We Survived Atlanta Mania!

This past weekend, my husband and I had the opportunity to attend Atlanta Mania, a conference for the fitness industry held in Atlanta.  Gary and I arrived a day early so we could each be certified to teach new classes.  Gary was certified in Schwinn Indoor Cycling, and I was certified in Tabata Bootcamp.


My Tabata course was tough!  Over the course of the day, we didn’t spend an extreme amount of time working out, but the workouts we did were intense.  When I went in, I thought I was in decent shape; by the end of the day, I’d changed my mind.  Every inch of my body ached; I was exhausted and overwhelmed.  It was much like an education training in that we received so much information, and then we had to figure out how to implement the program upon our return to the real world.  I was frustrated because there were some exercises I couldn’t do, or I couldn’t do the entire time, so I wondered how I was supposed to teach it.  I never expect people with whom I am working out to do anything I can’t or wouldn’t do.  I had a lot to work on!  Then I began to wonder if I was in over my head.  I had three more days of classes – workouts – and feared I wouldn’t be able to keep up.


Friday morning my first class was Bosu.  We used the Bosu balance trainers (left).  I wasn’t in a very good mood when the class began, but the instructor, who was a buff lady, was incredible.  She made the workout fun, and worked us hard.  By the end of the class, my mood had improved tremendously, and I was ready to take on the day (more often than not, a good workout will do that!).

Later in the day, I spoke with one of the other instructors from the gym, and she told me she took a Tabata class, and she couldn’t do everything either.  That made me feel much better because she is in terrific shape, and she is young!  Speaking of age, there were people of all ages at this conference.  It was so motivating to see men and women older than I who were in fabulous shape.  I have this weird obsession with arms and shoulders.  I just love beautifully sculpted arms, not body-builder-steroid-ingesting muscles, but toned and shapely arms.  I saw plenty of them in Atlanta.  I want arms like that, but have never gotten into a routine that would bring about those results.


On Friday, I also went to a Flirty Girl Fitness class.  I chose this class because it is dance fitness, and I thought I could get some choreography to use in Zumba.  While the instructor was great, and I did like some of the moves, overall it just wasn’t for me.  It was just what the title implies – flirty.  That isn’t me.  Some of the moves were just too cutesy.  On Sunday I tried a 2-Fly Fitness class, which is also dance fitness.  I lasted through two songs.  It was a hip-hop style dance.  As soon as I walked in and saw the girls with the crotches of their pants to their knees, I began to question my choice.  I knew not to judge on appearance, so I gave it a chance.  Once the music started, I didn’t like it either, so I stayed for two songs, and decided my knee had had enough, and I didn’t really want to work up yet another sweat doing something I didn’t like at all.  I took two different Zumba classes, and if I can remember any of the choreography, I will work it into our songs.


The class I most feared was HIIT Kettlebell.  I know the limits of my upper-body strength, and thought I would struggle to even lift the kettlebell, let alone swing that sucker around.  The instructor was the same woman who taught the Bosu, so when I walked in, I immediately relaxed.  I learned that the strength needed in kettlebell comes mostly from one’s legs, not the arms.   It ended up being one of my favorite classes.  I got a DVD and bought a new kettlebell so I can practice at home.  I will likely use this as a station in boot camp (after I improve at it!).

Mindy Mylrea is the developer of Tabata Bootcamp, and was my instructor on Thursday.  This woman has been in fitness over 30 years, and is a dynamo.  She is knowledgeable, entertaining, and energetic.  I took a few more of her classes over the weekend.  One of my favorites was a kids’ fitness class on Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m.  It was a blast!  She had so many incredible ideas to get all kids involved in fitness.  I think that the 100 adults had as much fun playing the games as any kids would.  We pretended to be animals, closed our eyes and wandered around trying to locate our partners, and dragged each other around on the floor.  I learned several games and activities that I will use with my eighth graders.

I also took four lecture classes (I signed up for five, but skipped one due to exhaustion).  Three were on nutrition, which we all know, I NEED! The first one was very scientific, and being an English teacher, much of it was over my head.  He talked about the specific molecular process of breaking down certain foods.  He was very knowledgeable, and I did take away some important information, but I was just too tired to process biology.  Gary and I took a class called Meals and Musings.  The man who was the keynote speaker taught that class.  We learned about healthy foods, but he also cooked throughout the class.  Those of you who know me well, know I am not one to try new foods.  I don’t like many veggies, and I like my food pretty bland.  Gary leaned over and asked if I was going to try the lentil soup.  Yup.  I was puttin’ on my big-girl panties and actin’ all adult.  And, Surprise, I liked it.  He gave us the recipe, so I might even try to make it someday.

