Tonight was an emotional night for me. It was an end and a beginning all wrapped up in one. 2.5 years ago I started my journey as a fitness instructor. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was in high school and was navigating my body image, my identity and my path in life. I fought with all of these things hard as I struggled with some pretty deep family issues. But that’s when I landed softly in God’s hands and realized, struggle I might…but He’s got me.
Life sure did not turn into a field of flowers after that, nor do I ever expect it too. But, I found purpose. I found purpose in the struggle, I found hope, I found grace, and I started to find my strength and my voice.
It might sound silly that being a fitness instructor is tied up with all of this, but it’s amazing how intensely true it is. Although I dreamed, early in my adulthood, of being an instructor, life took me in many different directions until recently. After I earned my masters in Health Psychology I naturally went for a certification in Health Coaching and also finally decided the time was right to dive in and get certified as a group exercise instructor.
I’ll never forget my first class! OH man was I nervous. It was Turbo Kick. I remember teaching and then at the end turning around and telling the class, “that was my first class EVER!” Um…I’m sure they knew that. HAhaha! Lord. Thank you for grace!
I struggled and learned and grew and stretched and was challenged and I got certified in several other formats in the meantime. PiYo was where things changed though. I fell IN LOVE. I joke all the time that I don’t have the attention span for Yoga. Well, there’s a lot of truth to that! PiYo brought something to me that was different and more me and yet challenged me to do things I hadn’t done before. I always walk away from class feeling STRONG, HEALTHY and just plain AWESOME! There’s no better way to say it. Awesome. From the inside out.
Well, along the way these people were coming and challenging themselves and experiencing these things with me and for themselves. Can I just say it is the COOLEST thing ever to watch someone come in, struggle, feel overwhelmed and COME BACK and do it again because they felt that, as much as it may have been “too much”, it was also some how SO good for them?! Then to watch that person improve and get stronger and then fall in love with it just like I did? Amazing.
Tonight I received a message from Jenny who has been coming to my class for a couple of months. She put into a message my why. It means more to me that someone would share this with me than I can even express. But really…it says it all and what a confirmation that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing as I taught my very last PiYo class at the Y and venture out on my own…
” Hey Jessica, I found you!! I just wanted to share some things as you begin your next journey! As someone who has always struggled with weight, poor food choices, and body image I feel like I found myself in your class with your teaching! You have a true gift of encouragement and make it seem easy that everyone and anyone is able to achieve even the smallest goals and of dream! I want to personally thank you! Having never heard of PiYo before your class I found something that works for me! But honestly the thing that kept me going was when I first heard Oceans and heard that you were a Christian! It is so encouraging to me to be in a class like that and not feel spiritual heaviness and the need to leave! I come into your classes and feel alive! Like I can breath fresh air. But that is because of what you carry! You are so genuine and I have felt very blessed these past 2 months to learn from you! While it is so sad to see you go, it’s so encouraging to see you chasing your dreams! Praying that God meets you in your new adventures and you feel the support you need! Hope this isn’t the end but only the beginning of learning from you! Hope this doesn’t come across as weird but rather encouraging. Thank you for being you and doing all you do! My husband is sick of hearing me talk about Piyo!! Thanks again, Stay blessed, Jenny
*Big sigh* I messaged Jenny back and tried to eloquently tell her just what it meant to me that she shared that…but I’m not sure I could express it exactly. This is why I do what I do. Truly.
That God would give me this awesome thing to do and share with people is an incredible thing to me. That I would come full circle and be able to be on this journey with others is a gift. So. Off I go and I am thrilled, a little scared but beyond excited to see how things unfold. I’ve had affirmation after affirmation that I am doing the right thing. These messages from God just have been continually showering down on me. So much so that it’s almost a tangible feeling. For those of you who have been a part of this chapter…thank you! And for those who will continue on with me…I am so excited for more!
So, what’s the moral of the story? Be you. Find your strength. Challenge yourself. And always know that God’s got you <3
I love you, PiYo Peeps!!