! Copycat no more!
What I gained:
- A beautiful new rug for the living room. Gorgeous. I always wanted an ikat rug and G and I had been pining away for one in just this color. Thanks to G’s savvy internet searching skills (and religious persistence with looking daily) we found this for a steal!
- Last but certainly not least, I gained not only a new found appreciation for having a service for the outside ‘spring cleaning’ (gardening is just not my thing), but also for how beautiful the house looks with the azaleas we picked for the front (which are now red and in full bloom!) Blue Sky Landscaping did a great job for a very reasonable price! We are all ready for May!