This Saturday I spent several hours standing… moving… dancing… zumba-ing. After achieving my goal of booking a trip to Green Mountain at Fox Run, I moved onto the next thing in my vision
board list. I have always wanted to be a fitness instructor. As a faithful group aerobics attendee… I was sometimes, most times, more coordinated than the instructor- save one. Becky Marietta, the most awesome step aerobics instructor would say things like, “just because we are thin doesn’t mean we are healthy ladies!” She’d smile and laugh and make us growl when we did squats. I secretly wanted to be like her. She inspired me. I never said anything to her about it, I just admired her from afar. I have had several step aerobics and group fitness instructors. They paled in comparison to Becky. So I made it a goal to become a step aerobics instructor.
Right after I decided to get my certification I spoke to the main instructor about my hopes. “You’d have to lose a lot more weight before that could happen,” she freely advised me. I felt crushed. I saw women who were thinner than I was struggling to keep up with the routine while I was flyin’ all over my step like the Jackie Chan of step aerobics. More than that was the fact that while we exercised under her tutelage she’d say things like, “What did y’all have for breakfast? I had a granola bar and coffee…less calories means less chubby” I’d make a mental note and remind myself that when she ridiculed me in class, which she did often, that she had no fucking idea about health. That didn’t matter though. I was fat and she was thin so obviously she knew more about healthy living. I let her criticism plant seeds of doubt and empower my already weak sense of self acceptance.
So I signed up to become an instructor after my first Zumba class with Edelin. I followed her to her new location where she teaches. Imagine my surprise when Becky Marietta, my beloved group aerobics instructor walked through the door! We got to reconnect and Zumba party next to each other. I was so excited. I told her about my plans and she beamed, “GO for it Jasmine!” Becky has this freaky super human joy when I see her. Seeing her excitement reinforced my decision to get licensed.
She never knew how much she inspired me, how she changed my life, how she reinforced my value. She never knew, I guess, until now.
I achieved my goal because of inner strength, refusing to believe that my size or any other imagined or real circumstance can keep me from what I dream, and a little Becky Marietta spunk.