December 28, 2012 in Tales of Inspiration
You can read Part 1 here.
I have recently started taking cardio kickboxing classes, and I have come across an instructor that makes me want to snatch up some of her qualities immediately.
Her name is Leslie, and she is tough. When she says “Get your knees up!” she means it. She will move around the room with her knees up high, and heaven help you if you’re not doing the same. “Are those your feet? Are they on the floor?”
One Saturday I went to a “Super” class: an hour-and-a-half worth of cardio and kickboxing, and as it was in December, she made it fun by offering everyone a jingle bell to wear during the class.
Maybe “offering” isn’t the right word. I think the word I’m looking for here is “mandatory.” She performed an inspection and class didn’t start until everyone, including the two lone men, had a dainty jingle bell pinned to their workout attire.
When it came time for the “team” activities, it was almost comical. I was already sweaty and winded. I didn’t want to get close to anyone else, let alone perfect strangers, and I wasn’t the only one. We milled around in our groups of one, trying to figure out how to get out of this portion of the workout.
Leslie wasn’t having any of that. “You and You: get together. Now! And you…you’re a man! Pair up with the other man!” Once we were all paired off, she was able to continue torturing us in peace. (By the way, I am not a fan of team activities and I will avoid them like the plague. That being said, the ab exercises she had us do with a partner left me sore for a week-and-a-half. Perhaps I should re-think my attitude about team activities.)
If that’s all it was, I probably would never think of her again once I left class. But here’s the thing: she’s passionate about what she does. She comes from a family with poor eating habits and problems with obesity, and she has dedicated her life to battling obesity and all the health problems that are associated with it. She takes the time to dream up these challenging workouts, and then she puts in the time to make sure each and every one of us gets the most out of them that we possibly can. Afterwards, she’ll send us an email about how we did (number of calories burned, etc), for she keeps track with a little device on her arm. And we know that whatever numbers her device recorded for her applies to us as well, because she won’t let us slack off.
I appreciate that in a fitness instructor.
Here’s another thing I appreciate: she’s funny. All that stuff she says about getting your knees up and hassling people when they leave class early? She means it, but she does it with a sense of humor that I only wish I could capture here. She has a way of simultaneously yelling at you, inspiring you, and making you laugh all at the same time. Man, I wish I could harness that and use it on my kids.
From Leslie, I would like to take her drive, her passion, her boldness, and her fearlessness about being a leader. I’ll also be taking more of her classes, because between the kickboxing and weightlifting, I am finally starting to see some results. It looks like Santa got me a set of biceps for Christmas!