My first BodyPump back

I’m kind of getting a kick out of like, telling you what I’m doing as I’m writing.  So now, I’m sitting in the lobby at work (because I needed a locale change), taking a little break from work-work, and decompressing with a little writing.  The lobby is a challenge because you literally see everyone you’ve every known in your life.

People keep stopping, and looking at me sort of suspiciously.

Them: …did you??

Me: Yeah, I did!

Them: …what did you…

Me: A little boy, want to see a picture?

I think everyone is like really hesitant to ask, in case I’m not who they think I am, and then they’ve got this awkward moment where they’re in two camps – I either look like all the other black women they know OR they’ve just implied that I look like I just had a baby.  Which I don’t mind at all, because I did, but I understand how that could be a little off-putting to someone not feeling their best on that day.


So I finally, taught a BodyPump™ class.  It’s one that I haven’t really committed to teaching because it requires a lot of forethought, and teaching it is really hard.  They recommend for instructors to teach the tracks with the same weight that you’re instructing the students to do, so I was not super looking forward to squatting with like a billion pounds on my back when I’d just given birth.

A week or so ago, Abbey, who typically teaches the lunchtime class at this other place I fill in at, cut her hand like cooking or something.  And she cut it badly enough that she had to sub out all of her classes, one of which was like a 30 minutes pump format, followed bay BodyAttack™.  Which I don’t teach, but I offered up a cardio step.  30 minutes works, right?

So, I tried to get my tracks together on one playlist the night before, for organizations sake, but ended up falling asleep when the baby went down around 9:45, and then never waking up to do much of anything.  By the time I got bottles packed and Liam off on that morning, I was running around like a lost little chicken, and barely had my phone charged and myself dressed before I went to go teach the class at noon.  I ran in a few minutes before class was supposed to start (big no-no), and pretty much started the playlist and went off.

I screwed up the entire warm-up.  I’m talking about (if you know this format, you’ll know what I’m talking about) the entire part at the end of the warm-up where you’re supposed to lunge on one side, and then the other was lost, until I realized and fumbled my way back there.  But I smiled a lot.  Since I was running late, I hadn’t gotten the chance to pump and drain everything like I like to do before I work out, and I turned around and what I saw was absolutely obscene.  I was wearing a grey tank top that I’d worn through most of the pregnancy.  Grey is really fun because it shows all of your sweat, but I think I look pretty decent in the color so we have a dilemma.  But as for the obscene part, my boobs were hanging out of the top of my shirt and bouncing with like every single step I took.  It was nuts.  Because there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it, I just pretended like I didn’t notice, and avoided eye contact with the guy in the front row.  Eep.

Other than my complete chest hanging out due to my lack of planning, and the flubbed warm-up, the rest of the class went really really well, and the cardio portion that I incorporated a step into went awesome as well.  I snapped this before I left…


…and I suppose I’m really feeling okay with the way things are going as far as teaching. I’m definitely, definitely not back to, or capable of, teaching 5-6 days a week right now, or multiple classes a day, days and days in a row. I’m still healing up some of those ligaments that went loosey goosey during the pregnancy, and I’m still not up to 100% high-impact moves. Jumping, for instance, is something I’m not comfy with just yet, so I modify by keeping one foot on the ground, things like that.

So I guess I’m getting back to some things?  And feeling okay about it?  But that was my first Pump.  Looking forward to a few more in the new year.


Getting the hang of it.

So, back in November, I went again for my BodyPump certification.  I went for it like the July before I got married, in ’14,  but I let it lapse…in the hustle and bustle of us getting married, I never did my video (I did, but that’s another story), and sort of let it lapse.

[I recorded the video, and we discovered that the camera shut off midway through, and I never refilmed.]

But I went back, did the course again in November, passed, turned in my vid, passed, and started picking up a few classes here and there.

And let me tell you, even though I’ve been teaching for over 6 years at this point, that shit was/is hard. 

When I started teaching, I started with all freestyle classes.  Zumba, then I moved into Toning, and Cycle.  All things I went to trainings for and received credit, but things that really gave you the freedom to play with BPM, music, adding cardio pieces, and generally, screwing up with minimal detection from your class.  Seriously.  I actually restarted a song last night because I blanked.

