I have recently become very close to a student in one of my fitness classes. I had noticed Sam as a regular in classes before, but as I have blogged about before, I?m quite introverted when it comes to striking up a new conversation?and have definitely come to recognize that my reticence in meeting new people oft leads them to think of me as mean or standoff-ish. Trust me, I know this and I?m working really hard on this (I had a breakthrough recently and I?ll blog about that in a bit!). But anyhow, what changed things was Sam taking the initiative and adding me as her facebook friend. Ah, the virtual world. In getting to know Sam online, I?ve really come to admire her ability to balance her academics with her passion for fitness. So much so in fact, that a fellow instructor and I are encouraging her to take the next step for herself?certification as a fitness instructor. Sam told us that she?s shy and would be worried about being engaging with others?and thankfully, I could share my own trepidations in this regard because no matter how well you might know rules of safety and your choreography, this to me seems to not come as easily given it?s ?hard? to learn how to become more extroverted. What we did say, though, was that being an instructor allowed us to put on our actor face and come out of our introverted selves. It?s amazing how much being an instructor has taught me about being comfortable in my own skin. I assure you, friends, I?m far from being comfortable?but I am MORE comfortable than I ever was before. There was a point in my life when talking to strangers was painful but in creating a community for myself at the gym by being an instructor has given me more confidence and strength in knowing what I can accomplish. For Sam, I am hoping for the similar finding?not that she needs it necessarily because she?s already super awesome as is?but that it?d be such an opportunity for her to realize how much she can still achieve and what a great model she could be for others! -June
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