All I could do was laugh.
These were the words from a friend I ran into at dinner last night. The truth is, most people know I do fitness thing. But, a lot of people don’t know that before Zumba, before Piloxing, before personal training, before everything, I was simply known as that girl who teaches yoga. And, man, did I catch hell.
When I started my fitness career, you weren’t “cool” unless you taught Les Mills. I wasn’t really interested. And because I wasn’t really interested, didn’t have the body to wear the very tiny Les Mills clothing, didn’t understand the lingo (“up two, down two”, “new release” and “chest track”), I was often, well, looked down upon by some co-workers. I simply taught yoga in my little corner in the world. And nobody thought much of it. Well, except for me and the people I taught. Some amazing things happened in my classes. And while I struggled with binge eating disorder privately (I really wanted to fit in and fit into those clothes but, well, I was just the yoga girl and just a basic one with leftover skin who would never be able to wear a sports bra by itself and the story goes on….), I felt powerful when I was in my body in those classes. But the more my classes grew, the more people noticed my little corner, the more pressure I felt to perform better and look better because people were watching me and then….well, it happened.
I got certification high.
To date, I have taught and/or am certified to teach a million and one things: step, cycling, kickboxing, Turbo Kick, PiYo, Silver Sneakers, water aerobics, Zumba, Zumba Toning, Zumbatomic, Body Pump, Body Jam, Group Power, Piloxing, TRX, boot camp, pilates, toning classes, good gracious, urban striptease, Gliding classes, Bender ball and that’s without looking at my resume. The list seems endless. And yet even when I made it to the “in crowd,” I STILL found myself unhappy. Even in the middle of an awesome Body Pump class, I still found myself unhappy. The truth is I LOVE weights. I love lifting weights, with my headphones, blasting Whitney Houston. I only went in that direction because I wanted to be accepted. I was great at what I did. I just didn’t feel great. I found it was the same thing with running. EVERYBODY I knew
seemed to be running and wanting to beat their PR’s (yeah, it took me a while to figure out what that was so if you are like me it means “personal record”) . I signed up for a half marathon one day because I was angry. I ran it because, well, everybody else was doing it. I finished it and I felt accomplished but I wasn’t like “Yeah! Let’s do it again!” I was thinking, “What in the WORLD was I thinking?” I was just going with THE flow. But it wasn’t MY flow. That’s been the story of my life.
Since I have been participating in the What’s Beautiful Campaign (I am being sponsored by Under Armour through my ambassadorship with FitFluential). I have really been thinking about all of the challenges, looking at the all of the awesome pictures and thinking, “Wow! How fabulous of her to deadlift that much weight!” Or “Wow! She is going to run 50 miles!” Or “Whoa! She did this!” And none of it appealed to me. I thought it was all beautiful. For them. But as a girl who never once saw herself as an athlete, I’ve honestly had a hard time with the word “challenge” because I just “do” things because. I’m not really sure what I feel at my core. I don’t aspire for athletic things because it’s never been in me. I’ve been frustrated because I feel like I don’t have it, will never get it, will never have that drive and will spend the rest of my life jumping on top and over bandwagons….
Yesterday was a reminder for me to go back to the basics. When I do what I love, then the essence of my athleticism, my beauty comes through. You’ll NEVER see me in a magazine for teaching step. But I was onthe local news teaching Piloxing moves to the mayor of Huntsville. You’ll never see me on YouTube talking about my cycling moves but you’ll see my Zumba choreography which is being done as far as the Czech Republic. And you’ll never hear of me waking up, jumping out of bed to run 13 miles. But I will hit a downward facing dog in a minute.