I'm still lamenting the loss of bodystep in my life.
I need to get over it... I sound like someone whining over an ex-boyfriend.
Sometimes I think though, that doors close for a reason.
I am so lucky to now have an amazing bodyjam mentor. I'm doing what I always wanted to, but have always been scared of.
I've spent the last couple of months shadowing, two weeks ago I taught the freaky Cantina tracks. It was a disaster, 'nuff said. On Tuesday, I braved it again and taught the first two tracks of french electro awesomeness. The only way I can describe it is OMFG BLEW MY MIND AMAZING, such a change from two weeks ago. Incredible, indescribable feeling to be up there doing what I said I couldn't.
I am so incredibly lucky.
An absence of bodystep has not made this sexy bitch happy, although she did have a wonderful weekend with all her crew from back home at Filex. Highlights included the spontaneous bodyjam flashmob on Friday night which was a barrel of laughs especially when one of the male members of our contingent splitting his pants from front to back whilst 'dancing'. Saturday I stayed in a non-hungover state for long enough to teach my bodybalance class and got great feedback. Also made the long-awaited (since around midnight the night before when Em and I decided to go to Max Brenner which was unfortunately closed) trip to Max Brenner for hot chocolate. Dinner with the P-town crew that night, then up early for super workshops the next day...
Words cannot describe the atmosphere in that room when there are hundreds of other CRAZY instructors. Jam was particularly amazing and I loved doing bodystep again.
So, back to what I want... if there is one thing that I have learnt from teaching is that if I want it bad enough I will find a way to get it. I want to be teaching step again. I am going to SMASH bodystep AIM in four weeks time, same as I SMASHED attack.
Having not been up on stage for just over four weeks, I was a little bit nervous. The gfm who I was teaching with is a fabulous attacker and I really like her teaching style as she is very good at teaching everyone in the class, not just the hard-core bodyattackers. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to teach with her and I'm looking forward to doing it again soon.
I'm now onto learning an entire release because I'm now good to go for covers!
I miss teaching bodystep very much, it really is MY program, my baby. Unfortunately, I think I have already mentioned that there is very little bodystep in my area. There is one class across the road from my work which I attended the night after my attack training.
It was interesting. Interesting bad and not interesting good. I will leave it with the comment that if you think what you believe is better than Les Mills, then teach Freestyle.
Um, yeah... as an instructor, I believe the height of rudeness is walking out halfway through a class in a huff because you don't like what they are doing. However, I didn't particularly feel like injuring my knees doing track 10 of BS #79 at double speed.
I am not touching that with a 10 foot pole.
Sadly, it looks like bodystep has come to an end for me. I've been trekking it across town to get to classes, but I get there just in the nick of time. It's a real shame looking back at my 79 DVD as one of my wonderful mentors said that if I ever needed to rediscover how much I loved the program, to just have a look back and see how excited and happy I was in the front row.
I *think* I fixed the comments problem. Thanks Liz!
I did it!!
My goal this time around was to HAVE FUN.
By this, I meant no stressing and to enjoy the experience. I'm pretty sure I achieved that. FINALLY!
It was just less than two weeks before that I had gone to absolute pieces after a presentation that everything has changed in my teaching.
I didn't find it quite so emotionally overwhelming as the other trainings I've done. This time, it just all fall into place. I literally got up on the Sunday morning, ready for Day 2, and decided that I was going to smash it.
Oh boy, did I smash it! I was talking to our trainer at the end, and I said that I was really pleased with how much confidence I'd had when I presented. She looked very surprised when I said this, and asked me if it had really been an issue. Um, like you would not believe!! I told her this and she said she wouldn't ever have known.
Right now, I have turned my focus to picking up my fitness. I need to nail these f-ing push-ups, and nail them I will! I did find the challenge and push-up test stupidly difficult, however all was well for my first day at my new job Monday morning.
Otherwise, it's all systems go from here!!
I am currently in the midst of packing my room up - moving date is next Wednesday, and learning choreography for launches (which, due to the move, is the only time I'll teach this release).
In the mean time, I am also contemplating doing my BODYATTACK training on the 20th and 21st of March. I'd really like to do it on the current release, but that will make it my first weekend in Sydney and the weekend before I start my new job on the Monday.
Without a doubt, yes.
