Hey guys! I am totally enjoying the snow, mountains, sun, and family. It is SO beautiful here and I really enjoy spending time in nature and with these beautiful mountains. Skiing is a favorite of mine–so thank you for understanding my absence from blogland, twitterworld, facebookness, and email returns. I will respond to all emails and other requests starting on Wednesday!
Today I am excited for you all to meet Lauren! Take it away Lauren
Hi there! I’m Lauren from Oatmeal After Spinning and am honored to be writing a guest post for Enjoy Your Healthy Life.
Like Annette, I’m a group exercise instructor and absolutely love my job. I wanted to share my story with you about how I got here.
I wasn’t active as a teenager or young adult. Exercise was something that just didn’t interest me, and was only done if I absolutely had to. I was overweight, out of shape, and working was hard- and not fun. I would occasionally pop in a workout video and daydream about how great it would be to have the confidence and fitness level of an aerobics instructor.
When I graduated college, I began taking graduate courses in the evenings and worked as a receptionist full-time during the day. I became friends with one of my co-workers who would rave about how much she loved going to the gym. She got me to go with her one day, and I joined the gym soon after that.
We would go together during lunch or after work, and I actually started liking exercise. And as a bonus, I started losing weight. I would usually just work my way through the cardio machines, and occasionally pick up some free weights.
Soon after, I began dabbling in group exercise classes. I tried everything- Pilates, kickboxing, cardio dance, step… but what I really loved was a class called “Rep Reebok.” It was a strength-training classes that hit all the major muscle groups and was choreographed to music. I got hooked on Rep Reebok, and began taking it 3x a week, along with some additional cardio on the machines or running outside.
Though I loved the group exercise classes that my gym had to offer, there was still one that completely intimidated me: Spinning. I can clearly remember watching and listening to the Spinning classes while I was on the machines in the cardio area. They sounded so intense- and everyone looked so fierce and fit! I thought that Spinning was surely only for the super athletic/super fit people. I made the decision to look fear in the face and sign up for a Spinning class the following week.
I remember that first class clearly- even though it was seven years ago! It was hard, the instructor was tough, and there were so many times that wanted to quit- but I didn’t. I was completely exhausted after that first class, but I was also completely in love!
I immediately signed up for another class, and another, and then another. Spinning came a part of my regular routine, along with Rep Reebok and I was taking each class 3-4 times a week, sometimes back to back. Our gym eventually dropped Rep Reebok and began offering Bodypump instead. At first I was a little skeptical, but once again- after that first class, I was hooked!
As the years went by, and I stuck to my routine, I began to wonder what it would be like to be a fitness instructor. My body had become strong, I had lost nearly 50 lbs, and my confidence level was at an all-time high. Plus, I was a full-time high school teacher, so the “teaching” aspect should come easily.
In the winter of 2008, I decided that I was going to become a Spinning instructor. I signed up for my orientation, spoke with the group exercise coordinator at my gym, and patiently waited for my instructor training session. The Spinning certification required a 9-hour (1 day) workshop and a final exam afterwards.
When the day arrived, I was excited and nervous. The training ended up being one of the most fun and informative days I’ve ever had- I loved every minute of it and the time just flew by! I passed the certification exam with flying colors and was lucky enough to land two weekly classes at my gym (another instructor had just left and the timing worked out perfectly).
When I first started teaching my classes, I was super nervous and planned out every minute of every class. I took a lot of time to create my “rides,” but really enjoyed making playlists and was always excited for the next class. Three years later, I’m still teaching a class on Sunday mornings and a super early class on Tuesdays (5:30 am!). I actually love the early morning classes- they get me pumped up and ready to attack the work day!
I’m still very new to teaching Bodypump, but I absolutely love the feeling I get when teaching a class- I feel so strong and confident. Watching people push themselves and get stronger and love their workouts is such a great feeling! And nothing makes me happier than hearing “thanks for a great class” after it’s over. And let’s be honest, it’s pretty good to get paid to work out!
If someone had told me ten years ago that I’d be a Spinning and Bodypump instructor today, I would have laughed. But, going through the training and getting those certifications are some of the best choices I have ever made. I’m so lucky that I can combine my love of teaching with my love of exercise.
If you’re considering becoming a group exercise instructor- go for it!
Thank YOU, Lauren! This was a fabulous post–and one that gets me super fired up as well With this post, I am SO excited to be back teaching “my” classes again after my skiing vacation 😉
Go check out Lauren’s fabulous blog!