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Zumba Instructor Certification & The Power of Not Having a Plan

April 24, 2013
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This past Sunday, I spent some time marking off something on my Health Bucket List: becoming a licensed Zumba instructor. In order to do that, first I needed the certification. So I did that.

The class was a blast – Vicky (the training specialist) has been involved in Zumba since the beginning and she was amazing, and I had some great conversations with people in the class, as well as dancing (and sweating) my butt off!

That’s pretty much Zumba in a nutshell.

Before you get confused, let me clarify: Zumba instructor NetworkNo, I don’t want to become a fitness instructor full-time, and really not even enough to consider it a part-time job (I do have a pretty heinous / wonderful travel schedule which will complicate things, and I have a job I love), but I also didn’t want to regret *not* doing this. Not exploring it, and not giving myself a chance to move from “I could do that” (wishing / improbable) to “I can do that” (possible / attainable / able).

The comment I left on the class evaluation was very true: “Prima ero interessata, adesso sono convinta.” Before, I was interested. Now, I’m convinced.

I think exercise is really important to staying healthy, and the more fun you can have doing it, the more likely you are to return. For many people, that’s Zumba. Or CrossFit. Or running. I really enjoy Zumba (a perfect & pretty regular week for me is both my weight classes + Zumba) and I liked having the opportunity to lead others and teach what I think is a lot of fun. It’s a way for me to help spread the joy I feel when I hear those Latin rhythms without having to get up in da club (remember my Latin workout playlist? Even more to come).

Where will you teach? is the first question I hear.

The answer? I don’t know.

And that’s ok.

I’d rather learn how to drive by turning the key in the ignition, sitting in the driver’s seat, instead of looking at the car from the outside with my hand twitching by my side, yearning to open the door.

This goes back to a lot of my personal philosophy about life which I wrote quite a bit about on my tech-biz blog, “Stop Sabotaging Your Own Success: A Manifesto” – basically, we self-sabotage so much, and often it’s because we feel like we need to know the answers to everything before we start. Plotting out a beginning, middle, and end helps when writing a book (something I’ve come to learn), but it’s not always necessary when striving for something. A big secret you’ll probably learn is most of the people who are actually doing stuff are making it up as they go along: tweaking, refining, and reacting to the information and experiences they encounter along the ride.

What I do know is as of yesterday, my gym’s director knows I’m looking for substitution classes. I’m on their radar. My goal is to figure out a way to teach once a week or maybe just a few times a month, but enough so that I can actually have the whole classroom experience and go from “I’m certified to teach Zumba” to “I teach Zumba.”

And for now, that’s ok. I’m making it up as I go along.

At the very least, I know I can probably fill a room of my colleagues at our all-company meetup. Last year we did CrossFit, yoga, dance classes, and a run. I’m sure there will be room for this as well :)

Do you have a Health Bucket List? Here’s mine. Do you reach for a goal even without a plan?

Here’s a pic with me and Vicky – a celebrity moment I don’t usually take part in but I was proud and she was great! Note the photo blurriness – everyone was dead tired after the all-day class and hands were shaking :)

Sara Rosso, Zumba instructor

Me being silly waiting to pose with Vicky

Sara Rosso with Vicky Zagarra, Zumba instructors!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2013 5:10 pm

    Whoo! Congrats! :)

    It’s funny because in the lifting world, so many women scoff at Zumba.. but I respect you for it since I know you like to lift, too ;)

    I did Zumba weekly for awhile when I first started strength training; I had a blast! I have zero coordination and my endurance is pretty crummy, but don’t doubt that you are getting your butt kicked when you go.

    Keep up the awesome work!

    • April 24, 2013 5:17 pm

      Thanks Jennifer!

      Yes, I think they are at opposite ends of the spectrum but I absolutely think weight lifting has helped me with Zumba and dancing in general – I can bust out a fast samba I would have never been able to do before without those obliques ;) and getting “low” when dancing without the thousands of squats I’ve done? No way!

      I like that for some people Zumba is plain fun and good exercise for them – that’s really what matters is getting moving. They can’t all be lifters like us :)

  2. Jillian permalink
    April 24, 2013 5:26 pm

    Congratulations on your certification! Zumba is a great workout, if you cater it to your needs! I’m definitely the girl jumping around and trying to make my heart rate skyrocket during the dances so I’m really sweating by the end of it. I throw Zumba classes in between my HIIT cardio training and strength training – just to mix it up and make it fun. I wish you the best of luck and hope you are able to sub a lot classes, eventually teaching your own!

    • April 24, 2013 5:54 pm

      @Jillian – Thanks! I’m excited :)

      yes, it’s absolutely an excellent cardio workout – I sweat like crazy. :) There’s actually a teacher here in Milan who does back-to-back classes (and he’s incredibly fit which is how he’s able to do it) and he has to change his entire outfit in-between. So you know you’re working hard :)

  3. April 24, 2013 6:53 pm

    Congrats! I know you were pretty excited about this. I love that you did it without a plan, mainly because it’s something you enjoy doing.

    • April 25, 2013 12:13 pm

      Heh! My secret is most of my plans include not having a plan for part of the plan. (<— so many plans).

      I guess it will only be fair you come to my class if I come to yours! ;)

      • April 25, 2013 1:43 pm

        I guess it will only be fair you come to my class if I come to yours!

        Good luck getting me to do Zumba!

  4. May 14, 2014 6:39 pm

    Great thoughts about self-sabotage. I did this for so long, until one time I had my back to the wall and I just had to do stuff. I have found out that doing things with a vague plan works, you just need to get going, and if you keep on going, you will get to your goal. No matter how rocky the road may be. You just need to wok every day, and redefine your plan if you feel like it is not working. Great and inspirational post. Good luck with your endeavour in the world of Zumba!

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