But there were a number of reasons why my step, jam and balance trainings were stupid ideas as well. All in all, I don't regret doing them when I did at all.
For me, the best thing I can do is to throw myself straight into group fitness again. Until then, it's clean, pack & learn choreography (repeat x100)...
On Fridays I have a permanent class at a ladies only gym. I took it on in November. This class has had a large turnover of instructors (me moving isn't helping that statistic) and I was told that I shouldn't expect more than 5-6 people as 'they're not really steppers', that I needed to teach 'low options, then lower than low options' by a few instructors.
I was a little bit apprehensive about taking it on, particularly because I noticed in my years of participating in mid-morning classes whilst I was at uni, that the 'mummy' crowd tend to prefer more experienced and mature instructors.
There has been a few classes where I've said to myself that the class wasn't worth it, but I battled on through. Truth be told, if it wasn't so close and if it wasn't at such a convenient time for me, I would have given it up. These days, it's the highlight of my week!
The demographic of this gym is SO different to anywhere else I teach. Most of them come into the gym having never done an exercise program before, let alone group fitness... the staff are pretty good at recommending classes to their clients and the members are really good at letting me know if they've got injuries, new to the class etc. This makes things so much easier where at most gyms I get to play 'spot the newbie' at the beginning of the class.
Luckily when I started teaching the class we were just starting a new release, but mixing was a whole new ballgame. I wasn't sure whether to just stick with the same mix I did for the rest of my classes, or do something entirely different. I've been slowly figuring them out... at first, I was my normal, cheerful, happy joking self and I got nothing for them. I really did think I was having trouble with connecting with the members, but before and after the classes, the interaction wasn't a problem at all. My numbers stayed reasonably constant, but I was really playing it safe, both with my teaching style and the mixes I taught.
One week I was teaching "Single Ladies" from BODYSTEP #76 in my other classes. I love this track, but I got in the car and had a sinking feeling when I realised that I hadn't organised an alternative track. Ooops. I spent the drive trying to think about any other party steps for which I knew the choreography for... nope. "Single Ladies" it was. I decided to have fun with it anyway, and worry about the consequences later... to my surprise, they loved it! (4 weeks later, we're still doing the same track at their request)
I knew I'd cracked them when I discovered, much to my surprise, that the more I 'party', the more over the top I get, the more they liked it. I was told last week by one of my ladies that she felt like she was 21 again when she came to my class, and I think it's really cool that I can create an atmosphere and provide a release like that. They also now like to ask a multitude of questions about my social life after every class, and as much as I do enjoy a good night on the town, it's not particularly wild. I almost feel like I'm letting them down!
The best thing about this class though, is sharing their success. In most of the other classes that I teach, there's a few participants that are just starting out on their fitness journey, but the majority are settled - going to classes isn't really achieving any new milestones. My lovely ladies are so excited about everything from weight lost to going onto two, or even one riser for the first few tracks for the first time, to just getting through the class! I had a new lady today who came up to me, so stoked that she'd gotten through the class for the first time after not doing group fitness for 10 years due to a back injury.
Today it was hot, and it's a pretty well known fact that the air-con isn't that great in this particular studio. I was thinking I'd be coming to a class of about 7 members, 12 is about average (the gym is only little). I had 18. I think I poured every single ounce of energy I had... I wasn't going for big propulsions, but really connecting with passion, which really built the energy. I finished up feeling completely THRASHED afterwards.
I'll miss them!
Along my journey from shadowing, to team teaching, to having my own classes, there were a number of milestones which seem like the tiniest little things now but were huge at the time... going from one track to three to half a class to the whole entire thing.
And then there are the quintessential instructor experiences that are probably going to happen sooner or later. Things like teaching without a microphone, stereos/ipods/cds malfunctioning, participants sharing WAY, WAY too much information.
Where is this leading??
Tonight, I had my first (and hopefully last) wardrobe malfunction.
I bought a new pair of yoga pants during my break at work today. As I was team-teaching BODYBALANCE tonight, I decided I'd wear them. I came straight from a BODYSTEP class (#2 of the day) and was a little rushed.