[Enter Les Mills]

About two weeks ago, I had a mortifying experience with an early morning class.  The class starts at 5:45am, and due to a music disaster, and a late start, I ran into class 3 or 4 minutes late.

First (huge)  mistake.

To my horror, one of the best Pump instructors I’ve ever taken from in my life happened to be in the class.  She had started the warmup, and for that I was grateful, but immediately, I started shaking.  I’d barely had time to shower, I was late and already making a terrible impression, and suddenly, I had the feeling that I was doing to forget everything I knew.

And I did.

I blundered through every. single. track. My music was off.  My counting was off.  I forgot huge chunks.  And I was mortified.

Never, in my entire life, have I struggled so much with a format, and now, never in my life have I wanted to prove myself to myself so badly.  So, I’ve started by attending more classes (something that falls by the wayside sometimes when you’re directing a group fitness program), team teaching more, and subbing more (which exposes you to a new group that you can talk to, and if you’re really good, they’ll ask for you back when your teacher can’t be there. If you suck, you’ll hear it).  But this is hard. And in it being hard, it is 100% infuriating, since I’m strong in other formats.

All that said….how was your Monday?  What did you work out?

What I Would do with my Lottery Earnings.


I am really sore.  Like ridiculously sore.  12512311_10100697279453363_6901348544062139_n

I taught a Body Pump class first thing in the morning so I could do my “video” for Les Mills. We all call it “videos” despite the fact that that language alone makes you a strong candidate to be old, but apparently, none of us really seem to mind that a whole heck of a lot. Anyhoo, I did that class at 6am, and I’m really trying this whole morning thing out. The hard thing with that is that I’m still not getting to bed at a great time, so I’m also trying to get in bed at decent hours. I got in bed last night before midnight and am not yet falling asleep at my desk, so maybe this is a win?

So, I’m sure you’ve heard and heard and heard again how intense this Powerball thing is getting here.  The winnings are estimated at up over a billion dollars, and it makes it tempting to play.  I mean, even celebrities are getting in on it, which I sort of resent, but whatever.  I

I  haven’t played, and not sure if I will, but in my off time, I’ve sort of fantasized about what it might be like if I won, right?  And it really isn’t an interesting or particularly noble list, it’s practical.  Maybe that’s selfish.

I’d pay off my student loans.  Probably pay off my sister’s and pay off a few friends.  If you were to sit with us over drinks or coffee, eventually, student loans would come up.  “Hey guys, I better head out.  I’m watching the budget – these loans!”  It would be nice to hang out with friends my age and not have this thing just hanging over our heads.

I’d put $2-$3 million away for our retirement.  Sounds lofty now, but totally manageable if you win the powerball right?  Then we don’t have to worry about outliving our retirement like our parents kind of have to cause they live long af.

Housecleaner.  I am a terrible housekeeper.  I would LOVE some help.  Maybe that makes me a brat, but if I had the money this very individual second, I would totally do it.

Chef.  I would love a chef whose special talent was to make my favorite terrible foods healthy.  And all my favorite healthy foods in their proper portions so I only had to do it (cook) for enjoyment and not for sustenance or making sure I had lunch for the next day.  The biggies for me would be big elaborate salads, soups, and sushi.  I would LOVE to always have sushi on tap.

What would you do if you won the Powerball?

Why do you work out if you’re a fitness instructor?

First things first though, I can honestly say I had a new experience yesterday.  So, I was contacted by another group fitness director sort of out of the blue a few weeks back.

“Do you teach total body strength?”

I answered yes, and especially since I started taking on a regular Toning since I got my Body Pump cert last year, I feel super comfortable with the format.

What that ended up meaning is that I was signed up for a shoot for the association where I would have to teach a pretend class.  The BEST part about it though, was that since we don’t have the rights to any of the music, I  had to teach the class in silence, and they have to go back and dub the music in later.  So for 20ish minute, I danced and bicep curled and squatted to NO MUSIC.  The weirdest experience of life.

