Back during the New Year’s Resolution posting craze, I mentioned that one of my big focuses for 2011 was to become a Zumba instructor. To get this rolling, I need to get certified as a group fitness instructor.
Getting certified seems to be a daunting task. First of all, there are a few associations that certify, and there’s really no definitive information out there as to why you should choose one over the other. Generally, most gyms will accept anything that is considered to be well known, like ACE or AFAA. Second, this is expensive. There are some cheaper options, but ultimately, you’re buying textbooks and paying to take a test.
After much deliberation, I settled on the ACE exam. In order to motivate myself, I scheduled the exam for May 7, which seems like it’s a long way off, but it isn’t.
The material—a 400+ page textbook—is far more challenging that I expected. There are a wide-range of group fitness instructors out there, so I guess I wrongly assumed that the test, while maybe not “easy” per say, would be pretty manageable. I was dead wrong. Without a background in anatomy, physiology, or kinesiology, I’m completely at square one. Chapter 1 jumps right into explaining the bioenergetics of exercise and other seemingly nonsensical words and whatnot.
It. Is. Hard.
And I’m struggling to get through more than five pages a day (though I have yet to pass out on my book, which happened a lot in graduate school). And I’ve gone a little overboard highlighting the pages, but I don’t know enough to know what’s important and what’s not!
Oh the humanity.
Anyway, I’m hoping that once I’m past the first few chapters—Exercise Physiology; Fundamentals of Anatomy; and Fundamentals of Applied Kinesiology—and into the less rigorous sounding chapters—Group Exercise Program Design; Adherence and Motivation—I will move through the material a bit more quickly.
For whatever reason, I sometimes struggle to stay motivated on “pet projects.” Becoming a group fitness instructor is an idea I entertained for a long time—off and on—just because it seemed fun, but I never really found a style of class that I really wanted to teach. And then I took a Zumba class, and I knew, if I was going to instruct, this is the type of class (or really, I’d probably be happy in any dance-based class) I would want. I’ve taken the first step and am certified by Zumba. I’ve taken the second step and sat through my four hour CPR and AED training. This is final piece of the puzzle I need to even be considered hire-able by a gym.
I really, really want this. I see this as another step on the path toward leading the life that I have always wanted to lead. And I’m going to do it.