To me, my Body Empowerment journey was a two-step process. The first step was learning how to treat, love, and accept my body for what it is and what it can do. The second step was helping others achieve Body Empowerment through teaching group fitness.

I grew up taking ballet starting at three years old. Not only did I hate it, but I was terrible at it. Flexibility came easily for me because I’m double jointed, but my spirit animal is an awkward giraffe. Eventually, I discovered other dance styles, which seemed more compatible to my body type and allowed me to express my own dance style…of an awkward giraffe.

A friend of mine suggested I try a trapeze class with her. As terrifying as that idea was, I figured why not? I could do it once, get some cool photos, and say I did it. I didn’t expect I’d be able to be successful. During my first class, I was swinging 25 feet in the air with my knees on the bar! I was hooked, and an adrenaline junkie, so I kept going back for more.

Very soon I discovered that I was getting strong. I was in classes with people of all shapes and sizes, and they didn’t care about anything except achieving the trick they were working on. It wasn’t about the numbers on a scale, or a jeans size, it was about making your body do something you never thought possible.

Trapeze got expensive, and I had to find something new to satisfy my aerial adrenaline addiction. I eventually landed in a pole class, and have been taking it regularly for three years. Pole is all about goals. You stop caring how you look in booty shorts and focus on how to climb up, hang upside down, grab your foot, pull it behind your head, all while hanging on with one armpit and pointing your toes so it looks pretty. As crazy as that sounds, that trick has a name.

Eventually, a friend of mine reached out to me about training as a group fitness instructor for BollyX. Had she asked me before I started aerial fitness, I probably would have had doubts about my abilities to do something like teach a fitness class. My confidence level had changed, and I jumped in, head first.

Admittedly, first, it was about me. I thought teaching BollyX would be the cardio I was lacking from aerial fitness, and I could make a few extra bucks a few days a week. Score! For my first class, I grabbed five pole instructors who all loathed cardio. When they were actually having fun, I felt a new type of rush. I loved making other people feel excited about fitness! It was fantastic to have people enjoy their workout, and walk away with energy.

Body Empowerment is not just about loving your body. It’s about having your body achieve goals that make you feel superhuman. I continue to push myself to achieve goals with little regard for how it looks to other people. This journey is for me, and I’m honored to be a part of anyone else’s journey of Body Empowerment as a group fitness instructor.

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