Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Imagined. Achieved. #LMWorld

Participant - April 2013
The road to certification for me has not been an easy one - nor a happy one in the beginning and middle stages. It has been filled with roadblocks, injuries, deaths in the family, illness, huge self-doubt and then finally an indomitable will that no - nothing was going to stop me until I reached certification.

I joined my local gym in February 2013 to try and drop a dress size to fit into a beautiful vintage wedding gown, that I had bought for my wedding in January 2014. I joined with plenty of time to lose that amount and then tone up so I could be at my best for my wedding day.  I was walking away on the treadmill, bored out of my brain... I saw a bunch of people going into the Group Exercise Studio. I had no idea what class it was, but I jumped off the treadmill and went in and got a spot. That class, was BodyJam.

I didn't know that not only going to help me lose that dress size in four weeks - but was going to become something that was insanely addictive... and as my instructor Niki said that it would "ruin you for all other classes...". It did. I went from two classes a week, to doing as many as I could... all around Brisbane. At one point I was travelling between Carindale, Nundah, Alexandra Hills and Cleveland.

I loved it so much that I then thought... I want to share this program with as many people as I can. 

The decision to become a BodyJam instructor was one that wasn't taken lightly on my part. It was one that I really sat down, read the material, and worked out if it was something that I thought I could achieve. I didn't know if I wanted to actually ever teach the program. I knew I loved the program - so much to the point that I got a lot of my friends to come along and try out the classes (some of them got hooked too) - but I am not a trained dancer... in fact I have been known to trip over my own feet on occasion. Who am I kidding... quite regularly! Haha. I suffer from nervous anxiety when I have to get up and talk in front of people. So -  was I going to be co-ordinated enough to not only present perfect technique, but be able to deliver clear instruction too? Was I going to be fit enough? Was I going to be able to get past people watching my every move, and almost certainly judging my delivery as well.

One of my last classes as a participant!
(With two of my future trainees, Tina and Eden)
Sitting down with two Les Mills Asia Pacific (LMAP) Trainers who I just happen to have as my permanent instructors, I started to see and hear about this idea of a "journey" towards becoming an instructor. Every instructor has a different journey and it's a process and I was told that if I was to take it on, to trust the process and that if I wanted it bad enough (aka put in hours upon hours of work) I would achieve it.

Enter my new gym, Healthworks Cleveland/Victoria Point. I had been participating in classes there for a few months - and had been talking to my instructor (who at this point had become a great friend, who had even convinced me to do her BodyPump classes) - I started getting to know the owners of the gym (Kacie and Matt) quite well... and before I knew it, the announcement of the BodyJam Initial Training Module was up. It was going to be held at the Victoria Point Club in February 2014! The bad news... the registration would more than likely happen while I was overseas in Canada getting married, and the module was two weeks after I got back. This wasn't a huge issue as Kacie took care of making sure that LMAP had my paperwork. :-)

So. While in Canada I got the news that the module was going ahead. Awesome. Got back from Canada and had two weeks to get my fitness back to where it needed to be to get through the module. The Saturday before module, I injured myself pretty badly. Not knowing at the time I had developed Shin Splints.

Niki, Johnny and New Jam Trainees!
I did everything in my power to make it through that initial module weekend. As terrible as it sounded I lived on pain killers, slathering my legs in all kinds of gels and creams (Fisiocrem is the actual best thing in the world) and regularly icing and resting. About an hour before final presentation I didn't think I was going to be able to get through - but some how, I did. I was passed as a trainee. Best. News. Ever.

The next four months saw me doing everything I could to aid my legs recovery. Three gorgeous instructors achieved certification, two of them taking the stage at VP Healthworks for their cert videos. It was so inspiring to watch them go through the process, and all I could do was be patient and await my turn. At times, I wasn't patient. In fact, I went through some of the biggest doubts of my life. I never thought my legs were going to heal. Then towards the end of May, beginning of June... they did.


Was told by my mentor Niki to get my coaching and cues together. I was ready to take the stage... and then my grandmother passed away. All it took was that trauma, and I lost everything that I had in my head. Now not only did I need to get it back in my head so I could teach successfully - I wanted to do this even more for my Nan-Nan. She was so proud that I was doing this.

Mic-ed up!
Niki and I discussed the time frame that I had left to certify on the release that I had put so much work into - and it was decided that I'd take the stage in the third week of July. I did everything I could to make sure that I was ready to teach the front half of the class. And I did! It was the most nerve wracking thing I have ever done - but I survived. Over the next few weeks I would only improve and lead the class successfully through the release. It was so nice to receive such positive feedback from not only my fellow trainees, but the participants in the classes as well.

Healthworks Victoria Point Studio One became my home away from home.  When I wasn't teaching or shadowing in classes, I was in front of the mirror... or listening to my music and practicing my coaching. Let me tell you - the level of exhaustion that I felt during those 6-7 weeks of "training" was something that I have never experienced before. A massive thank you to my husband who had to deal with me during this time - and really was my biggest fan.

As my deadline approached, I was surprised how quickly the progression happened. I taught around 7 times in the class environment, and twice in a "Faux Jam" environment - a real class, but not on the scheduled timetable. Thank you so so so much to my friends who came to support me in both of those classes. You are all rockstars.

My "Faux Jam" class with my gorgeous friends who came to support!

One of the two videos was better than the other. So we submitted it.

Was told by LMAP that it could take 4-6 weeks to be marked and to receive a result.

Four days later, this happened:

So it's official. I'm now a Certified Les Mills BodyJam instructor. Just awaiting the arrival of my certification feedback and my certificate. Then I'll register and will be ready to teach!

It's been a pretty crazy and at times overwhelming journey... but it has been so rewarding. It's brought me closer to everyone who has supported me along the way - and I have made some lifelong friends within the "Tribe".

Massive thank yous go out to Kacie and Matt, for supporting my training from day one - and letting me use the studios whenever I needed them for practice.

The biggest thank you goes out to my mentor Niki, who dedicated so much time and energy into my training - spending time away from her family to do so. I'll forever be in your debt. You believed that I was capable, and in turn I started to believe that I was too.  Now I know that I am!

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