It has been an amazing week for me. After an outstanding, inspiring and ENERGIZING weekend of insane workouts with insanely wonderful women, my muscles are finally less sore and my brain can finally form some whole thoughts.
Over Labor Day weekend I took a break from teaching classes to become the student, learning from the incomparable Farel Hruska, an amazing woman and mother of three who is also the National Fitness Director for Stroller Strides, Fit4Baby and Body Back. Have you ever met someone who just lights you up? Taking a class from Farel is like plugging directly into the sun.
Friday night I hopped on an evening flight from Anchorage to Seattle - wow, it is sooooo easy to fly without the kids - and was picked up by a fellow franchise owner from Maple Valley, WA. (You should really check her out, by the way - Kristy Fassio has such an inspiring story and is on her way to great things.) Kristy took me home to stay with her family and then drove in with me to Enhanced Instructor Training on Saturday.
This training is for current Stroller Strides instructors, and it was a tremendous recharge of great energy, inspiration, new exercise moves and enthusiasm for this awesome program. We started off the morning with a Stroller Strides class. It was such a blast to be the student, to focus on the moves and soak in all the experience and enthusiasm of this group of women. We had so much fun that we added an extra half hour to class. There is no better way to start off a day!
Our day continued with some business-oriented lectures and information sharing, fantastic sessions of indoor cardio moves and partner exercises, and demonstrating favorite exercise sequences to each other. If you have been to a Stroller Strides class you can begin to imagine that at this point I was just a tad bit sore... an hour and a half class (with nobody needing a snack, song, or potty break) followed by two more intense workouts a la Farel is nothing to sneeze at.
After a very deep sleep, I woke up Sunday to head back for Body Back training. Kristy, who is already a Body Back instructor and did not go to Sunday's training, drove me to an Office Depot parking lot to meet Codi Howell, another amazing franchise owner attending the training at 34 weeks pregnant with her third child, two days after her husband's return from Afghanistan. Did I mention that these women are an awe-inspiring group?
And then - Body Back.
Stroller Strides is a fantastic, challenging workout and it has been the key to my personal fitness. It is the only reason I am in better shape now than I have been ever before in my life, and the connections I have made to other women have changed my life. After completing 4 Body Back workouts in one day, I also know that there is no limit to increasing my fitness and I will continue challenging myself the rest of my life. I have never, ever been so sore; I have never felt so proud of accomplishing so much physical work in a single day.
Just wow. The workouts are incredible, but it is so much more. The personal experiences shared by several of the moms in our group who have been through the program and are training to become instructors brought me to tears. I can hardly wait to bring this life-changing program to Anchorage.
For me, the realization of exactly how much can be accomplished in an hour is a direct result of a couple of years working out AND entertaining the kids, taking breaks to offer snacks or play games, singing nursery songs while doing bicep curls. I love every minute of my Stroller Strides classes and cannot imagine a day without seeing these beautiful families. Exercising with the kids is FUN and makes the time fly by before you even realize just how many squats you have accomplished. Taking the kids out of the picture turns up the intensity of the exercise, and really allows deep concentration on finding your inner voice, the voice that knows you CAN do it.
Sunday evening, totally exhausted, I stayed with a dear friend from high school and slept until 10am. That's right, I SLEPT UNTIL 10AM. I haven't slept like that in about 5 years, and it was amazing. We spent the day with no agenda, no one to look after but the two of us, and it was the most relaxing day I have had in years.
What amazes me is that even with so many wonderful parts of the weekend, the best was Tuesday morning, waking up after my late night arrival in my own bed, to the snuggles of our daughter sneaking into our room to curl up next to me.
Possibly the most eventful single weekend in my life since the birth of my son two years ago, definitely the most sore I have been... ever. I returned home delighted to see my family, charged up for my Stroller Strides classes and excited to bring Body Back to Anchorage. Stay tuned, you won't want to miss this amazing program.