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Laura Loves ZUMBA®!

with Tanya Beardsley, International Zumba Education Specialist

Happy Monday, everyone! I’m so excited to write this blog post that I’m having a hard time typing my thoughts coherently. After a sluggish start to 2012 (thanks to my New Year’s cold), I’m now ready to tackle the fitness adventures awaiting me in the year ahead – and it’s all because of Zumba® Fitness!

It was only a couple of months ago that I actually took my first Zumba® class thanks to some encouragement from Ebonny Fowler. Ebonny is the Fitness Services Manager at the New York Sports Club I work out at most often, and she’s offered some great support as I continue to chart my course in the fitness industry. After just one class, I had only one question: why in the world didn’t I try this amazing dance-fitness program based on international rhythms years ago? (Anyone who knows me knows I love to dance as much as I love to exercise, so the combination of the two for a workout couldn’t be a more perfect fit for me!)

Fast forward to January 7, 2012 and there I was sweating it out at the Shorefront Y of Brighton Beach with nearly 50 other women and men of all ages for Basic Instructor Training. There were so many things that made the day amazing – the positive energy; the booty-shaking, body-sculpting beats; the new friendships – but the most incredible part of this training day was our instructor. Tanya Beardsley is an International Zumba Education Specialist and the Co-Host of the Zumba DVD Series. Aside from her ability to create a workout featuring fun and fiery choreography combining the Zumba mix of Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia and Reggaeton, Tanya’s passion to make other peoples’ lives better through fitness was nearly palpable and most definitely infectious. Like any good teacher, Tanya inspired me to want to learn even more so I can truly help others in their fitness journey when I start teaching classes.

This whole experience reminded me of something very important. It’s never too late – and you’re certainly never too old- to find something that moves or motivates you. (Actually, no matter how young or old you are, I’ll warn you a days’ worth of Zumba drills, along with one master and one mini-class will leave you needing a day of rest afterward!)

I’m beyond excited to kick off this new week as a Licensed Zumba Instructor. I look forward to keeping in touch with Tanya and the new fitness friends I met at the course. (We’re already planning to travel to an annual convention together in the future!) More than anything, I look forward to the work ahead in memorizing music and creating fun routines that will hopefully help more people have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

The Best Laid Plans

We made it to the end of the first work week in 2012!  If you got a good jump-start on turning your fitness and other personal goals into a reality – good for you! If you didn’t –  you’re in good company!

I woke up New Year’s Day with the sniffles. Somewhere between midnight and six a-m on Tuesday – my first day back at work after a 10-day vacation- those sniffles turned into a nasty cold complete with head-pounding congestion, burning eyes and a cough. I made it to work, only to leave early and then stayed home yesterday to avoid spreading any more germs to my co-workers. The good news is I’m finally feeling human again and have no doubt I’ll have this cold kicked by the time I go to my day-long Zumba Fitness instructor training course on Saturday. The bad news is I haven’t been to the gym for a workout since Sunday, and many of the items on this week’s to-do list remain undone.  All my Type A personality can do at this point is take several deep breaths, make a new to-do list and remember every so often, things happen that mess up even the best laid plans.

Since a lot of people (at least the ones here in New York) seem to be fighting what I’m calling the New-Year’s-Cold Bug, I thought it was a good time to offer a refresher course on the “rules” about exercising when you’re sick. Click here to read an “oldie but goodie” from the LauraLovesFitness archives.

Based on my symptoms, I could have tried to go to the gym during the last few days. However, I followed what I consider to be one of the cardinal rules of fitness: I listened to my body. It told me to rest, so I did. Now I’m back at 85% percent and I have no doubt that with some more rest tonight, I’ll be at nearly 95% tomorrow. By Saturday, I’ll be ready to rock that Zumba class!

Next week, I’ll tackle my cardio, weight training and favorite group exercise class with new energy. I plan on putting that same energy toward crossing the items off a slightly bigger to-do list. When plans go awry, it helps to remember you will eventually be back on your feet and back on track to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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