“Vision is not enough, it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps. We must step up the stairs.”-Vaclav Havel
It’s hard to believe nearly a year has passed since becoming a part of the Elite community. Joining Elite has given me the opportunity to challenge my limits and grow stronger both physically and mentally. Not to mention, I have also shrunk by 16lbs, but what has surprised me the most since joining Elite is something that has just recently snuck up on me out of nowhere. Through the strength of others here, both peers and instructors alike, I have become a leader.
This is a new thing for me. In many ways, I am as extroverted as they come, a poster child for my astrological birth sign, Leo. However, one of my greatest fears has always been failure, and as a result I often hold in my reins and allow others, whom I believe are stronger and more skilled, take the lead. This especially holds true in the group exercise classes that I have attended here at Elite. Whether it’s a HIIT class at Mequon, or a Zumba class at River Glen, I am in constant awe of the instructors who manage to jump, bend, run, and rally their team day in and day out. They are leaders in every way, mentally, physically, and at times emotionally. But what happens when these leaders that we depend on and look up to every day need to stop and take a step back for themselves? Who steps in?
Until recently, I’ve labeled myself as the “new girl” in the group exercise classes that I frequent. And while I am certainly not as seasoned as some of my peers who have been devoutly attending these classes for years, I’ve come to the realization that the new girl nametag that I had given myself was merely a crutch that I used to justify following, rather than forging my place in the group. Of course there are times when an instructor mixes things up and throws a curveball, and all of a sudden, my security blanket of confidence that I have built up over time is snatched from me right when I am getting comfortable. (I now know that is the mark of a great instructor.) Just as we trust our instructors to lead and motivate us through a tough workout, the most rewarding relationships develop when an instructor can count on her class to step-up and lead each other in the more challenging moments of a class. It’s that symbiotic relationship of trust and teamwork that transforms a class into something more than just following choreographed steps.
I invite each and every one of you to try out a group exercise class if you haven’t already. There’s something for every ability and interest. And for those of you who have found your class; I challenge you to think outside your own energy, and embrace the energy around you. Work harder for that person next to you who is moving slower today. Work harder for your instructor who was up until 1a.m. mixing the perfect soundtrack. Work harder for the benefit of others around you, and I guarantee you’ll feel the energy move in a way you haven’t before in a class.
Writer, marketer and mom, Susan Madden, has a background working with the Fine Arts in Dallas, TX and Milwaukee, WI. Relatively new to the fitness industry, she enjoys sharing her experiences about the craziness that is parenting and wellness from a novice perspective. She is a native of Whitefish Bay, WI and now resides in Mequon, WI with her husband Mike and children, Samantha and Blake.