This is a long post about how I went from loving group fitness classes to being a group fitness instructor, thanks to the Shape Up NYC program!
I don’t know when it started, but I live for group fitness classes. Okay, that’s an exaggeration–more like group fitness makes me feel awesome. And happy.
I tried many chain gyms (Ballys, Crunch, Dave Barton, Equinox, NYSC) through free day or week passes or monthly trial deals. I used to go on group fitness deal crazes with my awesome workout buddy. We even took turns booking the classes.
We ♥ pole dancing class so much, we bought the deal three times, and each time, the price per class rose (still below retail). I bought a Pole-X cause I thought I would practice more that summer. I would teach myself inverted tricks. None of that happened. I didn’t have a spotter. My sister made use of the pole (climbing up in a week what took us 10 weeks).
I tried many different classes: kickboxing, Jazzercise, burlesque dance bikini boot camp, trampoline yoga, dahn yoga, and hip hop… Everything was just a lot of fun!
In the summer of 2013, I decided to go for a certification and did research on the different ones available. I saw AFAA had their APEX deal in September… but a month and half of study wouldn’t have cut it.
Casually over brunch with a my previous co-workers. I mentioned how I was looking to be certified. A week later, she emailex me a link about the Shape Up NYC program, since it came up through her searches in her normal course of work.
I thought it was such an amazing opportunity and applied right away! I (im)patiently waited a month to know if I was accepted. Good news arrived late September! 🙂
October 2013. It was a ten week long training and it was the best program I have been in. I have never been in such a supportive and caring environment. My Brooklyn Fit Family are awesome and my instructor, Amanda Young, is amazing (although she is too modest to admit it). Week on week we learned about the body, muscles, bones, stretches, cueing, nonverbals, health risks… it was a lot of information!! I did not have any formal health and wellness training nor education foundation at the time. Creating and working on our practicals was another challenge in itself. I remember when it was one participant’s turn for the pratical portion. He said something along the lines of, I failed that multiple choice exam. The Parks staff responded and said he got the only 100% (80% is passing). He started to get really emotional and happy that he cried. We all cheered him on and it was just AMAZING how much we really wanted everyone to succeed.
Dec 2014. With the Shape Up program finished and my location assigned, I had to finalize my dance fitness routine. I spent my Christmas to New Year’s break finding music, watching YouTube videos, creating chereography, recording myself, practicing cues, remembering the movements, etc… It was really tough. It definitely took at least an hour for to complete the work for one song and in an hour class, that’s about 14 songs.
Jan 8, 2014. My first class cancelled due to heating problems. No sweat, more time to practice.
Jan 15, 2014. My first real class. I had aboug 14 people show up. Sunset Park provided me the little studio room with mirrors. Let me tell you, working out and talking for one hour is very, very tough. That and paying attention to people’s exertion levels and their forms. I never felt more respect for all the group fitness classes and instructors I’ve taken than that moment, at the end of class, when my face was all red and I was trying to level my breathing.
Jun 11, 2014. My last Shape Up class since the center need the space to prepare for the summer swimming pool season. I remember a few participants asked me if I were going to teach in the fall, when the studio room was open again. That was very nice of them. I couldn’t believe I had real supporters T~T
July 9, 2014. Shape Up NYC Graduation. Everyone finished their 6-month teaching commitment (some continued their classes). Here’s my “diploma”: