Hard to believe I’ve been teaching something for over two decades. I began my love of instruction with aqua aerobics, of all things. Back then no one really knew about this kind of exercise and I kind of winged it, to be honest…based on the “land” aerobics classes I’d taken in school. Many many certification courses and athletic clubs later, it’s a fundamental part of my week. It’s been a surprisingly fulfilling journey. Exercise and the motivation to do it comes easy for me. I’m lucky! For whatever reason I thrive when I’m moving and it’s no problem to get out of bed and get after it. However, I know that isn’t the same for everyone and that’s just dumb luck for me. So being able to get people stoked about moving for health is really gratifying. Especially those individuals that otherwise might not have options because of conditions such as injuries, arthritis, older age or deconditioning. When 80-somethings…or even 90 somethings, thank me for helping them have a more active lifestyle…well that just feels great. The reality is they’re doing this for themselves. I’m just the cheerleader, but it still feels nice.
Nearly a decade now, I’ve also taught paddleboarding. First in Maui, to clients for a fitness workout and now in central Oregon who have taken my classes for all kinds of reasons. Some are honing the skills they already have, some for fitness and others because it’s a goal that they’ve created and they’re scared. Water isn’t typically their thing and they need support. I won’t say I have a favorite, but I WILL say that one of the reasons I teach, and a great joy of mine, is to be there for “the look”. That brightness in a new paddler’s face when they try SUP for the first time. Perhaps it’s someone who is stepping way outside their comfort zone. It’s like I’ve introduced them to chocolate. Or coffee. It’s clearly a highlight of their day and maybe their summer. THAT is job satisfaction.
I believe water is therapy. It’s therapy for the body at times (I see that every week in my aqua aerobics classes). It’s therapy for the mind and soul too. In the times of my life that are stressful, my favorite place to be is on the water. In some form or another. It really doesn’t matter if it’s an ocean (or river) wave, rapids, flat water or a pool. Water is where it’s at for me. I’m filled with gratitude that I’m able to share that joy with others in a supportive way. So whether a pool, lake or river, give it a try if it’s something you’ve never done but want to do. I’m happy to help get you started–even if just talking you through where or how to start….
Thanks for listening!