|4, 3, 2, 1!|
Written by Allison Jenkins
The song fame is playing loudly in my lounge room for the hundredth time this week, I can honestly say it is and has now been put on my most hated list in iTunes.
So, why I am I listening to fame if I hate it? I decided to go from personal trainer to group fitness instructor, I am not giving up on being a personal trainer, I just thought it would be fun to try something new. To start the process I thought I would begin with cycle instructing to get the wheels in motion.
My thoughts on cycle where not the most positive, to say the least. Why in gods name would you sit on a bike and pedal in a room and get nowhere and be told you are climbing a hill! No, I am not climbing a hill; I am sitting in a room on a stationary bike. It seemed like such a strange concept. After completing the course, I am now anchored to the seat and pedal at every chance I get.
If I loved instructing cycle classes so much, what could I do with Group fitness classes like Hi- low, step and Tae box? Armed with high hopes and excitement, I signed my self up to a freestyle fitness instructor course run by none other than Marietta Mehanni.
The course is made up of 13 people a mix of male and female all full of energy and a common interest in getting a room of people into a dancing sweat. The course runs over 13 weeks, one day a week. And then having the rest of the week to practice. Seems easy enough!
Week 2 is where it began. We learnt about cueing and the beginnings of our routine which we where all going to be assessed on. Week two was when I went from thinking yeah I can do this, to Hmmm; this is more work than I thought.
I also should confess that I haven't done aerobics since back in 1994, which I think was half my battle.
The weeks roll on and rather fast as I continue to understand the concepts of what we are being taught and I start to put the step touches together with the grapevines, I almost look like I know what I am doing. We learn about music and blocks that it is broken up in to and how to listen for it and how to talk and keep in time with the music whilst doing push ups.
Most of the aspiring instructors on the course already participant in aerobics classes and even they have stated that it didn't look as complex as what it is, although they could also state that they found it easier to understand. I now know, I have a few years of aerobics to catch up on since 1994. How many grapevines do I need to do to catch up? A lot!
I make it to week 5 with a progressive assessment set for the day. Even after Marietta assures us that it is just to see where we are at and that it gives the teachers a chance to provide feedback, I still feel rather nervous and a little stressed out. My fellow instructors perform their routines with little stress and it is reassuring as I start to count my step touches in. I start strong and then it starts to unravel, I look at my fellow classmates for help with wide eyes, searching the room for some reminder of what comes next. The out come to my assessment, I need more practice.
Now every free chance I get, determined to continue on, I practice, but I still feel like I have two left feet for the first time in my life. I finally swallow my pride and seek help from a friend who is already in the industry and I ask her how she does it? Her reply "lots of hours and hours of practice and sweat!" she continues on to say that "The practice that goes in to a routine is what makes a great class, if you don't know your routine inside out, it just wont come together."
I can only watch on in awe at group fitness instructors in gyms around Melbourne and can only sing praise for the effort and the hours of practice that goes in to the process of creating a fun and interesting work out that inspires people to get up, move and have fun. Little do the participants know or understand the time and effort that has gone in to creating a work out for them to enjoy.
With a sigh of relief and some sadness, the course is now behind me. I know that my training has only just begun; I am still a long way off from being the instructor that takes to the stage with ease and grace.
If you ever thought of becoming a group fitness instructor, I strongly recommend it. Through the sweat and frustration, you get to meet great people with a love for exercising and love of life, But the greatest reward is when you finally present your routine to a group of keen participants and for them to tell you how much fun they had, That is when you get the reward for your effort. So next time you take a group fitness class and you have fun, don't forget to thank your instructor for all the effort that has gone in to your great sweaty work out.
So 4,3,2 ... Step touch!