Are you stuck in a rut? Working out all the time, hoping to lose weight, but nothing is happening? Even modifying your diet isn't changing things much? Maybe it's time to change your workout. At least, that's the conclusion I've recently drawn.
When I was in my 20's I absolutely loved working out in a gym. You'd find me with the guys (fewer women did this), using weight benches and free weights or cable machines, curling and repping whatever weight I could. I'd tackle a few sets in a muscle group and move on. Weight training provided amazing results, but was seriously boring. And sometimes, lonely. If I didn't recognize anyone in the gym who I felt comfortable asking for a "spot" or if I just didn't recognize anyone I could talk to, I didn't workout as hard or for nearly as long.
When I started doing Dance Trance in the late 90's, it was the variety of music and choreography that really drew me in. I did notice weight loss and toning, but at the time, that was secondary to my need to improve my balance and flexibility. So the two workouts complimented each other. Eventually, I just dropped weight training all together. It seemed like Dance Trance was covering all my needs and I didn't really have time for more. Recently, I've realized, how wrong I was.
Don't get me wrong. Dance fitness is fantastic. It's great to be able to get high cardio in for an hour that is so much fun I don't realize I'm working out but, my 43 year old body isn't what she used to be. All the twisting, jumping and pounding has taken a toll on my knees and feet. More so than I expected. A couple of months ago I learned that an assumed interal blister, as I had told myself, was in fact, a tear in a tendon in the ball of my foot. It took a trip to the podiatrist to learn the truth. I was sidelined for the prescribed 6-weeks.
I couldn't dance but I didn't want to just sit around doing nothing. I mean, I own a fitness studio for peet's sake! So, I started taking Sculpt and Pound. Mostly because that's what we offer and because each of the classes has one thing in common: low impact. I told the instructors of those classes what my limitation was and that I would either be doing the exercises in a modified way or do another exercise entirely. No one seemed to mind. And everyone was inviting and encouraging.
After a few weeks something happened: I saw my muscle return, in addition - I saw less cellulite, improved strength and stamina, less pain in my knee and foot... and yes folks, weight loss! And what I realized is I have to change my workout habits if I want to see new results. That's not to say I don't dance anymore. If anything, I am dancing and teaching way more since but I've discovered that my body doesn't respond to just Dance Trance anymore. It needs additional exercise help. It needs the muscle or I won't be losing any weight. And really, the scale isn't even playing a part here. We're talking 2-3 pounds lost but I look and feel so much better and stronger.
That's not the only workout I plan to add. In 2017, I'm going to go back and work on my flexibility again. Likely with yoga. I think you have to have all three components (cardio, weight training and flexibility) to keep your body in a position to function without injury and with best results. I encourage you to try a fitness buffet yourself and let me know if you see the same benefits. If you've been a Surfer, Pounder, Bootcamper or Sculpter, maybe add Urban Ballet, DT or Barre for lengthening and cardio and if anything, keep me company as I try to vary things up from my same old routine.
When I set off on the journey to open Turn, the goal was to really find a home for my program, Dance Trance. However, it was clear from the start that the space we found and transformed in Scott's Addition needed more than just DT. It needed to give a home to other classes just like it. Classes that were unique, challenging and inspiring. That lead me to a woman I had met two years before. Just a chance meeting at an outdoor fitness festival in Richmond.
Seo and I instantly hit it off but she was clear from the start, she didn't want to own, manage or run a fitness studio. She just wanted to bring her fitness programs (Fighting Fit and Pound) along with her personal training to one location. Through some brainstorming we created Bootcamp, and eventually brought along Surf and later, Sculpt. Those programs evolved because of Seo's expertise, drive and natural ability to create fun, new fitness experiences.
Because I was working full-time as a journalist and a mom, Seo often answered the call for whatever TURN needed. She grew our brand, managed the studio, hired and trained several amazing instructors and also welcomed hundreds of faces into TURN day after day.
She was with me in good times like when movie stars and news stations visited TURN and rough times like when leaky roofs, torn up city streets and snow packed sidewalks forced us to temporarily close and she made a connection with clients and the area business owners who were pulling for our success. She often pushed me out of my comfort zone, helping me to take risks I might not have ever taken and she helped me to meet fellow girl bosses who had plenty to add to my world while teaching me plenty about lifting one another up. To say she's been instrumental in helping TURN and even me blossom, is a huge understatement.
Despite our growth and success, earlier this year Seo had an epiphany and realized TURN still wasn't her dream. She had a longing desire to go in a different direction. She wanted to become a life-coach and help with personal development, and teach fewer group classes. We worked together to make that happen. We downsized her schedule. She was gracious enough to extend her exit and stay on while I could find the right time and courage to leave my own journalism career to take care of the fitness studio I birthed but hadn't really been able to watch grow.
And that brings us to now. With the end of the year upon us, and Seo's business quickly expanding and my new found career as a full-time girl boss well underway - we think the time is right for us to begin our separate entrepreneurial journeys.
Seo will teach just four more classes at TURN in December. Her last one on the 27. Please join us in wishing her well in this next chapter of her career and growth. Let's max out attendance in those classes and show her our appreciation for helping create Richmond's friendliest fitness studio and helping cultivate and train many of our current and future fitness instructors along with just being an amazing friend.
About the Author
Sandi Cauley is a small business owner, fitness instructor, dancer and retired broadcast journalist. She operates Turn Cardio Jam Studio in Richmond, VA (founded in 2015) with goals to mesh dance + fitness and connect others with some of their youth. She is also a 3 x boy mom, a Tejana, a wannabe