Three Steps I Take When Learning the Newest Body Jam. (#3 is the key)

I love BodyJam. Like…a lot. It’s part of my license plate. It’s part of my email address. It corners the market on 97.5% of my Facebook posts. I just love it.

Walking in to teach class is one of my favorite things to do every week.

Wait, let me correct that:

Walking into class prepared to teach is one of my favorite things to do each week.

I add “prepared” because showing up to class unprepared might be my very LEAST favorite thing to do. It’s terrifying. It’s an hour of eyes rolled up and back into my head desperately trying to remember what comes next. No connection with people. No connection with the music. Certainly no Fitness Magic. Just. Not. Fun. So I try to never put myself in that position. Because yuck.

I’ve been at this for ten years now, and yes, it’s gotten easier since the days of being absolutely unable to dance and speak at the same time (let alone instruct!) without passing out or wanting to throw up.

That’s the stage I’m in now with RPM. #humbling

As I’m sure many other instructors do, I get asked a lot about the process behind teaching classes. I thought I’d take a post to pull back the curtain a little and write about my experience preparing for launches. I’m sure every instructor has their own way of learning the latest release; it can be a pretty personal thing. So this is just how I prepare for a BodyJam launch. My prep for BodyCombat and now RPM were/are very different and maybe I’ll tackle that in another post.

Continue reading “Three Steps I Take When Learning the Newest Body Jam. (#3 is the key)”

#reverb15: Final Note

Something happened during #reverb15.

I let go.

I let go of a lot of anger and resentment I had been harboring over a life situation I can’t change. I let go of a relationship that let go of me long ago. I let go of the fear I had of being seen as a fraud by the fitness community for not being a size 6 and for struggling with an eating disorder.

Ok, maybe I still fear judgement from the fitness community over my size, but I’ve acknowledged it and I am working on it.

That’s a lot of positive change in one month. Certainly a lot for a chick who is a self proclaimed change-hater. Perhaps that’s just one more positive that came out of December: Change doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

I have spent my entire adulthood defining myself with absolutes.

“I’ll never move.”

“I don’t like animals.”

“I’m not an adventuresome eater.”

“BodyJam. God. Family.”

“I hate change.”

Those statements feel suffocating now. SUFFOCATING. Change sounds like freedom from these boxes I’ve placed around myself.

Feeling Feels

I’d be remiss not to mention my friend and fellow blogger, KayShay at  because I’ve already touched on several of her last few posts. I am so glad she is writing them now and I am reading them now, as in, this moment in my life. Even just two months ago, I didn’t have enough space in my mind to really hear the questions she’s posing and be able to have my own authentic answers to them. There was too much anger and resentment and pain and loss and frustration in the way.

I’ll be posting in more detail about these questions, specifically about the ways I have defined myself that I no longer wish to be stifled by. (Such as “I am not a person who ends a sentence with a preposition.” However, I am still a person who considers herself a decent writer and just spent 20 minutes coming up with different ways to word that sentence that did NOT include ending it with a preposition only to decide to leave the first crappy sentence because without the crappy sentence there’s no joke about being a person who ends a sentence with a preposition).

This “letting go” thing is not perfect. I find doubt creeping back into my decisions. I have moments of crushing sadness over the loss of someone close to me. I feel rage bubbling up over issues at work. Yes, rage. I feel feel feel all the time. All the feels.

I think, though, that I am finally starting to learn what to do with all the feels. I’m learning that controlling the expression of my feelings is not the same thing as ignoring them and that emotionally healthy people do not fly off the handle – happily or angrily or sadly.

Learning how to deal with my feelings allows me to eventually let go of the negative ones. I’ve never been very good at that.

I feel (there’s that word again) like a cloud lifted in December. I feel like what’s real and true and important became so much clearer.

I feel like maybe I’m ready to be happy.

My One and Only Resolution for 2016.

Practice happiness.

