Growing up, I enjoyed many sports and activities, but was most competitive in figure skating. I have ALWAYS loved to dance as a passtime, and also took recreational dance classes growing up in order to support my skating skills. I competed in figure skating until the age of 19, at which point I decided (after many injuries) to retire and move on. I went on to University and eventually began my first career as an elementary school teacher. At this time in my life, I slowly began to prioritize my studies and then career, and slowly lost my commitment to fitness (and health). Because of this, along with my eating habits and stress at that time, I began gaining weight and facing some unfavourable health issues. After 5 years of teaching, I began my next career, as a mother and stay-at-home mom. My first pregnancy further complicated matters, so I started making some small lifestyle changes after the birth of my first child. I started trying to get back into fitness just before getting pregnant with my second child...
After the birth of my second child and further health complications, I decided it was time to make a change in my life and recommit myself to being healthy and fit. I also wanted to regain the love for fitness and being active I had in my youth. I missed the music, the artistry, the adrenaline, and benefits of pushing myself physically, that I used to get when I was figure skating. Since leaving the sport, I had tried many different fitness programs (working out at the gym, group fitness classes, yoga, at-home workouts, etc.), trying to get inspired...but nothing was really doing it for me. Then one day I heard someone raving about Zumba® and how awesome it was. I hadn't heard much about it before and had no idea what to expect, but thought it might be worth a try. I was nervous to show up at a class on my own, but was having trouble finding someone to go with me. Finally, a couple months after the birth of my second child, I mustered up the courage to show up, by myself, for a Zumba® class. I was instantly hooked!!! Zumba® was a great fit for me - I loved the music, the dancing, the party atmosphere, and not to mention the incredible workout I didn't even notice I was getting because I was too busy smiling! I didn't matter if mastered the steps or routines right away -- what mattered was that I was having fun, I was active, and I was EXCITED about going to class! When I started, I was still carrying a lot of extra weight (this was only 2 months after delivering my second child at 200 lbs!) and I was FAR from fit, but I was still able to really enjoy the class and work at my own pace. As a stay-at-home mom, it was time AWAY each week, to do something fun and active for just ME! Even though I didn't know anyone at my first class, I was welcomed and quickly felt part of a "community". Soon, it just felt like a night out on the town dancing with my friends! I started going weekly, and before long I couldn't even wait an entire week between classes, so I added in a second class a week. Soon, I was the person that couldn't stop raving about my Zumba® class!
1. Several years before having children
2. After the birth of my second child
3. 2 years after discovering and falling in love with Zumba® and a couple weeks before taking my training to become an instructor!!
As a Zumba® participant, I found a Zumba® class that I LOVED and quickly became addicted to Zumba® and to the health benefits it brought to my life. I couldn't stay away and started dancing my way to a healthier me. Zumba® has changed my life for the better! I am fitter and happier than I have ever been, most of which I attribute to Zumba® addiction! It is not just my weekly dance party, it is my sanity saver, my "happy place", my escape, and my community. I was inspired to become a Zumba® Instructor by watching my amazing Zumba instructor share her energy, passion, and Zumba® love with her participants every week. I experienced and observed first hand how she motivated participants to become fitter and healthier simply by making them want to show up for class and inspiring them to give it their all on the dance floor! My instructor is now an amazing mentor to me and I still join her Zumba® party every week! I became a Zumba® Instructor because I was so excited at the chance to share MY energy, passion, and Zumba® love with YOU - in hopes that Zumba® could positively impact the lives of more people the way it has mine.