Colleagues often ask me, “Why do you have a second job?” Many people are amazed that I have a day job in a completely different category than “fitness professional.”
In addition to my full-time career, I work an extra 8-10 hours a week. But I’ve never looked at teaching group fitness as a second job. Even when I talk to coworkers or strangers about it, I phrase it as, “I have to go teach class tonight,” not, “I have to go to work again later tonight.”
Don’t get me wrong––teaching classes is technically another job; one that I do get paid for. That’s not why I teach, though.
Originally, I became licensed to teach Zumba Fitness because I missed dancing and figured teaching a dance fitness format would allow me to do just that on a more regular basis. The minute I saw the impact that a fun group fitness class could make on someone’s day, I became hooked on teaching for an entirely different reason.
I discovered I wanted to continue to teach because I love seeing the impact fitness can have for people.
As a group fitness instructor, you put a lot of time and effort into making sure your classes are as near perfect as you can make them. There’s always room for improvement and growth, but we want each class to be the best possible experience for the students. Plenty of hours go into picking the right music, creating and/or learning the choreography, knowing the routines so they that become muscle memory, practicing the moves and cues to ensure students know what to do, and so forth.
I’m not going to lie, there is a lot of work involved and we’re not always compensated for it but, for me it makes it all worth it when I see smiley sweaty faces looking back at me in a class.
There are a few joys of teaching that top the list for me. Here are the top three.
1. Day Changer
When someone comes after class to tell me that the work out they got in class turned their day around for the better –– well, that comment just did the same for my day!
2. Student Progress
There’s nothing like seeing a student who has been coming to class for a while –– originally struggling, but now be able to follow along with no problems and pick up on new moves easily.
I love to see the transformation from timid to confident. Especially those students who start out in the back row, because they were shy and unsure, work their way up to the front of the class and participate more.
3. “Fitness Magic”
That’s what Les Mills calls the beautiful moment when everyone is moving in sync and feeling the music. Seeing the whole class move as one is truly magical.
Those are just a few of my favorites but, I enjoy teaching in general and love to watch the students grow and be a part of their successes.