12208383_10100666199338163_938420875333157995_nI also was told by the photographer (very politely) to put my boobs away. I forget these things get out of control sometimes, and since I don’t necessarily want my boobs plastered on the January mailer, I’m appreciative.  I can chalk that up to a new experience.

Why do you work out?  You’re a fitness instructor.  Doesn’t your class just count as your workout?

Switching gears a little bit, but I get this question a lot.  Sometimes when I mention to folks that I’m going to try to sneak a run in or hop on the elliptical for a few minutes before I teach my class (after is usually no good for me), they ask why I bother.

It’s true, when I’m up there leading a class, I’m sweating, and I’m moving, but I promise you, it’s not the same as the workout the participants in the class are getting.  My energy is 100% fixed on facilitating a good, safe, fun class, and when your energy isn’t focused inward, you don’t benefit as much.

Secondly, and this one is the big one, as an instructor, we shouldn’t be relying on our 5:15pm Zumba for our workout because the class (I’ve said it before) IS NOT FOR US.  The purpose of you teaching should never be to get ripped, and honestly, if you rely on your class to get your exercise in, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Fun fact: I was at my heaviest while teaching the most BALLER class every at NC State.  You have to do more.

What workouts have you done this week?  Try anything new?

Fitness Gods.

The best thing happened to me yesterday morning.

Let me back it up.


So I’ve been teaching Zumba® Fitness for almost 5 years – taking for longer than that.  And the entire time I was taking, and the entire time that I was training, I had a total fitness crush on my trainer/original teacher Koh Herlong, and then Tanya Beardsley, with whom I had the pleasure of taking a master class before she retired from the company to do her own thing.  I loved the way they taught, I found myself tearing up when they made a connection to their classes, and I’ve always strove (striven?!) to bring the same to my classes.  I love to teach, and I hope that comes through to my classes.

Yesterday, I was working in my office on the schedule when the kid from the fitness desk downstairs called.

“Yeah, there’s no one here to teach the 4:30 step class.”


By the grace of God, I’d already planned to take a cycle class, and was already in workout gear.  I literally jogged downstairs, strapped the mic on, broke the news to the class that I would not be teaching Step, but a Cardio Dance class, and went for it.

“Whew, it’s over,” I thought 45 minutes later!

“The teacher that teacher this class always teaches the toning class after.  You’re teaching toning, right?”

Of COURSE!  I found a CD that was like 140 BPMs (a little fitness inside thing) with Miley Cyrus featured, and I WENT FOR IT.  I stepped out of my little Zumba box, dusted off my AFAA certification, and played my role of Fitness Director perfectly.  I had an awesome, awesome time, and after, a few of the chicks in class walked up after, and told me how awesome the toning class was, and how I’d kicked their butt! (Thank you Body Pump™ training!)

Which brings me to this.


Body PumpI’m still working through some of my team teaching for Body Pump, and was super nervous to teach with this beautiful goddess, Monica, who introduced me to Body Pump.  She’s a flawless instructor, and radiates a really unique sort of beauty and professionalism in her classes.

This morning, she allowed me to team teach with her, and following the class, she gave me a hug, complimented my connection with the students, and said that I was ready to teach.

I have died and gone to heaven!

Do you have any fitness crushes?  Spill!


Body Pump™ Cert Part 2

So….obviously, I haven’t been around for a few days which was probably really truly concern to all of you because ya girl can talk. But between starting my brand new job, which I will talk about in another post, getting myself married, and passing my certification in Body Pump it has been really hard to brush my teeth, let alone sit down in one spot, get to a computer and pour out out.

So let me pour.

So the last you heard of me, I was just finished up after my first day at the Les Mills Body Pump training process, but I didn’t get too deeply into it cause I wanted to keep you on the edge of your seat until today, so I hope that it worked.

Body Pump!

So like I told you the other night, I drove down to Wilmington on Friday night, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  I’ve been to a lot of different fitness trainings, but right off the bat, this one seemed different because it spanned over two days, and Les Mills had actually sent us music, a live class video, and choreography notes, as well as two of the songs that we were told to prepare for a presentation.

