Fitness and Friendship

Fitness and Friendship

It’s Day 6 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and like most Saturdays, it was about fitness and friendship. One day early in our relationship, my now Swan Sister, Kibby, invited me to attend Zumba at her athletic club during a lunch break at work. Going on seven years later, we’re still working out. Doing fitness (sometimes food) and fitness.

While we’ve had amazing instructors come and go, Marvelous Marina is still with us and has become not only one of my Zumba mentors, but a dear friend. Dancing with her, learning from her and supporting one another –– she’s attended both book fairs for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, and I sub for her and serve as wingman whenever needed in class. This morning, she gave a shout out for my upcoming birthday on Monday. She’s filling in for another Zumba sis and invited the class to join us that evening to celebrate my 50th. I’m also looking forward to hanging out with her and another friend afterwards.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach and Mentor/Friend, Marina.                   A little belly dancing added a twist to this class – literally!  I’m in my Calvin Klein Performance & New Balance shoes.           Marina could be a Zumba Wear model. Wears it well! 

For me, Zumba provides so much more than a chance to exercise. It’s a chance to appreciate music, express myself through dance and connect with The One who made it all. Through fitness, I experience friendship AKA fellowship with beautiful, strong, amazing women.

I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and either engage in exercise you’ve neglected or find your fit –– be it dance or another form. There’s a good chance you may find friendship, too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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Celebrating International Women’s Day – The Zumba Way!

Celebrating International Women’s Day – The Zumba Way!

It’s Day 275 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and spent it working hard and then celebrating International Women’s Day. Originally I was supposed to speak at an event around this but somehow my information wasn’t received by the organizer’s. Rather than let that bum me out, after I took care of other work related tasks, I maximized the extra time and prepared my “Pink  Collar Savvy & Chic Publication Process – A Marathon, Not a Sprint” presentation for our local Altrusa group next week. I Time flew as I wrote about my journey to publishing Seasons of Her Soul. By the time I’d finished writing it and sharing it with my hubby for critique, it was time to jump  in the car and race across town twenty-five minutes to my Thursday evening class. Its the only weekday I don’t dance at the Y, but so worth the drive! While I love my all of my classes, this one is so diverse that it has a different flavor – a spicy one! Our fierce Instructor, Patrice, brings all kinds of ethnic, Latin, hip hop, R&B, and even a little rap music to the mix, creating a true dance party! We’ve even formed a traditional Soul Train line the last few weeks! As cool as the variety of music is, the true harmony is found in women of all ages, colors, ethnicities, shapes and sizes coming together through the love of dance. What an awesome way to celebrate Zumba fitness and life each week! We usually have a man or two, but the only one ducked out early tonight, making it  literally “Ladies Night” and all about celebrating International Women’s Day!

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Fairfield Fitworks Zumba Fitness Crew with Patrice, in the black and silver Zumba shirt. Me, Pink Collar Coach, in the white T. So many lovely ladies!
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Oh, yes, it’s Ladies’ Night, and the feelin’s right, oh, yes, it’s Ladies’ Night – oh, what a night!                    – Kool & The Gang

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan, I can’t say enough about the contributions women have made to the world in every field. I could go on and on about them but will only share three I just learned of today: Windshield wipers, disposable coffee filters, and disposable diapers can all be attributed to the ingenuity of women! I for one and grateful for them all! And without women, let’s face it, the human race would cease to exist – whether you’ve ever given birth or not! As I posted earlier today, “We are fearfully and wonderfully made.” – Psalm 139:14. We dance in front of a mirror on Thursday nights, so I know it’s true. Because no matter our age, color, ethnicity, shape or size, we know how to move! So to put a positive spin on the negative lyrics in that old “Queen” song, it’s no wonder Pink Collar Girls make the world go ’round! And that, lovely lady, is reason enough to celebrate International Women’s Day!

I hope you’ve had a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose International Women’s Day! And if you’re inclined to celebrate an accomplishment of one of your own, please check out the Kindle or print copy of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj or http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9. Thank you!

 

 

Raising the Roof and Money at a Zumbathon

Raising the Roof and Money at a Zumbathon

It’s Day 270 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project (now Day 271 at post time) and it began and ended with dancing – leading a few routines this morning then raising the roof and money at a Zumbathon. This morning’s exhilarating energy left me drained, sore and wondering if I’d have enough in the tank for tonight’s event. That being the case, I thought I’d head home after lunch with my soul sister, Kibby. Instead we hit the Goodwill where I picked up a Royal Albert “The Lord’s Prayer” plate and a gorgeous little tin to house my paperclips. Pleased with these, I thought I was done. But Kibby knows my style and spied a gorgeous pair of black boots with everything going for them – my favorite Calvin Klein, never been worn and at only a half size too big but a perfect fit with socks. Score! This fab find gave me my second wind. I’m so glad it did because tonight’s Save a Heart event is held annually to honor a little guy “Super” Ben Messer. The proceeds are donated to a family in memory of a lost loved one. In addition to that, a brief hands only bystander CPR training is provided to help attendees learn how to save a life. What worthy reasons to raise the roof and money at a Zumbathon!

