Monday, October 22, 2012

Guest Post - Tamatha Mitchell

Well this weekend Nathan and I have been enjoying a weekend away at Leadership Retreat! We have been eating camp food and riding in boats and spending time with some amazing young people. But more about that later. 

Today I want to introduce you to someone who has been such an inspiration to me! I attended Tamatha's classes before we moved and loved every minute! She is an advocate for making exercise fun and she is doing a wonderful job at that.
Please let her know how much you enjoyed her post.

Hi everyone!  I was thrilled to be asked to contribute to Amanda's blog - my name is Tamatha Mitchell and I am the owner and instructor of RockStar Fitness, a group dance fitness class. I am going to "talk" to you about how to get motivated to become more fit - a problem I think nearly everyone struggles with!

Let me just give you a little background information about myself.  I have not always been athletic.  In fact, I still don't really see myself as "athletic" although I am in great physical condition.  In grade school I was always picked last for team sports.  I was horrible, and hated the competitiveness of the whole deal.  I was awkward and uncoordinated.  In high school I was a member of the drill team (why they called it "drill team", I'll never know....) and had a blast doing that.  I loved dancing.  I then tried taking ballet, but didn't feel very graceful.  In college I gained a little weight my first year so I decided maybe I should start jogging.  I visited the campus track a couple times, but I couldn't seem to stick with it.  It was boring, and hard, too.

A couple years later, I had taken a year off from college and moved to another state.  I didn't know many people, so I joined a gym and, cassette player and earphones in tow, started lifting weights and using a Stairmaster.  I discovered that when I added music to the exercise mix it felt better, I felt amped up, like I was dancing.  When my batteries ran out and I worked out without music, I was dead in the water.   After a couple months I saw wonderful results! I loved that I was in good shape and that my "sport" could be done all by myself, I was my own competitor.  In fact, I loved it so much that I went back to college, changed my major to Fitness Management, and became a personal trainer.

Unfortunately, I failed to realize that I couldn't train people with headphones in my ears and music blaring, alone in my own little world.  To train, you have to coach, encourage, PULL TEETH, sometimes, but it became clear that most people didn't really want to work out, they wanted me to make them want to work out.   They wanted results, but more than that, they wanted motivation to GET the results...and I didn't know how to do that when I was bored to tears counting to 10 over and over or watching them walk on the treadmill.

I realized something......for someone to be motivated to do anything they don't HAVE to do by law or by societal norms, it has to either be fun, or have quick, measurable results, or, for all but the most self-disciplined of us, it just doesn't get done.

When it comes to exercise, I don't know one single person who would rather be flabby than toned, but I know a lot of people who don't know how to bridge the gap.  In other words, they haven't found something that's fun enough to keep them coming back.  The problem is: what's fun for you may not be fun for me.  When I see people jogging on the side of the road I literally feel sorry for them, because I know if that were me I'd be miserable.  But they might just be having fun, who knows.  So you have to ask yourself:  what am I doing when, afterwards, I say, "Wow, that was fun!"  The answer may be "When I'm with my friends", or, "When I'm outdoors", or "When I play a game and win", or "When I go out and dance", or "When I'm creating art, like music or writing".......(The answer "When I'm eating" is not allowed, sorry.)  The answer to this answer will give you clues to what type of workout will be best for you. 

No matter what you decide on - hiking, group exercise, sports, gardening - the hardest part is getting in the routine of just doing it.  That's when it helps to have an accountability partner, or a journal.  The good thing about what I do (group exercise) is that I get to know my students by name and I notice when they start slacking off.  If you're the type that likes to make lists and organize, you should try logging your exercise sessions; learn to take your heart rate; find a couple self-assessments that you can do to measure increases in strength and endurance.

Joining a gym is an obvious option, but not a perfect fit for everybody.  However, you don't need a gym to get a gym-like workout.  You can get the same results at home and you don't even need to have a bunch of equipment.  For a fraction of the cost, you can hire a trainer to come over, take a look at your space and talk to you about your goals and set you up on a program that you can do right there, using things you already have, like steps, banisters, walls, backpacks, resistance bands, etc.   Have the trainer come back in six or eight weeks to assess your progress and change your program.  If time is an issue for you, don't worry.  A good trainer (like me :-)) can design a program that you can do in 20 minutes - and still get results.

The absolute hardest thing about starting any kind of exercise regimen is just that......starting!  Don't wait to "feel motivated".  That feeling comes by doing.  Plan it out, set a date, and, whether or not you feel like it, DO IT.  When you start to see and feel all the great benefits that come from working out on a regular basis, THAT is when you will feel motivated.

If you're like me, and find most exercise boring, I encourage you to try my class!  I do dance fitness combined with strength training - and it's never the same class twice!  And because it's fun for ME, you have fun, too!  To learn more about RockStar Fitness and get information on class schedules and prices, go to my website: , or, you can give me a call at 573-552-6639.  I will be happy to answer your questions and help you find a workout that works and is right - for YOU!

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