Death by BODYJAM

I’ve been a regular BODYJAM participant for the better part of two years, and up until recently I thought my cardio fitness was at par with an instructor’s. Well, now that I am a BODYJAM instructor myself, I find that it is a very different experience from teaching a mind-and-body program like BODYBALANCE, particularly with regard to the kind of cardiovascular and aerobic strain one can put her body through.

My First BODYJAM Class @ FF Metro East
I underwent training in Jam last month, but I taught my first solo class only last Thursday at Metro East. Lorna of TheBachelorGirl was in attendance there and she blogged a very positive reaction (as well as snapped several photos of my outfit for me). I’m glad she had a great time, because I did too. I also nearly died onstage.

Well, okay, I’m being melodramatic, but the pressure of remembering choreography (when to introduce which move) and having to push out words through my mouth while my mind is just screaming “I NEED MORE AIR!” at me is extreme. My main concern there was giving my participants the workout they came for. Never mind about showing off (as if I even could, in my state); my job was to deliver the experience safely and effectively — and get out alive. Hopefully, as I get used to the cardio load and find the levels I need to work at, I’ll be able to improve my skills in coaching and connecting with my participants so that they do feel successful in dancing.

My First BODYJAM Class @ FF Metro East
First things first, though. I do need to take care of myself before, during, and after teaching class. Beforehand, I need to hydrate and feed myself so I don’t run out of water and energy during the class. During the class, replace fluids lost (this is the one thing I did right the first time). After the class, have a light snack or a meal very soon so I don’t undergo hypoglycemia. Seriously, that first class took so much out of me that I had to take to bed. I only got up three hours later, still weak-kneed.

I’ve never felt anything like it and all I could do was push on because I needed to. Whoever said that instructing classes is easy has never had to teach one. Ü

Tags: , , ,

Travel-Weary? Not!

There’s a superstition that you’ll end up doing for the rest of the year what you’re doing on Chinese New Year.

LOL Luggage
Well, last Chinese New Year I was traveling in Laoag, and it seems like I’ve been traveling every other week since then. My family and I toured Macau (with a day trip to Hong Kong Disneyland) early this month, and last week I went on a road trip with my friends from church. I was supposed to be sent out on assignment to Subic for four non-consecutive days this week, but I begged off because I have some Fitness First-related stuff to attend.

Next week I’ll be off to Boracay. Hopefully I can get some R&R; there. I haven’t been able to relax on any of the trips because whole days are scheduled away, so this is my chance to waste some time, bum all day on the beach to get a tan, and then sleep all night (no parties for me!).

Traveling is one of my passions and even if I might be tired right now, I definitely wouldn’t stop at this point. I’d like to use my passport for my next excursion, though. 😉

BodyJam Jivin’

BODYJAM If you had told me back when I was an awkward teenager who got tangled in her own feet regularly that I would end up teaching dance fitness to people, I would have laughed and walked off (but not without stumbling on thin air).

BODYJAM Training: after Day 1's exertions
But after BODYJAM instructor training last February 22, 23, and 25, I now definitely know I can. Ü It was my second Les Mills program (after BODYBALANCE), and although they had their points of similarity in the structure of each training day, the feel was vastly different because of the natures of each program. During BODYBALANCE training I felt like I had been secluded on a mountaintop monastery where we contemplated the meaning of life; in BODYJAM training it felt like putting together a musical or dance concert.

BODYJAM Training: Yeeha!
There were 21 of us who underwent the module, most taking a Les Mills training module for the first time. For those of us who had been through it all before, BODYJAM training called out certain aspects in our personalities that we’d not really used in our other programs. It brought out the dance performer in us BODYBALANCE teachers who had to make the transition from being calm and centered to loud and “out there” in order to teach the program, and until now I still get the feedback that I can be too calm when I teach Jam. But I’m getting there.

I’m glad I had to wait more than a year to get my turn at this. If I had gone through this training in 2006 rather than now, I might not have been able to handle having to dance and cue simultaneously; I was still pretty new to group exercise. I think I also was better off going through Balance training and being an instructor for almost a year so that I could master how to coach class participants to success. Everything in its own time, and my time has come. Ü

Photos taken during my BODYJAM training can be found at my Multiply site.

Tags: , , Les Mills

La Vida Living Asia: Laoag City

Laoag with LAC: Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
Eight days out of Manila is no joke to me. The last time I was away for that long, I was 14 years old and it was a School of Tomorrow student convention. (I just realized that means it was ten years ago. Yikes.) Normally I stick close to home and it’s only been work or vacations that have taken me out of my comfort zone.

Thankfully, work doesn’t seem like work when you’re traveling and experiencing new things. It’s my second trip with Living Asia Channel and I was blessed with the assignment to go to Laoag City and include their yearly Pamulinawen Festival in a “Gone for the Weekend” storyline.

Laoag with LAC: Pagudpod
Since the show’s format requires someone host an episode only once, this time around I had to bring my own host. I lucked out with Miche (pronounced “my-SHEE”). We’re both instructors at Fitness First and really great friends, so we filled our idle time in chatter about each other’s personal lives and everyone else we work with. Ü

The main difference between this trip and the last one is that we always had a home base to come back to — Laoag City and our hotel, Java Hotel. So instead of roughing it, we were treated to great accommodations and didn’t have to live out of our suitcases. Every morning we’d be out and about by 7am shooting locations within and outside the city. Writing about each of our eight days takes too much work, so I guess I’ll have to pick out the most interesting parts.

Laoag with LAC: patron saint William the Hermit

The feast is in honor of the town’s patron saint. But I wonder, why the long face?

Laoag with LAC: Poque-Poque Pizza

Food is always great on a LAC trip. This is an eggplant pizza with a very, ahem, strange-sounding name.

Laoag with LAC: Judging the Street Pageantry

I got to judge the street pageantry, where six contingents tried to outdance and outperform each other for first place. I kept getting billed as “writer and host for Living Asia Channel.” Good times!

Laoag with LAC: windmill farm

I got freaked out about how massive these windmills were — and there were so many of them along a stretch of coastline, their giant blades all turning with the wind. I got a very strong “Lost” vibe.

Laoag with LAC: Offroading on Sand Dunes
As always, my favorite part is when I get to try extreme stuff. Miche and I got to go offroading on sand dunes with the members of the P.I.N.A.K.B.E.T. group (that’s short for Province of Ilocos Norte Adventurers Kampers Bikers Eco-tourism). These sand dunes are a natural formation stretching out from the coastline toward inland, and they’re the only such ones in the Philippines. The inclines were steep, the four-wheeler’s engine screamed murder, and every time we rode up and slid down a hill Miche and I hung on for dear life. At one point I was literally just hanging on using my arms because my legs were dangling out from under me. It was great.

It was an eventful trip, but what else can you expect being away for eight days? I’ll save my other stories for another time — going to the Sunday market, or discovering my allergy to ant eggs, or visiting Sarrat Church and the weird stuff that happened after. Or you could just check out the “Gone for the Weekend” episode when it airs. Ü

Visit my Multiply site for more photos of my trip to Laoag. And there’s more! Would you like to read about my first trip with LAC?

Tags: , , , ,