Top of the morning Fitties! Busy day here in LizzieLand… I am so hungry right now but I’m going BACK to Pickity Place today and I’m saving up so I have plenty of room for Lavender Lemonade. I can’t wait to visit my SHEEPIES again!!! Note to self: Bring hand sanitizer.  First, I’m off to sub yoga and I’m super stressed about it. It’s a pretty intense group of yoginis (doesn’t intensity sort of belie the yogini part? I dunno).

I have a guest blogger today! I let Michelle introduce herself below.  ‘member how I once said that the best thing about teaching fitness is meeting lovely people you wouldn’t otherwise meet? That’s also a great thing about being a fitness blogger — meeting wonderful blogitas (um… yeah, I’m going with it. Blogita) that you wouldn’t otherwise. Check out Michelle’s thoughts now that she’s been teaching Zumba for a few months:

Hi Fitties! My name is Michelle, and I run a site called Michelle Mason Fitness. I am pretty new to the fitness industry and blog world; I’ve only been teaching Zumba classes for almost two months now, and I am currently in the process of studying to become an ACE-certified personal trainer. When I’m not teaching or studying, I am busy working full-time in advertising and enjoying my life in Brooklyn, New York, (Note from Lizzie: Let’s go Red Sox!) with my husband and Gertrude, my dog. You can feel free to check out these posts to learn more about me, my weight loss journey and why I decided to get into the fitness industry in the first place.

When Lizzie asked me to do a guest post to talk about my experience as a new instructor, I was flattered; after all, I’ve gotten SO much great advice about being a fitness instructor and balancing different aspects of my career from her posts. I feel like I have learned so much already, and I am honored to share my perspective here with all of you.

One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned so far is that messing up doesn’t matter nearly as much as you think it would. After my Zumba Basics workshop, I spent 3-4 hours a day learning routines, memorizing music, and practicing with my family and in front of my poor husband. My number one fear going into teaching was that I would forget my routines, and so I was determined to minimize the chances of that happening. I think that amount of prep work definitely helped with my confidence (especially teaching practice classes, which I think is the best way to prepare), but it still didn’t keep me from messing up during that first class, and even now I still mess up at least once (ok, fine, more like 5 times) during every class. I think that when you’re in the moment in front of a class, you’re focusing so much on the participants – reading their expressions, making sure they’re able to keep up, having fun, etc. – that sometimes the next step just kind of sneaks up on you.

And you know what? It really doesn’t matter. Everyone lives, has fun anyway and still gets a great workout. I’m sure most of the participants in my classes don’t even notice when I mess up, and if anyone does notice, they’ve been kind enough to just follow along anyway and do whatever awkward booty roll or chest shimmy I throw in there when I forget the next step. My “mess-up moves” have honestly been completely involuntary reactions up until this point, but I am working on a few signature steps to throw in there when I mess up that look a bit more, um, intentional, and I would suggest that you do the same if you’re teaching Zumba or another type of class that has choreography.

I’ll have more of Michelle’s wisdom tomorrow. Gotta give a shout out to those poor husbands of fitness instructors out there — they put up with a LOT. A. LOT.