When I got to the student recreation center at UNCW, the training began promptly.  I was really surprised, rather than there being a room packed out, the group was intimate, and every single one of the folks there was incredibly in shape.  A lot of the trainings that I’d gone to had a whole smorgasbord of folks, from the ultra fit to the beginners, so it was interesting to be in a room full of folks who, for the most part, had either been taking classes for a long time, or had been teaching other formats for some time.

Body Pump Team
Suze is the little atomic bomb down in the front. But check out all of these folks, how awesome do they look?

So the training started promptly, and we started with some business, and moved right into our first class of the release, and of the weekend.  Our trainer, Susan was this teeny ball of energy, and she taught an awesome class with a sparkle in her eye, and immediately, the hooting and hollering started from the group.  We were already hurting, but we already were feeling so together, that we were whooping up a storm.  It was awesome.

Again, we went into business – Susan broke down some choreography and choreo notes for us, and we quickly ducked out for a lunch break.  After lunch, we started “studying” the tracks we were going to present to the class, and toward the end of that first day, we took the class a second time, each of us taking turns to teach our tracks, and supporting each other.  The skills that all of us came to the training with were really impressive – though all of us left that day with feedback given to us that we needed to work on, we all started from a really solid foundation.

After Susan let us go for the evening, I found some food at a burrito barn, and chilled with a beer and with ‘The Fault in Our Stars’.  My feet were killing from doing the equivalent of two 60-minute Body Pump classes, so I decided to head to the beach to walk on the sand so that I could get a little circulation into the nooks and crannies and my poor feet.  Fun fact: I hit Flaming Amy’s again after day two, because it was the only place I had the energy to really hunt out.  Plus it was reallllly cheap.

Flaming Amys
I did a vegetarian burrito and a $1.25 beer. Perfect way to end the day.
Beach Photo
The beach. I was really missing my husband-to-be at this part.

Day 2

Day 2, we immediately started by taking the class again – and again, each of us presented our tracks.  Where there were certainly areas to improve on that first day, it was clear that all of us had absorbed some of the feedback that Susan had given us the day before, and there was vast, vast improvement on the day before.

The Body Pump Challenge.

I’m going to keep a lot of these details to myself because the challenge was so incredible, so so incredible, that I will let you guys that want to go off and get your Body Pump cert see for yourself what it was about.  I will say this.  I actually got a little choked up once we finished the challenge, and I had such an incredible sense of accomplishment, one that rivaled the sense I got when I finished both marathons.

Finally, after some more business, we took our fourth and final class, which we all took turns teaching our last track.

And sooner than I would have liked, we were done.  Susan called us out one by one to let us know if we passed or not (I passed!) and we all gave each other hugs and promised that we would keep in touch.  The way the process goes is that I am currently doing a lot of team teaching, and within 60 days, I have to send Les Mills a vid of me teaching, and being competent.

The weekend was a beautiful, painful, sweaty, hardcore weekend of fitness magic, and I am so grateful to have done it.  Seriously, if anyone is thinking about doing this training, you HAVE to do it, and please please, send me questions if you have any about the training!

Pump Legs
I cannot believe these legs pumped out so much weight! Go me!

What did you do over the weekend?  

Body Attack in Review

Two mornings ago, I dragged my butt out of bed to go to something called Body Attack, a class that is in the Les Mills family.  Les Mills, by the way, is the umbrella under which Body Pump falls.  Body Pump is that toning and weightlifting class I’ve been taking.  But I digress.

So I dragged my butt out of bed because I knew my favorite Body Pump teacher would be teaching this called Body Attack.  I get there, and I started off a little skeptically.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 9.23.03 PMI was skeptical, but as I looked around, I saw a lot of the folks that were regulars at Body Pump, and the class was pretty packed, especially for 5:45am.

Instead of the class being dancey or boppy, like the classes I’m sort of used to taking the class involved some plyometrics, aerobic exercises, and high energy interval trainings that sort of reminded me of when I would go off on my own and do some of the Nike Training Center (NTC) workouts on my phone.

