Water aerobics saved me from average
For the first 30 years of my life, I lived an average life. By this, I mean I went to work, I had a few friends, I had two children, I had two husbands (not at the same time!). I had fun, I drank a little, but not too much. I smoked cigarettes, definitely too much. I didn’t exercise. I didn’t need to (back in the 80s, at least in my world, the only reason to exercise was to lose weight, and I was already an average weight).
I did all the things that average people did. Watched television, helped my sons with their homework, went out from time to time. As I write this, I’m having a hard time remembering what I did because it was all. so. average.
My job was waiting tables, then assistant manager. For some reason, I was recruited by a customer to apply for a job as a recreation director at a local membership campground. He must have seen some hidden sparkle or potential inside of me.
After I got the job, I found out that one of my duties was to teach water aerobics classes. What? I’d never even been to an exercise class! So I did a little research (no internet then, so I actually had to go to the library!), read a few books, and created a fun, choreographed-to-music program that became quite popular.
While the students may have enjoyed it, for me it was life changing. I found that I loved the way exercise made me feel. And I loved teaching other people how to get fit. I finally quit smoking. I started working out on my own time, using aerobics videos, then running, then adding strength training.
Though I’d never really been overweight, now I was fit and toned, so I looked and felt better. I ran my first race in 1994, a 10k, and found out I was good at running. I was no longer average. I continued to race, running longer distances, finally completing a marathon in 1996.
About 10 years after I taught that first water aerobics class, I decided to make fitness my career. I earned my personal training certification and began spreading my love of fitness by teaching others the importance of exercise and eating right. I continued to further my education, adding group exercise, nutrition, coaching, fitness management, and flexibility certifications.
Today, I manage a fitness center and continue to train clients one on one. I also coach both adults and young people, including coaching the cross country team at the local high school. I still train and participate in road races, and give back by volunteering at events and working with my husband to put on running events in our town.
I’m not average anymore. And it was all because of that first water aerobics class.