It is a skill I lost somewhere along the way and I’m excited and motivated to get it back. I even downloaded an app. No kidding. Maybe you’ve seen it advertised on Facebook. It’s called Happify. Maybe you haven’t because you’re not the Debbie Downer even Facebook realized I’ve become and then capitalized on. (Damn it. Preposition).

Regardless, it’s an app to literally practice being happy. There are games and activities. brain_with_labelsLast night I played the Happify version of Duck Hunt where balloons float up on the screen with words on them and you have to click the positive words to get points. I think they subtract points if you accidentally click a negative word. I don’t know for sure because I had a perfect game. #notcompetitiveatall 😉

I am reading The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin and beginning to write down positive moments each day. I can’t believe how quickly my mindset is changing. My initial reactions are calmer. I remember to choose to be happy instead of allowing spite and anger to take over immediately. It’s only midway through January and I can feel the shift happening.

2015 was a craptastic year, but I wonder how much worse I made it with my negative mindset. No matter because it is over now and I am moving onward and upward to 2016: The year I decided to be happy.

happiness project





#reverb15//Day30//Process Over Outcome

In December, we remember!

Day 30: Process Over Outcome. What did you take on this year where you truly enjoyed the process (and didn’t just focus on the outcome).

This one is tough. I am definitely an outcome-oriented person and I’ve spent the last few hours mulling this over and I’m still struggling.

I just wrote about RPM training yesterday. I enjoyed that process very much. I generally enjoy learning my BodyJam choreography (though the January launch is always the toughest to prepare for time-wise and has the most riding on it recruitment-wise).

I turned to Kim’s post today for a little inspiration only to find she feels essentially the same way I do – though, she enjoys the process of laundry very much. I do not. At all. The mention of laundry made me think of a few other household chores and the processes behind them.

I really enjoy doing the dishes. This isn’t to say I look forward to it and I definitely feel overwhelmed when I come home to a sink full of crap to be cleaned, but once I get going, I really do enjoy it. It’s a few moments of solitude cleeeeeaning. I like the feel of the soap on the dishes. I like the squeak of a clean plate or mug. I like when the sponge or dish cloth gets SUPER sudsy. I like really hot water. The hotter, the better. I have hands of steel that way (thanks, Ginzo!).

I do not, however, like putting the dishes away. I don’t really like putting anything away. Ask my husband and roommate (both of whom have a “touch” of OCD”, my sister (I might have been messy, but I saved Caleb’s face that one time!) or my parents. I’m a “walk into the bedroom (only bc it’s not socially acceptable to do it in the hallway when you have roommates), drop trow, step out, leave them in a heap with two perfectly formed leg holes on the floor” kind of gal. Sorry roomies.

But washing the dishes? Yeah, that’s ok in my book.


#reverb15//Day 19//Best Laid Plans

EEEEK! I’m slipping! I’m behind in posting, but these daily memories of 2015 have been fun! A lot of work, but fun! My girls, Kim and Barbara are in, too!

Day 19: Planning. How did you plan your schedule this year? Did you use a paper planner? An electronic calendar? Both?

Well this is funny. I clearly don’t look ahead at these prompts or I would have kept my crazy rant about scheduling and planning on Day 18 for today!

As I said on the 18th, I use a paper planner, Google calendar, and iCalendar on my phone to keep track of my life. I work full time Monday through Friday. I teach four group fitness classes at my job as well as two weekly classes at XSport (Shameless plug: RPM Tuesdays @ 7pm @ XSport Merrifield and BodyJam Thursdays @ 6pm @ XSport Alexandria). I sub for other instructors often. I have rehearsals with my Jam team. I have CTF consultations and returning emails to schedule. I have St. Rita 4th Grade Girl’s Basketball practices and games to keep track of.

And then there is my social life! Family fun, friends fun, hubby fun, roommate fun, XSport members fun, holiday fun, birthday fun….on and on it goes.

