Many times something comes into our lives and changes it for the better. It fills a part of our soul that has been searching for something meaningful and fulfilling. It is only when your soul is at peace that you can finally let it go. That happened for me this week, as I made the decision to give up my position with Gold’s Gym as a Zumba instructor.
Just for the record, I am still a certified Zumba instructor, and most likely will remain so. The decision to leave Gold’s Gym was simply that my heart just wasn’t in it like it used to be. I didn’t feel it was fair for them to rely on me to be available to sub classes for several reasons. Currently, my commute to and from work is an hour each way. Even if a sub is needed in the evening, without advanced notice, I just can’t make it there in time. Additionally, I’m fairly busy during the week and weekends, so even being free to teach has become quite the challenge. Lastly…well…if I’m being honest, I just got burned out on it.
For those of you who have taken a group fitness class, please know that instructors put in a LOT of work outside class just be prepared for the time you’re with them. For example, many formats get a CD/DVD every quarter for a completely new class that they have to memorize, and they are required to follow it exactly.
Zumba is a bit different. Being a freestyle class, we have no set playlist or choreography. Each song is chosen by each individual instructor and we are solely responsible for the choreography. Imagine listening to a song 50-100 times just to get the choreography down and then teaching it for weeks on end after that while trying to keep a fresh and motivating attitude each time that song is played. Now multiply that times 13-15 songs. That’s what makes up a class.
Additionally, think about all the stress and frustration you deal with in your normal day-to-day lives that can make it difficult at times to find your smile. We instructors put that aside. We have to. We smile through the pain, cheer through the heartache, and motivate each person while sometimes struggling to work through our own challenges. I’m not saying that every instructor has this much weighing on them, nor did I most of the time, but the passion for it has to be there or finding the motivation can lose its luster.
I have met some incredible people over the last almost six years. (WOW! I can’t believe I’ve been teaching for that long!) Of the fellow group fitness instructors I’ve worked with, their endurance, stamina, and positive attitudes are truly inspiring. Thank you to everyone who encouraged me to pursue becoming an instructor in the first place. I am forever grateful for the opportunity and don’t regret a single moment. Finally, my Zumba peeps, who put a smile on my face even when going through difficult times personally, have and always will hold a very special place in my heart. It was a privilege and honor to be your instructor as well as your friend. In the end, I simply hope we all continue to dance through life together with a happy soul and smile to share.