When I saw the word “Piloxing” in the SCW Mania catalog, I was puzzled and intrigued. I had been to MANIA quite a few times but this one was different for several reasons. I was going to be working as a staff assistant. In Florida. Where I had never been. I was sort of going through a mid-life crisis. I had been sick for months, losing about ten pounds, suffering from a severe case of irritable bowl syndrome, panic attacks and unexplained abdominal pain. It was discovered through my billions of tests that, on top of all of my other problems, two more cysts had found their way back to my left ovary. At thirty four years old, I was facing a hysterectomy and I was devastated. I knew I didn’t want more children but there was something about someone “taking” what I felt like “defined” me as a “woman” that was almost too much to bear. I went into a depression. Florida seemed like a smart option. And if Piloxing (judging from the description) was going to allow me to hit something while feeling graceful, then sign me up.
I was ten months out of knee surgery and facing another one, weak from lack of food and tired from dragging equipment all over the world at the conference. Yet, I found myself intrigued by Viveca Jensen (mostly because I loved the name “Viveca”) and her Swedish accent. She also had a cute little figure, wasn’t a size 0 and was hyped about her program. Now, when you’re in the fitness industry, you see things come and go all the time. People want you to get certified in stuff they made up while they were waiting in line at Starbucks (and I am not knocking quirky beginnings…hey….look at Beto and Zumba) and then it’s gone in a year or two and you have a certification in something no one is interested in anymore. She talked about being barefoot. I was thinking about my knee but I was thinking about my life. Everything was changing already. If I was going to go out, I was going to go out with a bang. I took my shoes and socks off and off I went into the workout that would change my life.
I have had the pleasure of doing Piloxing not just in Florida but California, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte and had the privilege of the being the first certified Piloxing instructor in Alabama, a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I was certified a little over two months after my hysterectomy and I was really trying to find a way back to myself but different than I had felt before. Not even a week after returning from my certification, I suffered a personal tragedy that took me down to my knees. In between crying, lying in the bed and trying to go to work and take care of my family, I was trying to learn the blocks and the choreography and get my wind up!! Piloxing is harder than you think! I was not used to going that hard. (And those punches might have been a little more fierce because I was mad.) Piloxing gave me purpose when I felt like my entire life was crashing down around me. And it wasn’t so much that I was able to bring together my loves of dance and pilates and add the fierceness of boxing to it. It was the “Sleek, Sexy and Powerful” mantra that goes along with what we do. I felt like one hell of a woman coming through all of the struggles I was facing and being able to get that class on the table and bringing it to Alabama, knowing that I couldn’t be stopped and I had faced and conquered all of my “stuff” with grace. And I looked good doing it. 🙂
I watch the women in my class go from being timid about throwing a punch and only wanting to do the dance part to throwing punches like their lives depended on it. I see the strong, athletic types who would probably have run from a ballet class begin to lengthen and extend their bodies and embrace the sleekness of their frame. I have even seen men come in the mix with us and do a sexy cha cha that would blow your head off. 🙂 And it’s for EVERYONE. Just the other day, Tia Mowry (you know her, right?) was tweeting about her Piloxing session with Viveca. And, today, on the Steve Harvey show, you can watch Viveca and some of the Master Trainers introduce Piloxing to a new crowd of people. Piloxing is a universal language.
As for me, out of the spotlight, right here in Huntsville, Alabama, Piloxing, aside from its amazing benefits of interval training, strengthening of my feet, handling parts of my cellulite that I thought would never go away and building of my confidence as a woman/instructor/conqueror, gives me a sense of accomplishment. I know I can overcome any obstacle. I know I can be strong and graceful and sexy and feminine. And it’s a blessing to be able to share that with other women. I don’t do it for the money. I don’t do it to see my name on the schedule.
I do it, as the song says on our Piloxing CD, because I love myself.