So yes, I use all ways to keep track, complete with email and pop up reminders. I lead a crazy busy life and it is tough to keep track. But one thing I find to be super important?  I’m on time. Always.

#reverb15//Day 2//Photo Op

We are writing in December to remember…

Day 2: Pick your single most favorite photo from this year.

Um. One? They clearly haven’t met me. I take pictures of evvvvvverything. I was already playing catch up on these post-a-day deadlines and then they expect the least decisive person on the planet to just pick one?

Well, I couldn’t do it. I picked two. I know, I know, I’m such a rebel…


Glorious day at Lake Anna

This was maybe the best day of 2015. Jaime and I drove down to Lake Anna where my sister from another mister, Heather, had graciously invited us to her lake house. It was a particularly stressful time and this was a perfect day of zen, sun, and fun.

I remember heading out on the boat, looking out over this gorgeous view, listening to the shrieks of fun coming from behind the boat where we pulled Jaime and two youngster family members of Heather’s on a big raft and not being able to stop smiling. I physically couldn’t stop and I was aware of it and in the moment and…a million other positive feelings, too.

I was at peace. That doesn’t happen often so yeah, this is a favorite.

Best. Photo bomb. Ever.
Best. Photo bomb. Ever.

The second picture I just can’t help but love. It wraps up my life so perfectly. At the forefront, the most important person to me in life. A really fantastic picture of us having a truly fun, happy moment together.

And behind us? BOOM. Vindhya cheesin’! Our friends have played such an important role in keeping us sane and providing moments of levity when the rest of life just seems so freaking hard. I absolutely love everything happening here.

Whittling down to these two was next to impossible. There was the perfect picture of my phenomenal BodyJam team in rehearsal, lined up, striking the perfect position in synchrony. There was the sweetest shot of Mark and Sam Adams cuddled up. And don’t even get me started on this year’s Thanksgiving pictures…too many amazing moments to count!

I really, really, really hope there are more picture prompts.


ClassPass Experiment: JOURNEYoga

ClassPass requires me to review a class after I attend, scale of 1-5 stars.
ClassPass requires me to review a class after I attend, scale of 1-5 stars.

ClassPass #2
JOURNEYoga in Arlington, VA
Thurs, June 11th at noon
Yoga with Stephanie
6 women, 2 men = 8 total attendance


I had to pay $2 to park. Not a good start.

However, I was greeted at the front desk by TWO smiling, warm-feeling people. They handed me a clipboard, asking for a brief medical history and waiver.
I felt immediately welcome and comfortable. They called me by name when I turned in the sheet, and directed me to leave my flip flops in a row of bench topped shoe cubbies in the front desk area. They pointed me to the bathrooms and noted where I could put my backpack once inside the room. My welcome was efficient, friendly, and the people I encountered acted with ownership.

The welcome area was lovely – bright and cheery with a filtered water spigot and coffee, and plenty of places to sit.

They have two rooms – capacities 15 and 30.
Class was held in the big room – high ceilings, stark yet clean décor. But weird HVAC sounds whooshed on and off throughout class. Job well done by Stephanie to find a music level that somehow could be heard over the whooshing, but then not too loud when the HVAC kicked off. Acoustics can be a nightmare for an instructor, so this feat was super impressive to me.

Occasionally during class, we could hear water moving through pipes loudly, I’m guessing from upstairs somewhere – which was a bit distracting. All I could think was – did someone just flush?

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Taking a Knee: The Positive

Date Night Happy
Date Night Happy

When I was injured on January 17th, I had no idea the roller coaster I was about to ride. It wasn’t that the injury was a surprise. I had been nursing that knee for months and certainly for the few weeks leading up to launch, it was holding on with adrenaline and shear force of will. I knew it was only a matter of time. Over the next several weeks, there certainly were low moments, but what I didn’t expect was how many positives came out of all that down time.

Continue reading “Taking a Knee: The Positive”