What is holding you back from your goals? I am a Zumba instructor!!!

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.

Until recently….

I found so much inner strength from being honest about my journey and started achieving my goals. Taking care of me.

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.
Zumba License

Comments (15)

  1. Africableu

    WOW, Jasmine. I don’t even know where to begin–WHAT an incredibly sweet post! You have no idea how great and HUMBLED it makes me feel. I am sorry that other person made you question yourself (that was so wrong of her), and I am glad you ignored the negative and pushed forward. You are an awesome lady, and I always loved having you in my class–you were so energetic, so positive, and thank God, you had rhythm (something I couldn’t always say about everyone and alas, could not really teach, no matter how I tried, haha). I know you will be a GREAT Zumba instructor, and I can’t wait to reverse roles and be a student in YOUR class, Ms. Instructor! Whoo-HOO, way to go, Jasmine! I am SO PROUD OF YOU!! :D

    1. Jasmine (Post author)

      See Becky! Again with that bubbly joy! ;)

  2. Sadie

    YAY! You are great.
    I’m so so glad you did this.

  3. Jacqueline

    Congratulations! Unlike you, I am totally the one in the back of the class doing the opposite thing from the instructor because I am disconnected from my head to my body, can’t listen to directions, and am utterly clueless. So, I hope when you are instructing you remember the lammo at the back… that would be me.

    And, Jesus, could skinny coordinated people be meaner – what the hell do shame and health have to do with each other. So proud of you for naming it and chucking it. That stuff is useless!

    1. Jasmine (Post author)

      Jackie, what I love about Zumba is that ALL levels of skill can do it. Just keep your feet moving ;)

  4. Martha

    You are wonderful Jasmine, great way to put it! Congratulations on stepping out there and swinging it all! Go get’em girl!

  5. jody

    I see a Zumba session on the agenda for the next Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged weekend!

    Seriously – I did Zumba for the first time Friday night at the Womenade PJ party. I had to stay home from work on Monday because I couldn’t WALK!

    This is the only way I want to exercise from now on. I’m pretty sure you’ll be the best Zumba instructor EVAH!

    1. Jasmine (Post author)

      ZOMG! That is an awesome idea! I love Zumba!I am pretty sure this group fitness genre was made for my sass!

  6. Garrett A. Brown

    So proud of you Jazz. All 4 of us knew you could do it and I am glad that you did the work to make it happen.

  7. Shan

    Oh my word that was the sweetest post about Becky!! It made me miss her classes so much. She WAS the best instructor and was always thinking of how to keep everyone at all levels feeling at home. I wish I had gone to her class when you did J. Now, I simply must get to a Zumba class and you MUST let me know when you teach one!!!!! SO AWESOME!!!! And yes, rhythm is key from what I have seen. Some instructors without it are impossible to follow! You could teach the fire out of Z, I just know it!!! :D

  8. Jesse

    Love this post! You know, I’ll say this for that clueless instructor who told you you’d have to lose weight before teaching, at least she was uncouth enough to say what she was thinking. She could have just blown you off forever with no explaination, but I’m guessing her thoughtless and incorrect words were great motivators for you once you got over the shellshock! And I bet your story is a great motivator for your students now!

    1. Jasmine (Post author)

      It is true Jesse! Awesome way to reframe it.

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