I got a big “Congratulations” from the girl at the front desk at the Mockingbird/Greenville 24 Hour Fitness. I didn’t realize this until she said it, but it’s my 2 year anniversary as a GroupX Instructor with 24 Hour Fitness. It made me smile.

It sure feels like a lot longer than 2 years, I guess that’s what happens when you teach 6 classes a week, but I am so happy to be a part of such a wonderful company. 24 Hour really strives to make fitness something that everyone can do, and I love that. I remember getting my first class, Wednesday night class at Valley Ranch. It was called Athletic Training back then, and I started with about 5 people that didn’t know what jumping jacks were. I wondered what I had gotten myself into. It’s been a struggle, don’t get me wrong. There have been several unforeseen challenges, challenges that not only was I not prepared to face, but I never even saw coming. But, with each challenge, I have become a better person, not just a better instructor. Now on Wednesday nights, there are anywhere from about 50-80 hardworking, fun, energetic members of all shapes, sizes and fitness backgrounds, that come in and work their tails off. And I love them to pieces.

When my soccer career ended, I went into a pretty serious depression. After all, it’s what has defined me my entire life, or so I thought. But teaching has really opened my eyes. Now, instead of being selfish, and taping up my torn-up ankles just so I can get back in the game, I take much better care of myself. Now the stakes are much higher. If I were to get hurt, and wasn’t able to teach class… I would be devastated. To think that I would be letting everyone down because of my selfish desires is just silly. I played soccer for me, but when I teach, I teach for everyone else. Helping people live happier, healthier lives is so much more rewarding than scoring a goal. Having someone flex their new-found bicep muscles and say “Melissa got me these!” is an amazing feeling.

I found a blog post I wrote a VERY long time ago, August 19, 2005, to be exact. Here’s what it said:

“Good news! I found my calling! I’m serious! I made an impromptu decision last night to do this class at the gym called “Boot Camp.” (It was Boxing Boot Camp at Mockingbird/Greenville 24 Hour Fitness). Probably not something you would voluntarily do, right? Wrong. Oh my God, it was the best thing I’ve ever done. For over an hour I got to beat the sh*t out of a punching bag, kick things, the whole nine yards. How often can I do this class? Can I come twice a day? I ran and did an abs class before that (since I hadn’t planned on doing another class), and the instructor told me I would never make it through his class. Not being mean, just warning me. (I should also note that I would NEVER tell someone they couldn’t make it through a class and that this instructor is no longer employed at 24 Hour Fitness). Well, if that isn’t a call for action, I don’t know what is. Come on buddy, I’ve been through preseasons for a Collegiate Division 1 soccer team, I can handle your “Boot Camp.” And I did. Not only did I make it through, but I was the only person in that class that at the end was jumping up and down still, like “It’s over?! No! More punching, more punching!”

So, I have found my calling. I hope that this class will be my solution to my anger problem on the soccer field. (See, aren’t we all glad I no longer play?!) I dont need to punch mean boys anymore, (Don’t anyone hold this post against me, it was YEARS ago!) I’ll just wait for class and give that bag all I’ve got! I swear people in that class looked at me like, no way is that girl hitting that hard. I know this because some of the girls were like, whoa, girl, good freaking (expletive removed) job! Yes! Praise for punching! Ahhh… *sigh*… my heart is content, and I feel so freaking (expletive removed…my was I a sailor!) good today it’s amazing. Screw soccer, I want to go to this class! Wait, did I really just say that?! Have a freaaaking fantastic day!”

So, it turns out that 1. I had quite the potty mouth 6 years ago, and 2. I was really on to something! If you would have told me then that I would quit soccer and would be teaching almost every day of the week, I never would have believed you. But now, I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Thank you to all the member who come every day/week and work their tails off. Just as I challenge you, you challenge me, so thank you! Can’t wait to see you guys tomorrow! 🙂