As the class went on, I felt like it got a little less weird, and the class morphed into exactly what I needed, especially some of the plyometric exercises that involved me holding and working with my own body weight.  Especially in my upper-body, this is something I’d like to try to develop.  Additionally, the class involved a good bit of running around the studio, something that I feel so at ease with.  So between the running the development of some sweet strength, I think me and Body Attack (and Monica, the fabulous teacher) will get along just great.

So, when you go to try this class out, definitely give the class a little longer than the warm-up, which definitely feels strange, and you will fall in love.

**As a side note, the adorably amazing teacher, who can bust out like a million push ups, kept saying “jack it” when she wanted us to fly into some jumping jacks.  I could not stop laughing.  I have the maturity of a 15-year-old I know.**

Body Pump!

So, for a few months now, Matthew and I, coworkers, have been waking up at the buttcrack of dawn to go do this Les Mills class called Body Pump.

Dramatty and me!

I liked it the first time, and with the first instructor I took it with.

And then I took it with Monica.

And I honestly hope Monica never reads this because I don’t want her to get skeeved out, but she is an incredible instructor.

For starters, she’s beautiful, and I’ve heard rumors that she has a few kids.  She wears her instructorhood well, and she’s muscular and still feminine, and it’s obvious that she maintains her activity level outside of the studio.  (There are some fitness instructors who NEVER work out – I definitely was one of them many many moons ago.)  So as I started to fall in love with Monica (and with the class), the fleeting thought crossed my mind a few times, that I should look into becoming a Body Pump instructor.

And then Gina at The Fitnessista posted about her experiences at her Body Pump instructor training.

And THEN, finally, the other day, I took a class where the instructor made a HUGE boo-boo.  She was really cute, and very energetic, but not the best instructor in the entire world (her cueing wasn’t great, and her form was pretty bad to be a teacher).  And in the middle of a weighted squat, which I am still very very sore from, she goes “Come on!  It’s bikini season!  You wanna fit into that bikini!”.  I will go into later why you never say that as a fitness instructor, but that very day, I started doing some research and poking around for information on how to become a Body Pump instructor.

So, here is the official announcement!  I’m demoing my skills as a teacher in general next week at the Rapid Fitness downtown, and then I officially start the process to become a Body Pump instructor!  Crossing my fingers and hoping that the training won’t come to Raleigh until AFTER we get married, but with my luck, I’ll be in training like a week before 🙂

Any of you guys taken Body Pump before?

The day I woke up early!!

It has, for a long time, been my complete and utter goal to wake up early and work out.

Well guess what suckers!

I woke up early, met up with a co-worker, and went to Body Pump at 5:45 am.  It’s a miracle!  So Hungry Runner Girl has talked about pump a lot lately, and even talked about how she’s been excited to weight lift since she started taking the class.  Whaaaa?  So when a coworker asked me to join, and said class was at 5:45, I jumped at the chance only because I knew I would have to be up early today if I wanted to get everything done and still make it out to DC in the evening for the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon.  (By the way, if you’re still interested in running, you can register at the expo for the 5k, the half, and the full).

But back to class.

photo (25)I never feel really eager to lift weights, but the class made it stomach-able.  The nice thing about this class is that we worked pretty much all of the major muscle groups – the agonists and the antagonists, and we really didn’t leave anything out, which is really important.  I think, I lot of times we focus on one group – the abs (without working the back), for example.

The thing that was sorta weird was that since I teach often enough during the week, I don’t really take a whole lot of other classes.  It’s weird to be a teacher in a class.  You can’t help but to critique form, cues, and his or her demo, which she did great on.  Also, you can’t help but to be a little horrified at the little things instructors do.  We tell dumb little stories.  We laugh at ourselves.  We sing passionately along with the music, which is so awkward to watch (I never realized that).  And we make it look freakishly easy to demo what we’re doing.  This morning, ol’ girl, was pressing like a million pounds overhead while stupid 80s songs played jauntily in the back.  And I can totally appreciate that!

How did your workout go this morning?  Do you think I can keep it up and work out early one day a week?