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Lakota Family YMCA Zumba Instructors.                                                                                              Special Ed Teacher, Pink Collar Coach, Rocket Scientist, Disney Cruise Sign Language Interpreter. 

Not only was this event a blessing to the above, it was for me. Tonight was the first time I led songs at one as a licensed Zumba instructor. The ladies I work with at our local Y have mentored me and made tonight special by ensuring I not only had a matching outfit but my first official Zumba Instructor shirt and matching pants. So generous and sweet! Seeing  a few of our Zumba students there – especially considering the drive –  was icing on the cake. Dancing and taking new pictures for our group fitness page was such fun too!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Zumba instructor who loves to dance, getting to  know these ladies a little better on the ride down and back was one of the best parts of the night. They all work incredibly hard in their day jobs as a special education teacher, rocket scientist and Disney Cruise sign language interpreter, then they pour incredible amounts of time and effort into choreographing, learning new routines, mentoring me – and teaching. To teach really is to touch a life forever. That includes teaching fitness and dance classes…The shirts we ordered for tonight declare “We’re All Superheros”. So impressed that these Pink Collar Savvy & Chic superheros take time out of all their other incredible feats to raise the roof and money for good causes at Zumbathons.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar  Coach

No Pain, No Gain (Jane Fonda Made the Phrase Popular in the Early 80s; It Still Motivates in 2018)

No Pain, No Gain (Jane Fonda Made the Phrase Popular in the Early 80s; It Still Motivates in 2018)

It’s Day 257 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m feeling the truth of  “No pain, no gain.” Though Jane Fonda first made the phrase popular when she used it during her series of aerobic workout videos filmed in the early eighties to refer to working out past the pain of muscle aches, it’s still prevalent in 2018 and definitely applies to Zumba. As an instructor, I’m intentional about modeling best practices for my class participants and frequently encourage them to “Crunch it!”, meaning their bellies. I’ve yet to have a male in my class, therefore, we Pink Collar Zumba enthusiasts are free to speak openly of our struggles. Carrying a little tummy fat, though supposedly good for warding off osteoporosis, is a common D or barrier – this one related to differences in our hormones and bodies. And I use “we” in earnest. Following my hysterectomy, I’ve developed a bit of the muffin top…So, without knowing it, I must have crunched with fervor Friday morning because I’ve been “feeling the burn” – another Jane Fondaism – ever since! Anything that requires use of my abdomen muscles kills! Even so, I’ll take it if that means positive results as in – No pain, no gain!

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If you’re anything like me, you’re following at least some of the Olympics. With my love of dance, music, art, fashion, and most things creative, figure skating is my sport. As much as I enjoy ice dance, pairs, women’s and men’s figure skating, I’m equally inspired by the athletes’ stories of commitment, determination, sacrifice, and true grit. More than many of us can ever comprehend, the Olympians, and the hopefuls who didn’t make it, have  lived “No pain, no gain” lives for the chance to compete on the Olympic stage. Nearly forty years later, the phrase encompass more that sports-related goals. While I wouldn’t dare suggest I’ve sacrificed as much as Olympic athletes have to make my dreams come true,  I can relate to a comment an athlete once made in response to someone’s suggestion that they’d had an easy ride to the Olympics. “Dude, I haven’t watched TV in years.” That was me when I was finishing my novel. There certainly weren’t years, but there were so many weekends when my children were with their father that I came home from work Friday night and barely came up for air until Monday morning when I picked them up. It was grueling and much of regular life passed me by. Today I have a published novel. There wouldn’t be the gain – for the athletes, for me, for any of us – without the pain.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Life Coach, I’m a natural cheerleader. Encouraging others is just what I do. I’ll even take it a step further and say it’s who I am. Encouraging myself? That requires a little more effort…When I look in the mirror or try on clothes, or when the fan at Zumba blows up my shirt, I’m mortified by my belly. Where did all of that come from? I ask myself. Then I summon up my inner cheerleader and encourage myself:  It came from pregnancies, some resulting in children; others in heartbreaking miscarriages. It came from a medically necessary hysterectomy after nearly twenty years of  suffering. It came from living forty-eight years. It came from bearing the beautiful badge of being a woman. With that positive shift in perspective, I’m able to channel Jane and crunch it even harder: No pain, no gain!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan, what’s your “No pain, no gain”? How can you encourage yourself to “crunch” on?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach