A Labor of Love

I feel like this has been a long time coming. I won’t bore you with too many details, so I’ll just say 2019 has been an amazing year of enlightenment and growth for me.

I guess I do need to back up a little…I took my first Zumba class in May 2007 and instantly fell in love. After only a few months, my husband encouraged me to become an instructor. I looked at him like he had two heads. Me? The girl who turned beet red in school anytime the teacher called on me. The girl who sat in the back of the college classrooms and tried so hard to not make eye contact with the professor so I wouldn’t have to talk in front of my peers. The introvert who would still rather sit in a corner at parties and people watch as opposed to wandering the room engaging in conversation.

But you see, Zumba did something to me. Something more than help me drop the weight that crept on after my husband and I were married. (Turns out all those Panera bagels we would buy and freeze, although convenient, weren’t such a wise breakfast plan.) It shifted something inside of me and I began to see myself as beautiful. I could get lost in the music and believe I was as amazing as the Fly Girls on In Living Color. (Yep, I just dated myself. And yep, 14 year old me soooooo wanted to be able to dance like a Fly Girl.)
Teaching Zumba led me to other fitness formats, both cardio and strength. It led me to eventually opening my own studio. It led me to some of the most amazing students and clients I still have as friends today.
And then life got complicated, as it tends to do. My business grew and demanded more of my attention. My kids were growing and needed me home. I had moved my office to the house, but what good was my body being home when my mind was always at work? In the midst of all that, I had some unplanned surgery to remove a huge cyst from my abdomen.
I didn’t allow myself time to heal from the surgery. I felt fine. I was in the best shape of my life, teaching more than 10 classes each week and training for half marathons. So when the doctor told me I could do whatever I wanted, I took that literally. After a few months, my body had enough. My hair was falling out. I wasn’t sleeping at night. I needed anywhere from a 30 minute to 2 hour nap every day. I was moody. I was getting weaker in my workouts, and began to experience frequent muscle injuries. I was gaining weight. So. Much. Weight.
I eventually sold the studio, though I stayed there as an instructor for about another 18 months. I left in January 2017. That same year, I was officially diagnosed with thyroid and adrenal fatigue.
Altogether, it was more than a three-year battle to get my body feeling healthy again. But I did it. I no longer need my naps. My sleep quality is amazing. I’m getting stronger again.
But that weight still won’t go away. And some days I get really down on myself about it.
All of this leads me to now. To 2019. Oh, how I missed teaching. So I started teaching again this summer. (Full disclosure, I actually have been teaching this whole time, private small group training with some amazing ladies who deserve a big shout out for putting up with many, many classes of me “coaching” rather than doing workouts with them.)
And I have a renewed purpose as a coach. Through all of this, my own mindset has shifted dramatically. Although my weight isn’t where I’d like it to be, and my strength and endurance aren’t where they were 5 years ago, I’d argue that I’m more healthy today than I’ve ever been.
You see, “healthy” isn’t a number on the scale. It isn’t how fast you can run a mile, or the ability to do 13.1 of them consecutively. Not how much you can bench press. Yes, those are all good measurements, and have a place. But true health encompasses your body and your mind. The choices you make on a daily basis. The awareness and intentionality with which you live your life. It’s how you feel about yourself. The joy in your heart that spills out to inspire others.
I’ll share more of my journey over time, but now I have to ask…..do you need to embark on your own mindset shift? Do you need some help learning to love yourself and to make better choices? Check out my health coaching packages to see what might be a good fit for you. Still not sure? Contact me with your questions and we’ll explore it together.

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