I am so happy to be a mom of four kids. As much as people are constantly telling me when I am out with them that “my hands are full”, my heart is full is well. Motherhood is definitely entertaining; at any one time I can have a superhero, princess or a ninja sword fighting in the kitchen as I make dinner. Life is loud and crazy, and thanks to a dose of perspective when our oldest was diagnosed with cancer at the age of two, I try to appreciate each day fully the best I can.
One thing that is hard to appreciate is the changes motherhood makes to the body. I remember being pregnant with our oldest and thinking there is no possible way that my belly button was going to go back in after those nine months were over. My abdominal muscles have been stretched to their max for 36 months over a seven-year span.
Thanks to DanceFit, I was able to take classes up until the end of my fourth pregnancy. My last class was Gina’s BalletFit class the morning I went into labor. The instructors were great about providing modifications so I would not put any stress on my abdominal muscles or the baby. My legs and arms were so strong the morning I went into labor. Most importantly? I felt beautiful! My belly was huge, and I had not been able to see my toes for over two months, but I finally found a workout program I could stick with during my entire pregnancy. Fast forward six weeks later, and I started taking classes to attack my abs! I was feeling strong and invincible; I was going to get back into pre-pregnancy shape in no time!
Nicole, is one of the amazing virtual fitness instructors at DanceFit. She is a petite dynamo who can calmly smile and say “Just eight more burpees ladies!”. Nicole says teaching DanceFIT has completely changed her life. “I cannot even begin to describe the impact DanceFIT has had on my life. Gina is the one who really introduced me to a little thing called "fitness" several years ago. The first class I ever took with her was cardio + core at the Brookline studio, and I thought I was going to faint. Sure I weighed 100 lbs, but I was so weak. That has all changed now thanks to her.
Another way teaching has had an impact on my life is the fact that I know I wouldn't make time for workouts on my own if I wasn't on the schedule to be teaching them. The consistent schedule makes me accountable not only as an instructor but as someone who takes care of her body no matter how tired or cranky I am during the week. The dedicated virtual crew makes it all worth it. I always end class feeling better about my day because if I'm feeling off, I know that others are most likely going through something similar- and then some. Seriously! You ladies inspire me with your babies in hand, toddlers on back, whatever the case is. We always get through it together!”
Nicole’s encouraging attitude and her philosophy that we are all in this together, is one of the main reasons I stuck with getting back into shape after my last pregnancy. I remember taking Nicole’s arms and abs class, and remember feeling very humbled after class. While my arms and legs were strong, the fact still remained it was going to take time and patience to get my abdominal strength back after being pregnant. Nicole was so encouraging after class by saying she could not believe how well I was doing after just having a baby. Thanks to the support of Nicole and all the virtual instructors, I stuck with it, and with each class I took with Nicole, I found myself holding plank a little longer.
Two years later, Nicole is still challenging me in her classes. Two of my favorite classes that she teaches are BalletFIT Cardio and Body Ball Tone and Sculpt. I started incorporating cardio a lot more six months after Mark was born. After four children, I have found that running just does not agree with my body like it used to back in my college days. My hips hurt, and I swear I feel like I have to pee five minutes into a run even though I just went before I left the house. Every Sunday morning, Nicole's BalletFIT Cardio class gets me going with a lot of jumping that is mixed up with toning and stretching exercises. Not in the jumping mood? Modifications are given. Every week class is different, and I find that the 45 minutes always flies by. Why does Nicole say this is her favorite class? "It's one of the first classes I taught for the virtual program, and it's one that now comes to me very naturally. I used to always cringe at the word "cardio," but that's because I wasn't associating it with the right things. Dancing IS cardio, and ballet especially is cardio. I love that I can get (or give!) a really good cardio workout in my basement while generally staying in the same spot. Sneakers are optional!"
Body ball tone and sculpt was introduced last summer, and it came at a perfect time. I was holding plank for a lot longer, but holding a plank on a balance ball? Oh my word. Every exercise is so much harder on a balance ball (i.e. tricep dips), and I love this class for how it tone and stretches my body.
Today we had a plank challenge in 6FIT. The goal was simple, to hold a plank for as long as you can. Two years ago, I struggled with 30 seconds. Today I held it for this….
Encouragement, persistance and determination go a long way. Thanks to Nicole and the virtual DanceFIT community.
* This post was contributed by our virtualFIT spokeswoman, Megs! Follow her danceFIT journey on our blog!
Mom of 3, wife, business owner, ballet teacher and fitness instructor. Trying hard to raise healthy, happy and grateful children while running the studio of my dreams. Trying to stay FIT, flexible, stylish and take care of myself in the process!