Everything appeared to be going fine, until the sun salutations. I looked back into the mirror behind me, and realised that there was a nice, white patch of ass cheek showing. Whoops. The stitching on my lovely new pants had split and clever me was wearing a g-string. Now I know that I might like to take a VPL over ass-crack. Luckily, my esteemed colleague (male) hadn't noticed and I snuck off to the bathrooms to change into my shorts from BODYSTEP. Not entirely appropriate, but a lot better than the alternative!!
I can definitely call myself an instructor now...
Since my last post, a number of things have unexpectedly been thrown around. I haven't been quite sure as to how to cope with this, so I decide not to think about it, and therefore, not blog about it.
I'm not going to London and France.
My list of my sexybitch 'things to do' are not really happening - I am eating well, and I am preparing for all my classes well, but I'm not progressing very well with the rest of it.
I got offered a class at 'one of those' big gyms where the GFM is known for having high standards and was SO pleased to be asked to take it on, but had to turn it down an hour later.
I'm not going to get to teach BODYSTEP 79, which I have been desperately waiting for since October 2009...
It's all for a good reason!
I'M MOVING TO SYDNEY!!!!!
I have been offered what is my ideal job (hoping that the reality matches it) and I'm just waiting to finalise the contract. My boss-to-be called my current boss (I had to tell her as I needed time off to go to Sydney for the interview when our assistant manager was away) on Friday for a reference and I'm told she said very good things about me.
I was excited, now I'm more terrified than anything.
The whole process has been pretty drawn out and harrowing. I saw the job on Seek in the first week of January, and didn't apply for it straight away. I felt drawn to it... that weekend, when a friend had drinks at her house, another friend read my tarot cards. I'd never paid much thought to that kind of thing, but she said some things that were scarily, scarily accurate and she wouldn't have known. I asked her about my future and I burst into tears (ok, I'd had MORE than a few) when she said something was going to happen in the next few days and I'd find that direction that I was looking for... I hadn't mentioned the job at all.
I went home and as soon as I'd gotten over my hangover, I applied.
Didn't hear anything for a couple of weeks, which all things considered, was fairly normal. In the mean time, I was stressing out because I knew that this was it... if I didn't at least get an interview, I was SCREWED.
So they did e-mail, and I organised to fly out on Australia Day. I missed all the festivities and missed the Triple J hottest 100 countdown. I spent the next day running around doing a few errands and the interview wasn't until 5pm. Group session first, then me on my own.
I felt good afterwards and flew back home early the next morning, knowing that it was now outside of my control. The rest of the interviews weren't going to be until the following week, but then they were delayed for another week.
Long story short... and probably the biggest reason for me not blogging, but I had a couple of really BAD weeks at work, which included the stress of the shock resignation of our *amazing* assistant manager and the most horrible member experience I have had to date. I nearly quit on the spot and the anxiety I was experiencing about not knowing about this job really compounded it.
By Wednesday morning when I hadn't heard, I gave up hope. At 2.05pm, the call I'd been waiting for came... he wanted to offer it to me, just pending a reference check. Relief...
So now it's absolute madness.
I've been a little devastated that despite the dominance of a certain gym chain in Sydney, that there is so little Bodystep on the timetables. I'm currently team teaching Bodybalance as well at said gym chain, but I'm not sure whether I'll be able to get my certification done before I leave. We have an assessment this week so I will see how I go.
Also unfortunate is the fact that because our quarterlies are so LATE this quarter, Sydney will already be mixing by the time I get over there! I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek of the DVD as two of my fellow instructors attended quarterlies in Adelaide, and oh my... I figured that you might see my head pop up in maybe one, two tracks when they zoomed out...
No, I think I have achieved my goal of dvd 'fame'. EVERY SINGLE TRACK. I can die happy now. I was told by a certain VIP when I was still in Auckland that I was all over it, and I didn't quite believe them. Then when the trainers/presenters got their packs I was told again. It definitely had to be seen to be believed...
Being me, I also have a tag hanging out the bottom of my top the entire time...
Remind me to never stop weight training again.
I admit it.
I haven't had *quite* the dedication to my training I had envisioned. One step at a time...
On Friday I had my first PT session of the year at 8am, and then taught my usual BODYSTEP class at 9.30. My legs and I started out fantastically. I did a set of box jumps onto the stage in the group fitness room, and was clearing it easily, even more so than before Christmas.
