I head to my AFAA Group Exercise Certification workshop in less than 36 hours. It has been a long 4 months of studying, hours upon hours at the gym re-choreographing what should be the simplest 8-minute cardio routine, practicing, worrying…you get the point. I’ve spent so much time over the past 4 months doubting my abilities, what right do I have to be getting certified as a fitness instructor?
Over the past week or so though, my mind and my heart started to have a shift. I began to let go of the nerves. I began to tell myself that of course there are going to be things that are more difficult for me because of CP, like making my movements stay on the beat of the music. But that’s not all that teaching is about. And that’s certainly not all the fitness is about. I began to tell myself that I will try my best, and I will show what I know how–my determination, my physical and mental strength, my ability to modify, and my desire to make a difference and show others, okay myself too, that anything is possible.
Tonight I made the executive decision to not attend one of my grad classes so that I could take some time at the gym to do a final run through in front of the mirrors and then stay for my new found love: kickboxing. I’ve really come to like this class because of the huge physical challenge it provides me. It’s one of the only classes I take that is spent entirely on my feet and almost entirely having to balance on my own without holding on to my walker for support (except for kicks because, well, I’m pretty sure we all know that’d end with my face meeting the floor). We were doing front kicks at one point and these are always the hardest for me because of the muscle control needed not only to lift for the kick, but the whole concept of actually pushing the kick out. Well, tonight I kicked higher than I ever have before. Almost a foot higher. And it was a pretty damn good kick if I do say so myself.
After class, I was completely overcome with emotion. I was so happy that I actually got to see some serious physical improvement for the first time in a while, and was so proud of myself for continuing to keep at it even on the days when progress seems like it will never come. I was so emotional over the fact that I have finally found a way to keep myself active. Most importantly, I am so ready to share these feelings with the world. I’m ready to step out and say “I can do this and I want other people to know that they can too.”
Almost 6 months ago, I got my second tattoo. I got it on my wrist so that I could see the words every day and remind myself how important they were. Today I am proud to say that these words have brought me here: to a whole new world of possibilities waiting just ahead of me, to being proud of myself, to kicking higher, and to being ready to own my place and my purpose in this world.
These 4 months preparing for AFAA have provided me with some amazing opportunities for physical, emotional, and spiritual growth and I absolutely cannot wait to see what’s next!
Thanks for reading and wish me luck! 🙂 I’ll update this weekend about my experience.