Six years ago, I found myself in Albany, NY attending a Zumba Fitness® Basic Instructor Training. I remember that training like it was yesterday, along with all the tips that were given on being the best instructor you can be. One of the tips was to learn your music inside and out. We were advised to take our time creating choreography for our classes. I love my classes and the participants in those classes deserve a well thought out, calorie burning, sweat inducing, fun-filled workout. Many people who take group fitness classes may not realize just how difficult it is for the instructor to teach the class. A truly good instructor has spent countless hours finding music to motivate you, perfecting moves to hit the right beats and give you a total body workout. All of these hours of prep results in an hour of fitness fun. Even during the class, it is a balance of letting loose, raising the energy level of the room all while keeping in mind what steps are coming next. I continue to strive to be the best instructor I can be, not only because I love instructing, but because I never know who I might inspire. And that continued work is time consuming.
Unfortunately, the designated time outside of my actual class to create routines is nonexistent. While I wish I had more time to dedicate to choreography, it simply does not fit in my new world of being a toddler mom. Since becoming a mom, I feel constantly challenged by having to decide between things. Only so much can be accomplished in 24 hours! It is a never ending cycle we moms face trying to balance our child’s needs, our family’s needs, our personal needs and all the other tasks that simply need to be completed.
The only answer for me is heavy multi-tasking. This is why I often find myself at the grocery store, earbuds in, music pumping and doing a merengue while grabbing milk off the shelf. For an hour, I get to listen to my Zumba® music on repeat and learn it inside out. It’s not always easy to multitask. That’s obvious by the random items that mysteriously find their way into my cart or having to listen to the same count of 8 fifteen times because I had to keep stopping my music to place my deli order or say hello to a neighbor.
Some people think I teach Zumba® in order to earn some extra money. Some people think I teach so I can stay in shape. While both of those things are added perks, the reason why I teach is the same as it has been since that day up in Albany. I teach Zumba® because I am passionate about it. Zumba® helped me get over my own fitness hump and lead me back on track to being a healthier, more active version of myself. This rang even more true after having my little girl. I was depressed and tired and trying to wrap my head around this huge life change. Getting back into the fitness studio and teaching for the first time, I felt like I was coming home. It helped me in more ways than I even realized at the time. I felt I had gotten a little piece of myself back, a piece that I didn’t know I had begun to conceal after having a child. I’m not exactly sure why some of us moms believe we need to tuck away parts of our “old lives”. Why should we have to choose between being a mom and giving up on things that made us fundamentally us? Before we were moms, we were individuals. Perhaps we were on a different career path. Perhaps we were passionate about a hobby. Perhaps we attended cooking classes or hit the gym everyday. After entering mommy hood, our priority lists change and sadly, we find ourselves lower on that list. As my role as my girl’s mom is constantly evolving, I challenge myself to continue to juggle everything that used to reside in my life and all the added new responsibilities. One day, all those added responsibilities won’t exist anymore. She won’t need me the way she does now. And oddly enough, I know I’ll miss the juggling act. So until then, I’ll throw all the balls in the air and try my hardest to catch them all. Even if that means doing a salsa in the grocery store.