On Sunday, I took a class on successful weight-loss.  It was interesting, and not as scientific as the other nutrition class.  I need to go back through my notes, but I think that what I learned will aid in helping our Biggest Loser teams.  Our last class of the conference was about addiction.  The instructor taught about exercise, tobacco, alcohol,  drug, and sugar addictions.  It was a good course; she offered information on what goes on chemically in our brains that cause additions.  I determined I am addicted to caffeine.  As I write this, I sip Diet Mt. Dew.

That was our experience in a nutshell.  We returned home with loads of information, new ideas, and sore muscles.  But we also returned with renewed excitement to help others discover the joy and benefits of fitness.  Poor Addison has bore the brunt of our newfound knowledge.  I am constantly saying, “Hey, try this!  It’s really hard, but an awesome exercise!  No, really!  Get down on the ground and let me do push-ups and tricep dips on your back, and then you can do them on mine!”

If you get a chance, get on YouTube and look up Beyonce’s ‘I Was Here’.  The keynote speaker, Lawrence Biscontini, used this in his presentation.  It is about leaving your mark on the world; I will be sharing it with my eighth graders this year.  It’s an amazing reminder that we need to do for others so that when we leave this world, those left behind know we were here!

Super Crazy Fitness

This is it…the week we have planned for all summer…the week will will find out what we’re made of.  On Wednesday, Gary and I will leave for Atlanta, and will participate in Atlanta Mania, a fitness conference.  I have been to conferences for the beauty industry, the Atlanta Gift Market, and education conferences.  They required nothing of me except my attendance and eagerness to absorb new knowledge.  The days might have been tiring because we sat in classes all day, but we could rest up at night, and hit it again the next day.

This will be quite different.  This will push us to our physical limits, which are likely beyond where I really want to go.  On Thursday, Gary and I will both become certified to teach new classes – Gary will be certified to teach spinning, and I will teach Tabata Bootcamp.  The bootcamp classes at the gym will be thirty minutes long, and will include several different exercises that we will do at an intense level for a short period of time.  This is HIIT (high intensity interval workout), which works all body parts in short bursts, and increases caloric burn.  There is no one in this area who offers Tabata Bootcamps, so I am really excited about the potential.  (For those interested, the classes will begin in September, and will be early morning – 5:30 – classes.  Stayed tuned for more info in the coming weeks.)

Wednesday evening, the rest of the crew from Everbody’s will arrive in Atlanta.  Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we are all taking a variety of classes.  Most classes require working out.  Despite my attempts to be physically fit – okay, buff – I am really a wimp.  I have very little upper body strength.  My hope is that I will develop some by doing Tabata on a regular basis.  I have a Tabata Bootcamp feed on Facebook, and they always post pictures of new groups of trainers.  I always check them out, and it appears every single one of them is young and ultra-fit.  None appear to be grandmothers; I am a grandmother.  I hope they have mercy on me!

I signed up for classes such as kettlebell (those suckers are heavy), Zumba Sentao (even though I am an instructor, those classes are super hard when the badass instructors teach), and more bootcamp classes.  I also signed up for a Flirty Girl Workout.  Really.  Somehow I think I will be the oldest person in that class!  I signed up thinking I could learn some new choreography to incorporate into my Zumba classes.  Or maybe I wasn’t thinking at all.   I cannot begin to imagine how much Aleve we will go through.  I did sign up for a couple lecture as well; they will be a welcome break from the sweatfests.  I am even taking a nutrition class.  Those of you who know me know that I desperately need to improve my nutrition.  Perhaps I will come home and revamp my eating.  Or not.

So, this weekend when you’re cleaning house, boating, or camping, think of me.  I will be whining and struggling to fit in with all the buff instructors.  Most will probably be young enough to be my children.  When you see me Monday, and I am unable to move, you’ll know why.  I will have challenged myself.  I will have set my age aside and worked my tail off.

About running…I am still attempting to run a little while I await surgery.  My friend Jackie and I ran and walked a total of six miles Saturday, and then I ran three miles last night with some walking added in between.  This morning I met my friend Caroline, and she and I walked and ran two miles.  My knee hurts, but I want to keep moving.  I am going to walk with Jennifer before Zumba, and walk again with some of my Zumba group after class.  I will certainly get the miles in today.  I still miss running.  Even on these hot, sticky days, I want to run.  I know (well, I think) I will run again in time, but my patience is gone.  It’s frustrating when I am trying to do something healthy, and can’t.  As much as I have pushed others to persevere, even when it’s so stinkin’ hard, I know I cannot just quit.  I have to do everything in my power – including surgery – to run again.

If I can move my fingers, I plan to blog each evening we are at the conference.  And you know me, you’ll get an honest picture of how it’s going.  Now get off the computer or phone, and go do something active.  Don’t know what to do?  There’s a pretty awesome Zumba class at 6:30 at the Schergens Center.  Try it out!