End of A Fitness Instructing Chapter…

After a nearly ten year long chapter in my book of life, the time has come to say “see ya later” to teaching fitness classes.  I taught my very last class this morning at the Council Bluffs YMCA and I absolutely cannot think of a better gym to close out my fitness instructing tenure.  These people all showed up in my fave color of BLACK, with smiles on their faces, ready to get their butts handed to them as I dished out a mashup of all my FAVE moves.

Even the slackers killed it. ❤


I know for most, this isn’t much of a thing.  But this thing is HUGE for me and I am not sure I am emotionally QUITE ready for this chapter to end, however, professionally and personally it’s time.

With a career shift (I am still in higher education but have switched institutions and programming size), comes great opportunity, and I am eager to spend my time really digging deep into strengthening programs that cater to our under-served student population and bridging the gap between secondary and post-secondary education across the Metro area.

Some really exciting stuff, guys!

But, with that, comes sacrifice!


My fitness instructing career began clear back in 2002 in my hometown fitness facility and after a brief hiatus in between my move to the City, I held positions with 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, IWCC, and the Omaha Metro YMCA, specifically with the Council Bluffs branch.

I LOVE(D) it.

Teaching fitness classes in the city opened up the door to my stint as a national fitness trainer as a Master Trainer for BBLive, which provided an incredible opportunity to meet fitness minded folks from all across the U.S. and within my territory of Iowa and Nebraska.   (You can read more of my Master Trainer life here and here).


I still to this day talk to Sarah (second from right) at minimum once per week.  The friendship built through MT’ing was a gift in and of itself.

And the HUNDREDS of people I had the great privilege of training over the course of two years was such an incredible journey.


To close this chapter is pretty sentimental.  But, to close it with the YMCA folks who have been with me for nearly FIVE YEARS at the same time, same day, is something I will cherish to the end.


The CB-YMCA is where the Slacker Corner was formed:



And where I earned the OFFICIAL rights to be the Supervisor of them all:


It’s where I learned time and time again that age is just a number and mental strength always perseveres.


It’s where I got to know members on a deeper level and held the honor of celebrating their milestones and achievements in their health and wellness journey (here’s looking at YOU Randy in your incredible journey to doing a BURPEE in class with us)


The folks at CB-YMCA learned to live with me through all my costume themed classes and endless photo opportunities:



The CB-YMCA is where we celebrated members, turned family, and fought with them battles never before imagined:


We celebrated BIRTHDAY’s and HOMECOMINGS in a BIG way:




They chastised me with signs, questionable words under their breath and always with splashes of humor:


And celebrated with me my LOVE of all things BLACK:


We grew together as a family as we left the old for the new:



And banded together to overcome not only the end of the workouts, but life’s ever waving highs and lows.

Class was more than class. It was (and will continue to be) a time of togetherness, camaraderie and love.


In my reflection over the last several years, I see grit, tenacity, passion, exhaustion, fear, triumph and happiness.  I gave it my all and I sure hope every class, every trainee, every one-timer and every regular truly felt the love I had in teaching and took away something from their experiences.

Putting that mic on brings out a side of me that is a rarity.  Taking the microphone off for the very last time this morning has left a void, but I know, in my heart of hearts, I WILL be back again one day in front of the class.  Let’s just call it a cliff hanger with a sequel to be determined.  And I am sticking around on the sub list so I can get my “fix” on the occasion… 😉

Until then, I am going to continue my participation at a gym I attend as a participant (here’s looking at you, Edge Body Bootcamp) that challenges me physically and mentally every single day.  It’s my personal happy place.  Fitness is a LARGE part of who I am and what makes me happy.  It is not something I will ever let go.  I live for the challenge it places on me. It’s my own personal competition and I am my own opponent.  I friggin’ LIVE for it.

So, on that note…

Here is a CHEERS to my run in fitness instructing.  It’s been fun!

Until next time…

Back In The Groove


Thanks to a busy travel schedule for work plus a week in Sturgis, SD thrown in the middle, I had no choice but to take a break.  A break from my daily gym presence.  A break from leading fitness classes.  A break from my alarm clock.

Just a break.

And, you know what?

I feel good.

I spent those weeks doing what I needed to for work.  I spent that week in Sturgis eating, drinking and living without regret.   The week after Sturgis I only taught 1/2 of my fitness classes and spent the rest of the time letting my body just relax, rejuvenate and reset.

And now…

I’m back.


I am BACK with the latest Round of Insanity (14).  New music, new moves and NEW format that I am LOVING.  My classes are loving it too!  High-Five Beachbody Live for this welcome and needed format change.

I have jumped back into running a few miles.   Taking it slow right now.  My body was worn out in July.  I was working it hard… and playing equally as hard on top of it.

