As a former overweight and very shy teen, I never in a million years imagined myself teaching other women how to get in shape. But like most things in my life, I got an idea, decided to try it, and it stuck.
During that memorable summer after I left my career, I was selling things I owned on Craigslist for extra money and I came across an ad for body sculpting instructors. It said all the things that I needed to read – no experience necessary, will train, must love fitness. A couple of days later I was asked to come in for an interview. I learned a little about the program: I would be a contractor, they would teach me their program, and they pay me per class. I could either pick up a contract for a regular class or work as a sub. It seemed interesting so I signed up for the certification day and left with a binder full of images of different body sculpting moves.
I was so excited to get started and see if I could do this. I had spent years doing home workouts, everything from The Firm to different programs on Beachbody on Demand. I loved working out at home and wondered if I had learned enough from my home workouts to have knowledge to share.
As much as I enjoyed working out at home and still do on most days, the idea of sharing a workout with other women sounded fun and since I wasn’t working, the idea of getting paid to do it instead of paying to take a class made sense. On the day of the certification I was a bit nervous. The negative voices in my head were telling me….
“Who do you think you are? You’re almost 50 years old and you’re in OK shape, but you’re not someone who can teach fitness.”
“How are you going to talk while you’re teaching ab exercises when you can barely get through them?”
“Your form is probably not that good.”
The training was excellent, and I passed the course.
By coincidence, they needed an instructor one night a week at the rec center about 5 minutes from my house. I over-prepared: making notecards, selecting the perfect playlist, practicing the routine over and over until I knew it by heart.
The women were friendly and welcoming, but as I stood there doing move after carefully-practiced-move, I realized that they were bored and not challenged. I had rehearsed so much that I was boring, and I played it safe on the moves and made them uninteresting.
Like anything in life, it took some time and I eventually learned how to inject my own personality and started to develop a more interesting, fun, and challenging class. You can’t be all things to all people, but I’ve gotten to know some awesome and fit women who enjoy my class and look forward to coming. And when one of them tells me they learned something or I taught them about form or that they enjoyed my music or one of my moves, it means the world to me.
I still teach a regular class and I sub around the Cleveland area. I enjoy it and I’m no longer nervous when I teach. I can honestly say that as much as I never saw myself becoming a body sculpting instructor, I’m so glad that I took a chance and gave it a try.