I guess it's time to tell you about myself!
I'm Sue Spencer, founder of EZ Fit in 10. I am a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor with over 20 years experience in the fitness industry. I specialize in corrective exercise (help fix stuff so you don't hurt), beginner fitness, baby boomer fitness, and fitness for people who don't really like to exercise (lol- I know you're out there!)
My story is a little bit different from other trainers and instructors. Most of the professionals in the fitness industry were at one time or another athletes. I was NEVER an athlete. Yes, I played soccer and was on the swim team, but it never came naturally to me, nor was it EVER easy. Soccer was a struggle because I was never fast, I always got overheated, and I'm just not very competitive. Swim team was good, until I missed 3 months with a broken arm. When it was time to go back I was so out of shape I gave up (still regret that to this day- if only we could go back and give our younger self a good pep talk!)
I was a theater geek! I loved being in plays and musicals. I was never even that great of a dancer- good enough to get cast in Guys and Dolls, but my real talent was performing. I would light up in front of a crowd- show time! Being up in front of people is a no brainer for me- I love it! I don't even get nervous. When the opportunity came up to teach group exercise classes, I was overjoyed! I remember taking my first class and thinking "I could do that"...except for the actual fitness part. I thought I was going to die!Couldn't breath, red in the face, stich-in-my-side-gonna have a heart attack...but...it sure was fun! Ham it up for a group of ladies for an hour? I'm in!
I registered for a 6 week class, "Become a Group Exercise Instructor" at Linda Evans Fitness center with Kerry Silverstone. That class changed my life. I discovered a talent I didn't know I had- leading people through fitness classes. I fell in love- not with fitness- but with teaching group exercises.
I loved the high of teaching a class. The energy from the class was intoxicating! Plus- the workouts were super fun to design- turns out I also loved to create workouts and choreograph step classes! I was discovering all kinds of new things I really liked that had nothing to do with actually working out!!! Why is this important? Because fitness was never about "getting in shape". I didn't care! But, teaching a great Step class? That was motivating. In order for me to teach a great class I had to be in better shape. Remember the "gonna die" part? Well now I was motivated to do whatever was necessary to teach a great class.
See- I was not "in shape" or "fit" when I first started. Most of the other girls in my instructor class were fit! They were the "front row" participants. These women were the super stars- taking class for years BEFORE they decided to become an instructor. I took one class and said to myself "I could do that", ignoring the fact that I had a horrible diet- was still smoking (ugh!) and had never consistently worked out. (I was the classic example of "workout until my jeans fit again" and then stop.)
Of course I did it backwards...I do everything backwards (like starting an online fitness program without having a website built). What motivated me to finally get "into shape" was my pride- and my ego to be the best instructor...EVER! It was embarrassing to not be able to make it through my own class! So that's what pushed me...ego..and...more importantly...my new found love for teaching GX classes.
My fitness journey was never about looking better...even though I must admit that this smoking hot bod was a wonderful bonus (seriously- you know I'm kidding.) It was always about feeling a certain way. I loved how empowered I felt teaching classes. I loved how strong lifting weights made me feel! I even started to set little goals for myself.
Now you may be thinking "of course you set goals for yourself". For me, goal setting gets into some pretty murky territory. I have a tendency to put unrealistic expectations on myself. Then, when I can't reach these expectations (because no one could- trust me- these are super hero level expectations) I give up. It's a lovely little game of self-sabotage. My answer to this problem was to stop setting goals. Simple- if you don't have goals you'll never be disappointed. Unfortunately, that wasn't really working. I was miserable! Working a dead-end retail job that I hated, dropping out of school- I was a mess! I had no direction, but even more scary- no desire. This was not a good situation.
Teaching classes gave me something to work for. It inspired me and motivated me do better, to be better- and pushed me out of my comfort zone.
Teaching GX classes required planning, preparation, and practice- the very same behaviors necessary when putting on a play. Wait a second- I know how to do that! I love rehearsing! Working out and prepping for classes taught me the process of learning a new skill. I had forgotten the basic keys to success- planning, preparation, and practice!
I started to gain confidence every class, and this confidence carried over into all the other areas in my life. I became a personal trainer. I went back to school. I even spent a semester in London!
This was all because of fitness. The process of working towards a fitness goal taught me how to slow down. I learned that educating myself was how I was going to empower myself. Critical thinking and analysis, trail and error- these were the keys to success. Before fitness I had a very skewed idea of the world. I thought that in order to be successful you had to be the most talented person in the room. And if you weren't, well- why even try. Fitness taught me how to work. Talent is great, but it will only get you so far. Planning, preparation, practice- that's what moves you forward.
I believe in the power of fitness. I believe in the power of a healthy diet. I believe in finding out what works for you. I believe in meditation, journaling, getting outside everyday. I believe that we have the power to change our behaviors so that we can better honor who we are. These are all lessons I have learned through experience.
Through awareness, acknowledgement, and acceptance we are able to take action. Empowerment through education.