This post is dedicated to my dear friend Kelly
A lot of these photos are from the 80’s so the quality is not great
Hey Hey Friends! Hope you all are well!!
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about why I’m not teaching group fitness right now, so I wanted to explain where I started and what happened.
If you know me, you know my love for exercise. I was a jock in high school, playing volleyball, basketball, softball and track. I loved being active in sports. When I went to college in 1985 there was a common saying for new freshmen, ‘gaining the freshman 15’. I was determined that would not happen to me. I had an extra credit I could take to add to my class load so I added a dance exercise class. I loved it but it was only 2 days a week. Searching for more intramural classes in college, I was then introduced to ‘aerobics’ as it was called back then. I took whatever classes were offered as I loved it so much. Not only did it help me NOT gain the freshmen 15 but it started my ‘Aerobic Instructor’ journey back in 1986.
I mentored with another instructor who taught me the ropes, and let me teach a few songs in her class. Back in those days there were limited classes so they were packed with 300 people. I am not kidding! Check out this old picture and that was only a 1/4 of the class! I taught on a platform so the participants could see me.
During this time, I met 2 other aerobic friends. Paul and Kelly. They were as passionate about fitness and ‘aerobics’ as I was, so we started choreographing routines, finding the best music, and went all in. They started teaching with me 2x a week to that large group of people. WE HAD THE BEST TIME! Week after week we were know as ‘Fran, Kelly, and Paul’. We became fast friends and well known in the fitness community in Kent.
I passed my national AFAA certification in 1992 and continued teaching. After finding a career job and staying in Kent after graduation, I started teaching at 2 different fitness clubs after work. Kelly and Paul attended those gyms as well and we still kept up with each other co-teaching whenever we could. Eventually Kelly and Paul moved to the west coast in different cities.
When we moved to Atlanta in 1999 I decided I was going to be done. It had been almost 15 years and I just needed a break. We moved, got our house in order quickly, and jumped into our new jobs. I was loving Atlanta but something was missing… So within 2 weeks I got hired at Australian Body Works (before it was La Fitness) to teach kickboxing as it was the hottest trend at the time. Kickboxing was so fun! I got into it due to my martial arts training. I have a martial arts background which is why kickboxing was easy for me to teach. Karl was the one that got me into martial arts. The highest rank I achieved was brown belt. I cannot tell you what Karl’s rank is because when you get to a high rank such as his, your not supposed to tell…. #seconddegreeblackbelt shh!! Don’t tell him I told you 😂
I loved teaching! The members in my classes were my motivation and inspiration. They kept coming back. They committed to me and I committed to them week after week. Thinking of throwing in the towel again back in 2010, I was introduced to Zumba and was instantly hooked! I just had to get that certification and teach it. Several years later I was introduced to CrossFit and started taking a few classes a week for ‘me’ in addition to teaching my classes. Zumba and CrossFit are polar opposites, but I loved them both!
The reason I stopped …
Last May I went on a teaching hiatus for 6 weeks due to my kids summer swim team. I run the swim team with my neighbor Ellen. It was hard to be 2 places at one time so I continued CrossFit several days a week. When summer swim was over and I was about to go back, I had been taken out of the teaching system due to not teaching and being in-active for 6 weeks and my classes were taken away. Due to this, I decided to take the rest of the summer off of teaching and concentrated on having fun with my kiddo’s until they went back to school. I told myself I would go back to teaching again when school starts. Well, fast forward to today, and I have yet to go back.
I’m not 100% done teaching. I’ve been approached by other gyms, but for now I’m enjoying CrossFit and concentrating on other things like my health business and this blog of which I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge of learning new things.
I certified with AFAA back in 1992 and just certified for life 2 years ago. This past summer I recertified for another 2 years. I remember taking that test back in 1992. That’s a long time and something I am not willing to give up just yet.
4 weeks ago I called Zumba corporate and cancelled my Zumba License. It was a hard call to make but since it’s a monthly cost and I wasn’t teaching that format since last May, I cancelled. Why pay for something I haven’t been doing? I have not thrown in the towel ‘completely’ on teaching. I have many certifications and can teach just about any format (except CrossFit as that is completely different from group fitness). You never know what the future may hold #neversaynever
I have many fond memories from when I started ‘Aerobics’. One of my favorites was from the Fran, Kelly and Paul days. We were the Aerobic trio at Kent State. Kelly and I had kept up over the years and stayed friends and Paul and I kept up on Facebook. Kelly passed away 2 years ago. Being devastated by the news I reached out to Paul to let him know. We chatted and reminisced about our dear friend Kelly and what fun we had back in the day. The choreographing of routines, picking out music, the matching tights we used to wear as a trio, and spending hours practicing for our classes.
This post is dedicated to my dear friend, Kelly. I’ll never forget you and all the fun times we had together in and outside of the gym at Kent State. I remember your favorite songs by Taylor Dane and Gloria Estefan that we choreographed together. I can still remember the moves and when I hear those songs now, I can’t help but smile and think of you 🙂
So there you have it and I hope it explains what happened. I do appreciate everyone reaching out about my absence and wanted to explain how I started this fitness journey and where I am today.
Have a great week!