Challenge Yourself and Mix it Up
March 28, 2014
When I was in college, I started teaching kickboxing and high-low aerobics classes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I’ll date myself by saying this, but it was in the mid to late ’90’s. 😉 Anyway, I taught 3 classes per week during all 4 years and absolutely loved it. My classes were in the athletic centers on campus in a huge gym with about 250 people per class. The energy of my students in the gym each week was incredible and it felt great to be a part of that and set a positive and healthy example for so many students!
When I was a senior, I saw the ESPN National Aerobics Championships on TV and was so fascinated with it, I decided I would someday compete. Fast forward a few years and in addition to my day job in marketing at GE, I started working with coaches, choreographers and trainers in NYC, San Francisco and LA. I was so excited to compete and worked hard, training 6 days a week, 2-3 hours a day, in the mornings or the evenings after work. The competition consisted of a 2-minute dance aerobics routine set to music, showcasing strength, flexibility, cardiovascular stamina and artistic ability. I trained and competed on both a regional and national level from 1999-2002. In 2001, I placed 9th and in 2002, I placed 2nd and won the silver medal in the Women’s Class II division at nationals in South Beach, Miami!
Featured above is a picture of me (on the far left) placing in the top 3 and about to receive my silver medal. The competition was televised on ESPN and to this day, is one of the most memorable experiences and accomplishments of my life!
I tell this story to share a little bit more about my fitness background, but more importantly, to encourage people to challenge themselves when it comes to fitness and mix it up by trying different things. Some people may want to do fitness competitions, triathlons, marathons or other events, so they can achieve specific goals they’ve set for themselves. However, it definitely does NOT have to be anything extreme. It could be trying a new class at the gym, going for a walk or hike a few days a week after work, riding your bike, playing in a tennis league, learning how to ski, swimming in the mornings, going dancing on the weekends, etc.
The key is to find things that YOU truly enjoy and that challenge you and your body. Doing these things will make you happy, give you confidence and more energy, help you avoid boredom and burnout, allow you to grow in your fitness abilities and motivate you to keep working out and coming back for more!
Now that spring and summer are upon us, it’s the perfect time to think about your fitness goals and desires and doing things that are fun. What will you do to challenge yourself and mix it up?
Have a wonderful weekend everyone and I’ll be back next Friday with my next post!