(Ok fine… I was playing 10 times as much as I was working.   Ah, I friggin’ LOVE summer)



I’ve also  been taking time each night to perfect the new TurboKick Round.   ❤


Did you know my FIRST CERTIFICATION as a trainer is coming up on October 3rd?

  This is it!

This is me making my dream come true.  You know, the audition I nearly skipped because of fear.



I am focusing on smaller runs during the week and paying closer attention to kicking up my pace.


I have mapped out every weekend long run from now until November.   I’ve got The Good Life Halfsy on the books!  13.1 is mine!   You know what else is mine?  That darn 1:59.

My finish time WILL BE UNDER 2 HOURS!

Half #1 – 2:20

Half #2 – 2:10

Half #3 – IS GOING to be 1:59 if it kills me.




My morning YMCA classes have picked back up again after hit and misses all summer.  (Ah, summer.  Can’t say I blame them for the hits and misses.  It’s SUMMER!)

This morning we had over 19 in Insanity class.  I can’t even explain the energy in that room when we are that full.     You should join me and experience it. 😉


The March 2015 Insanity Crew. 

I should convince my August morning crew to take a new pic. 🙂


I’ve even signed up for the Beer and Bagel 4 mileTrail Run on November 8th.  As of today, part of the M2M Iowa team has also signed up.   Awe… reunited and it feels so good!



Watch it – we are going to dominate!


Well, I know Blair and I will at least dominate the beer, bagels and chili afterwards.

…Mainly beer.


Cheers to a much needed rest and rejuvenate.

I am BACK!

For The Love of Teaching

What is that saying…

Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

How many can say that they truly love what they do?

The percentage is probably low if I was guessing.   If you can say you LOVE what you do, then you relate to that quote above.   You get it. You live it.  You freaking LOVE it.

I enjoy my day job.  My career.  My 7:30-4:30 position.  It has its perks, rewards, flexibility and stability that I need.   But, I would still call it work.   It’s work.  It’s why I have two Master’s degrees.  I have this position because I worked for it and will continue to work to stay on top of it all.

But, I also do something I love.   I would go crazy without my side gig.

It’s the peanut butter to my apple.

The protein to my shake.

The icing on my cake.




I started teaching fitness classes back in 2003.  I stumbled into it thanks to Frances Furst, my first Group X instructor.  She encouraged me to seek a National Certification and so I did. I taught in my small hometown gym, The Clarinda Lied Center, and also at the Clarinda Academy where I taught to the youth.

It was my escape.  It was my therapy.

It kept my mind going when I was internally struggling with some life decisions.

I loved it.   Absolutely loved it.



And then three years later I found myself going through a major life change, a risky change, a move to the city of Omaha with no job lined up and I let my teaching fall to the wayside.  It wasn’t until a few years later when I started taking back control of ME and my well-being that I contemplated getting back into the fitness industry again.   I started taking classes with my friend and mentor, Carrie McDonald, and through her encouragement and gentle pushing I found myself Nationally Certified again and on my way back to the front of the class.  Carrie, THANK YOU, for being that push, that support, that confirmation that I truly needed.

Man, am I ever so glad to be here.



I love the push it gives me to keep working towards a healthier me.




I love the feeling I get when I walk around the room to help motivate others to keep pushing.  I see the struggle.  I’ve been there… I STILL go there.  It isn’t always easy for me.  If it was then that means I am not pushing hard enough.

I like to help people push to their max because we are all far stronger then we ever possibly imagined.

And when they realize it?

That look.  That moment of “Hell YA!  I just did that” makes it all worth it.



I love feeding off the energy, the excitement, the nerves and the hard work that a Group X class brings.




And I love celebrating with the class when we make it to the end.  That feeling of pure satisfaction and accomplishment is freaking awesome.   Trust me when I say you can FEEL it come alive right there on the floor.   We work hard together, we sweat massive puddles together, we scream because it HURTS together, and then I hi-five the hell out of the class when we are done.

WE did it.  WE made it.




I take this love of teaching in the physical classroom and translate that into the online environment as well.  I have found my other love is in online accountability groups.

As a fitness coach, I help people choose exercise programs that will work into their schedule and lifestyle.   And then together we WORK.   We work on nutrition plans, exercise routines and we talk through barriers.

I want to help people see their worth, their need for physical and mental well-being and I want to help them become healthy and fit.  Does that always mean losing weight?  Absolutely not.

It’s about strength, mental focus, self-confidence and overall health.

And you know what these little groups have done?   They change ME.  My peeps help keep me motivated and accountable.

I love being a fitness instructor.

I love being a coach.

I LOVE what I do.



I thank my class attendees for making my job ridiculously fun!

I thank my online accountability clients for making my job rewarding!

I thank my hubby for allowing me to keep up a crazy schedule to continue to do more of what I love.

I am thankful for this job that I have.  This job is the absolute best job on Earth.

The best job for ME.