Last weekend I ventured on a road trip with the rest of my Group Fitness family to Raleigh, North Carolina for the Southeastern Collegiate Fitness Expo. NC State hosted the expo this year, and while I have no previous expo-experiences with which to compare, it was a successful, informative, fun and exhausting fitness event! A '10' in my book.
We arrived on Friday night and went to a local sports bar for dinner at happy hour. We took advantage of this time to get to know each other and appreciate some true "family" bonding. I guiltlessly enjoyed my chicken fajita wrap after over a half hour of waiting on poor service, but what I enjoyed more was the company shared and the information I learned about the truly interesting, amazing and inspiring co-workers I had yet to get to know prior to this trip.
The first morning we woke up bright and early, ate our free breakfast courtesy of the Holiday Inn, and jumped right into our first work-out. At precisely 8:00am all group fitness instructors from UMD, UNC, NC State, Virginia Tech, James Madison U, George Washington, VCU, U of Florida and Georgia State gathered in a large multipurpose room to participate in a seriously sweaty bootcamp session courtesy of a fitness professional, Greg Sims. 100 pushups, 200 squats kicks, and 300 lunges later (no exaggeration necessary), I was sweaty, sore, and ready to go home. But that was just the beginning of a 10 hour day loaded with fitness activities :)
OH yeah, and then a Sunday morning repeat.
Amongst my favorite classes:
- Les Mill's Body Pump Challenge
- Zumba Full Throttle (courtesy of our very own Zumba kick-ass instructor, Camille)
- Guts, Butts and Thighs
- Cardio Belly Dancing Beyond Borders
- Cycle Chisel
The most exciting part of the weekend occurred during the Demo Team presentations. Each school created a "Demo Team" of willing instructors to choreograph a 5-minute long presentation of their best exercises in accordance with Yoga, Muscle Works, Cardioboxing, Step, and Zumba/Hip-hop classes. UMD's theme: Jungle. We practiced at least once a week since last semester, and I think our practice definitely paid off. We looked awesomely threatening in our animal print leggings and the Lion King-meets-Zumba inspired music was a hit! (Video to be uploaded shortly ... I know you are all dying to get a look at our performance.)
Here's a picture of our last master class - a Yoga class presented by a professional Yogi. It was wonderfully relaxing and I was more than happy to stretch my tight muscles. Actually, I was just excited for a chance to lay down on my mat. I fell asleep during final relaxation. Full-on, REM sleep on my Vera Bradley yoga mat.
I finally worked the lactic acid out of my muscles by Tuesday evening, and can appreciate the experience now even more that I am no longer in pain. This weekend made me so thankful that I decided to become a fitness instructor; this experience alone added to not only my physical health but also to my mental health thanks to the motivation and inspiration radiated from my peers. I can't wait until next year's event at Virginia Tech!