img_5073TooltipTextYesterday as I was teaching my Zumba® class, I had an epiphany. I know, most people are just thinking about which dance move comes next, but I often have some of my greatest ideas and biggest breakthroughs in these classes. There’s something about joining the group energy, moving to the music, and getting your heart rate up that takes me to another place. It’s a spiritual experience, and it has become my church. It must be similar to what tribal cultures experience in a drum circle or sacred dance. Anyway, on to my point. 😉

I’ve been teaching these classes for over 6 years now, and as I looked around at the packed room and saw all the smiling faces, I thought about how I could never have imagined this many people coming to and loving my classes when I first started teaching. I started out teaching classes in a much smaller space, so that was part of the limitation, but I’ve also become a much better instructor over the years. Then I thought, how cool would it be if we could see the end result like this when we begin something new? It might have helped me be more confident as an instructor if I knew that my classes would be a success and that I would develop such a large and devoted following. Just as suddenly as that thought came to me, I quickly thought, NO!

To become truly great at anything requires practice, a teachable spirit, desire, and time. If I had known where I’d be today, I may have been complacent in my teaching because I knew I’d eventually be successful. Would I still have practiced as much? Would I have put in the effort to learn from other great instructors? Would I have said yes to all the teaching opportunities that seemed less than ideal but turned out to be learning experiences? Probably not.

If we could see how successful we might become or how we’d master a new challenge before we’d actually achieved that milestone, we might become complacent because we already know the outcome. But when we struggle and fail, but persevere anyway, that’s when we truly become great at something. See, the real difference between someone who is successful and someone who is not is what happens after a failure. There were plenty of times when only a handful of people showed up for classes, or when someone didn’t like my class, or when I forgot the moves and messed up a song (let’s be honest, this still happens and always will 😉), but if I’d given up in the face of these challenges, I wouldn’t get to teach hundreds of students every month. Yes, it’s “just an exercise class”, but it is the highlight of some people’s week. It’s an hour that they set aside for themselves to do something that makes them stronger and happier. It’s a time when they can drop their cares at the door and focus on nothing but the music and the beat of their hearts. I’m honored to get to play a part in that experience.

So if there is something you are working on in your life and you don’t feel like you’re good at it yet, set a goal and put in the time to practice and develop your skill. Find someone you can learn from or hire a coach. Read books on the subject. Whatever it takes to develop the skill you want, go after it. The time will pass anyway, so why not spend it chasing your passion?



Note: My new online Precision Nutrition Health Coaching program is starting now, so if mastering your eating, exercise, and stress management habits is on your to do list, I’d love to help you get started!


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