As I think back to why I initially started in the fitness industry, the reasons were a dime a dozen. I bet there were many alluring qualities of being a fitness instructor that inspired me. The reasons have definitely morphed throughout the years. There is such a substantial gratification and purpose that has propelled me into making this passion of mine into a full time career. I have had many wonderful clients and so many touching memories of accomplishment throughout the years of instructing, but this particular story always strums my heart strings deep inside so swiftly to remind me of WHY I do what I do.
A couple years ago, I was preparing to teach one of my routine Zumba classes at a local health club. As I was bantering away with some clients, in walks a new participant. She had never been to a Zumba class nor step foot in a gym/group fitness setting. This was literally her first time. I approached my new client to greet her personally and introduce myself as I could tell we were both a bit apprehensive. I could tell she was very uncomfortable and shy, not knowing what to expect once the music came on and the class was jiving away in full speed! Upon her arrival, I was immediately on high alert because of the pure fact of her physical size and lack of conditioning. She was very obese. That aside, I welcomed her with a huge smile. I continued to inform her of the nature/culture of the Zumba class as well as the intensity that the class can morph into! I told her not to be too intimidated. I said, “I will be up there jumping around like a crazy lady, you just follow along as best as you can, modify moves to your own abilities, take water breaks when you need it. March in place for all I care! Don’t worry, just have FUN and MOVE!” We started class and I was panicked inside. I think I prayed for both of us! I was proud and worried about my new, vulnerable, yet brave client. 50 minutes later, class ended without a hitch! Our sweaty bodies met in the middle of the room. I was so delighted that she was still there. I asked her how she managed and she said to me, “WOW! I have no idea what just happened… but I liked it!” She came back…to every one of my classes from there on out. We became friends. She shared her story. She shared her life, her struggles. I listened and provided her with every ounce of positive spirit and encouragement that I had in me in order for her to enjoy each moment, big or small. As time went on, she began to noticeably ‘shrink.’ She was busting out new workout clothing; walking through the doors with a new sense of confidence and accomplishment. All in all, she became one of my rockstars! She would always remember the moves when they failed me! She even started taking TRX classes with me! Time to time she would share the timeline of photos of her weight loss journey. IT WAS INSPIRING. This is where she sucker punched me with the pure purpose and meaning of why I do what I do. ‘She thanked me. She thanked me for the most wonderful vacation experience she’s ever had. She thanked me for the fact that she was able to sit in an airplane seat. She thanked me for being able to climb up steps of museums, walk the beautiful countryside of Ireland. She thanked me for pushing her through every workout and genuinely caring about her. She thanked me for helping her confidence grow. She thanked me for being so kind on her first day of ever working out and making her feel welcomed in a strange place.’ I came undone.
So why do I do what I do? Why do I feel the need to exclusively pursue this? The simplest most concise answer I can articulate is, “I DO IT FOR THE MOMENTS THAT MATTER TO YOU.”