Marietta Mehanni


Written by Marietta

November 27, 2013

‘Life has seasons – winter, spring, summer and autumn’ my mentor and friend Jennifer Schembri Portelli said to me a few years ago. I remember thinking that I believed her, but did not know what season I was in or when I would have that realisation. I knew that we did not have just one cycle of seasons, but many throughout our lives and I was completely clueless as where mine stopped and started.
Perhaps it is the beautiful awareness that comes with age and more maturity that it finally dawned on me how it all worked out. I don’t think that I have my eyes completely open, but certainly a little wider than a few of years ago.

At the moment, I think that I am in my Winter stage – quiet reflection of what is happening around me and noticing how everything does move in cycles.

As I was watching Jenny Harrison deliver the circuit component of our cert III for group exercise on Saturday, I realised that I had started in this industry teaching circuit some 20 plus years ago. I also remembered, how uncool it became and NO ONE was teaching circuit, except in little privately owned clubs and now it is becoming the most popular format. Tabata, interval training, organised group training. Sorry to say! is not new, just refreshed.
The group ex course that I mentioned has also made me reflect to when I first started teaching these courses. Back then, dancers and people who love group fitness came to become instructors. And then it went through an interesting phase, where the students arrived, shocked to find out that they were coming to learn how to count down and deliver choreography. So disillusioned to why anyone would come to a group ex course to learn how to deliver bootcamp, I decided to retire from teaching group ex courses last year. This year, I am back to it and delighted that this year’s students are into music, movement and are so talented that I often have to pull them back from trying to teaching something that beyond their teaching ability (now, but certainly not in the near future). A full circle has happened here.

Having returned from another fantastic experience in New Zealand, it is interesting to observe where their industry is at. From my humble opinion, it is still young, experiencing the challenges that we had in Australia a few years ago with getting people in the fitness industry to attain appropriate certificates and register with REPS. I prefer to say ‘young’ rather than ‘backward’, because I admire the enthusiasm, passion and excitement that the Kiwis have for their industry. Whereas, in Australia, though we do have this, we are a more cautious, conservative and bogged down with a little red tape to move as quickly as they do and can. It is always a great experience for me as I feel that I get an injection of excitement that I had earlier in my career whenever I go to NZ.

Sitting back and taking note of what is happening around me has been interesting, funny and contemplative. I am sure to fire back up some time soon and get on with spring and summer, but it is nice to reflect on the past quarter of a century that I have been actively involved in fitness. I am glad that I chose this career and lifestyle – exciting and always changing, but like fashion, making the old look new again.

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