The rest of the session continued well - I felt like I hadn't lost any strength, and didn't feel much fatigue at all. I got VERY cocky, and thought the break was really good for me, until I pushed play at 9.30am and started doing hamstring curls. OMFG!
Needless to say, I had to ROLL out of bed yesterday, and it got worse as the day progressed. Today it is a little better.
Scratch that. I just got up... it's worse.
This week: sexybitch will be doing at least one other weights session in addition to my PT session on Friday.
One step at a time... but my feet are still firmly planted on the bandwagon.
So whilst I felt that the article confirmed what I'd already assumed, it did get me thinking about a few things.
I am so *LUCKY* to be enjoying being active and working as a group fitness instructor!
I will be the first to admit that I am not athletically gifted at all. In fact, I am quite the opposite. As a kid, I walked on my toes because I had super tight Achilles tendons (still do), had hypermobile joints and as a result was quite clumsy (not much has changed in nearly 24 years), and was a skinny little runt (possibly the only attribute I wish I still had).
I had a terrible time in PE as a result. I could write an entire series of blog posts about how I was put into the very last division for the running race in our athletics carnival, how my P.E. teacher wouldn't let me play softball in class because no-one would have me on their team, and that when I won Champion Girl for swimming when I was in Year 6, the same teacher's comment was 'Well, that's the first and last time you'll ever succeed in sport'. That was just the teachers - I was also teased relentlessly by my peers.
I started at a new school in Year 7 and never looked back after that. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic PE teacher in Year 7, who didn't know anything about my previous athletic endeavours (or lack of). Term 1 began with swimming, and I took up diving and got a highly coveted position on the inter-school diving team. I wasn't fantastic at it, but I was better than most of the other girls that tried out. She also encouraged me to try Rhythmic Gymnastics, and this was where I truly found my niche. OK, so I was still horribly uncoordinated, but how could I go wrong where the fact that I had natural turn-out and pointed feet, and overflexibility was a help and not a hindrance? Once I found a few things that I was actually competent at, it didn't really matter what else I did in PE... and I did actually enjoy most of the activities that we did. Luckily, we played very few team sports.
To this day, team sports terrify me. I've been asked by friends on a number of occasions to join them in their social netball/basketball/touch teams and have always turned them down. When I was at camp, and the staff were told that we had to pick a sport to play for Color War, I was so incredibly nervous and picked hockey because I figured it was something that very few people would actually be good at. As it turned out, I never had to play because the day before, I broke my elbow in a swimming race (I *told* you I was clumsy!)
In Year 10, we started to do a taster of the activities that they offered to Year 11 and 12 students in their compulsory Recreation periods, or Rec. It was here that I enjoyed my first BODYBALANCE and BODYCOMBAT classes (on BB14 and BC09 - still remember doing Kung-Fu fighting on the lawn - how scary!) Most girls hated Rec, as they didn't want to get sweaty, muck up their hair etc. I actually quite enjoyed being active, as long as it didn't involve running! Each term, we had the choice of a number of different options. I tried things like Windsurfing, surfing and bowling. In our final term, I was away the week that preferences given out, and was assigned to BODYJAM. My initial thoughts were that it couldn't be that bad, bodybalance and combat were pretty good.
When I turned up to the class, I was horrified. All the other girls there were dancers... I definitely couldn't call myself one. I struggled through the entire class, tripping over my own feet TWICE and drawing the instructor's attention to the fact that I didn't know what on EARTH I was doing.
I walked out and swore I was never setting foot in a BODYJAM class again. My drama teacher convinced me to give it another try. Second time around, it started to feel a little easier. The instructor noticed and gave me positive feedback about it. Who knows what he said, but from that point on, I was a bodyjammer!
So I found the answer to change in gymnastics and group fitness... unfortunately, I am STILL terrified of team sports as I mentioned above, but I am thankful that it is only that. I'm happy enjoying my group fitness though.
I could write another whole blog post that would be twice as long about my journey to becoming an instructor (only it would be twice as long, maybe one day...) but I hope that I am creating an atmosphere in my classes where my participants, especially the new ones can have that same positive experience. There is nothing more rewarding than having someone come into a BODYSTEP class for the first time feeling more than a little apprehensive as we begin, and then seeing them smile and enjoy the class once they relax and feel comfortable.
Oh, and the pillows?