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I am a teacher, fitness/yoga instructor, runner, celebrity stalker, chocolate lover, embarrassing dancer, wine guzzler, can't-live-without-my-girlfriends kind of girl. I also have a collection of high heels that strongly outweighs my collection of runners. My goal is to find balance in my life through health and exercise- and when I say balance, I mean kicking ass in the gym and enjoying food, wine, family, friends, and basking in celebrity news. I hope you can help me in my journey and I hope that you, too can find balance!

Monday, 25 July 2011

A Fitness Fairytale

I have been working away at marking my Body Management reflections for the university course I taught a few weeks ago. I asked the teachers to give me a reflection on the course that included things like Yoga, Pilates, Skipping, Step, and Stationary Warm-Ups.

Isn't it funny how you concentrate on the ONE negative, even when there are MULTIPLE positives? I struggled with this last week- So far I've gone through about 100 reflections, of which about 80 were extremely positive and uplifting, 19 were positive and offered constructive feedback, and 1 was negative.



And it was all I could think about.

Never mind that this negative feedback came from a teacher completely uninterested in the course in the first place. I can't say much more but let's just say I was not surprised in the least when I received this reflection. So why couldn't I shake this?

I decided to walk away for the weekend. I enjoyed amazing food like sushi and indian- and this morning after Kickboxing I walked into the grocery store to find- ONTARIO PEACHES!!!!! I've been waiting all summer for these puppies and I immediately made a Peach/Cheerios/Greek Yogurt mix up.

Lentil Dal, Tikka Masala and Vindaloo. Woo Hoo.



Please note this was not all at once. Though, I'm thinking about it.

After stuffing my face, I came back to reading my class reflections. And this one was the ultimate.

In seven days, I taught 40 classes and met about 110 teachers. To get a reflection like this made my entire day. No, year... life.

A Fitness Fairytale

Once upon a time there was a girl who loved to exercise. She was young and carefree. She had all the time in the world to work out- at least two hours a day. Fast forward 16 years. Sure, she met her Prince Charming, but injured her back, got arthritis, had two kids, separated her pelvis, and gained more than 100 pounds. So what does she do? She signs up for a Phys Ed AQ, knowing that she is in the worst shape of her life and will likely be in a class with all young, athletic teachers. And that brings us right up to the present moment. 

You may have guessed by now that the girl is me, so let's dispense with the fairy tale talk for now. Here I am on my couch reflecting back on what has been at time intimidating, exhausting, and even downright humiliating. But ultimately, the last two weeks have been awakening. I've recaptured my love of exercise. Because of you. 

On that first day of class, I was excited and relieved to learn that yoga was part of the course curriculum. It was probably the only thing on the roster that was familiar to me and that I felt good about trying. I enjoyed learning poses that address so many aspects of fitness: strength, flexibility, agility, and endurance, to name a few. The classes were fun and informative. The atmosphere is inclusive. Instructions were clear and easy to follow. Your energy was infectious and made me rethink how I teach my students. The lower and higher options made it easy to adapt poses to my own personal ability. It was great to rediscover a fitness practice that I used to love. 

As a young teen I played sports like netball, field hockey, and softball. But I never really loved competitive sports. I supposed that's why I never had the athletic prowess of some of my teammates. That doesn't mean I don't like exercising and being fit- and you made it clear that I was not alone. There are tons of kids out there who feel the same way. Yoga, Pilates, and other personal fitness programs are great tools to reach those students who aren't necessarily athletes, but who want to be active. Every student deserves a chance to feel successful and fit- I loved that you focused on this. Create success. I think this mentality will help Phys Ed teachers get greater participation out of their student body. 

So, back to my personal fairytale: how does the fairytale end? I don't know yet, but I do know that I am determined to make Yoga part of my daily routine again. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one... stretch. 

Thanks for the inspiration and Namaste, Fairy Godteacher.

I am actually speechless. Which, doesn't happen often. When I said that yoga had forever changed my life, it was only my dream to make that part of others' lives. I feel fulfilled, happy, and joyous. It's actually strange to not be throwing in a sarcastic joke right about now.

To the teachers: thank you for giving me an amazing teaching opportunity, that has also been an incredible learning opportunity for me.

Have you ever lost touch with something that was such a big part of you, only to recapture it years later?
I have to say for me it's been kickboxing. I used to love love love it, and then I injured my shoulder playing lacrosse. My shoulder issues come and go, but I've been so thrilled to get back into it. I feel strong, powerful, and badass.

Does anyone else focus on one negative comment versus a zillion positive comments? Why do we do this?


Sarah Grecco said...

I think you might be my fitness soulmate! Love your blog. Just recently got into yoga. I am really a work in progress. I do the hot yoga which totally rocks my world.

PS - I try to eliminate the negative. When someone says something negative I just ignore it.....took years for me to get there but now I just pretend it was something nice....haha

Get Up & Go

Amy said...

What a wonderful affirmation of the passion you show for exercise! Forget that negative review, that person obviously doesn't have any flint left to spark. You should see that within all your other (lucky in my opinion) students you have ignited a passion like your own. Be proud to have kindled so many candles!

Christina @ The Athletarian said...

You truly are a Fairy Godteacher!!! I LOVED this! Man, my reflection SUCKED compared to this. I referred to you as "Katy"...as if I was writing in a journal to myself. Oops. Anyway, this girl speaks the truth. She says it for us all!

xoxoxoxoxoxox Can't wait for out DATE!

Jess said...

Wow! Those words are beautiful and I'm sure are TOTALLY warranted. You inspired her in a way that clearly nobody else could and that is a hard trait to develop, it's sort of innate, at least I think so. Rock on, sista! And frame that puppy, I totally would ;-)

Hayley @ Oat Couture said...

That was such a lovely thing to say and I have no doubt you earned every word of it!! :) So glad you had that to read after the really negative one. To be an amazing teacher, to motivate, inspire and be clear and concise all whilst being completely relatable at the same time are some amazing skills and you should be proud girl!

Briana said...

I definitely got out of the yoga groove after being a die-hard yogi for years. I recently rediscovered my love for it and won't let it go this time!

Alyssa said...

Wow, that was amazing of that person to share that with you. But I am 100% with you, I would be focusing on the negative. Maybe it's just human nature? Or female nature? You clearly did a wonderful job and 99 out of 100 teachers not only enjoyed it and learned from it, but one and I'm sure more had a life - altering experience. You should be SO proud of yourself! I would absolutely love to do a course like that!

PS I could totally eat all that food in one go.

Kristine @ Running on Hungry said...

WOO HOO Fairy Godteacher! You're amazing! Now pleeease come teach yoga in SF now! I've been incorporating yoga (and pilates) into my weekly routines and I can't even tell you how much it helps with both my running and my state of mind!

I'm also addicted to TRX thanks to you!

I feel like someone can give me a billion positive comments and then the 1 negative thing I get it's like WHAT. Why do you hate me? I'm totally the same way! I think we're just people pleasers :)

Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner said...

Wow so basically you got about 99 positive comments! Don't stress! I'm sure you are amazing :) I need to find that perfect yoga class for me! I like it but I don't love it yet...

Jane said...

What a nice "Evaluation." I am the same way, if one person doesn't like my teaching, I harp on it. I need those positive affirmations, and you hit the motherlode. Congratulations. :)

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