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And now for the podcast...
You know when you have friends that are so much cooler than you and total badasses? I’m so lucky to have friends like that. One of them is Marcy Kerr. We met when I was teaching yoga at a university and she was earning her masters degree in kinesiology. She earned an BS and MS in Kinesiology from IU in 2012 and 2014, respectively, and she uses those degrees everyday in planning workouts and routines for the students of her studio Chrome Fitness (started in 2014). Chrome fitness is a pole dancing studio that also offers dance classes, yoga, boot-camp and Zumba. Marcy also holds many certifications including Liquid Motion 1.0 (2017) and 2.0 (2019), Stretching and Flexibility from Spin City (2018), Pole Instructor Certification from Discoveries Dance since (2012), and has been Zumba certified since 2010.
If you’ve ever thought that there should be a fitness studio that was like a family - well that’s what Marcy has created. A place where everyone feels supported, loved, valued, and appreciated. A place without judgement. I value Marcy not only as a fitness instructor, but as a business woman who had a vision and created it. One of my favorite ways she is a leader in her field (and there are many, mostly having to do with degrees, certifications), is how she values and treats her employees. So often in the fitness industry, fitness instructors are treated as an afterthought or an interchangeable piece in the fitness machine. Not only does she pay her fitness instructors well, she also helps to train them and is invested in their success. As a business owner, she consciously creates an environment that inspires success and encourages women to be the best version of themselves. Also, she can do the splits.
Basically, she's a serious athlete, inspirational leader, motivational instructor, and a successful business woman.
Is this podcast episode a love letter to one of my favorite people? Kinda. But you also get to learn some cool stuff:
Ideally, fitness instructors and coaches support and nourish you. They don't shame or guilt or judge. Their motivations are all based in you and what you want and achieving your goals. Adding these kinds of instructors and coaches (and humans in general) to your team will help you to build sustainable lasting health in your life. Marcy exemplifies this mindset and it leaks into every class, every instructor, and every part of her business. #lifegoals
Marcy: "I want to be there for my students, I want to be there for my instructors... that's really what drives me is, is knowing that I'm an integral part of my students and my staff day that they know that I am there for them, they can count on me, and they're going to get their workout in because you know, I will always be there for them. And that's something that they can look forward to. So I think that that's what drives me is just being there for people as a reliable person or source throughout the day when everything else can be crazy. They know that I'm going to be there for them."
Marcy: "That's, that's what I want to help people do. And, you know, my degree is in kinesiology, I have my masters. And so I got involved in teaching fitness classes my freshman year. And it's just a really great experience to work with people and have them put their trust in you. And maybe have, like I said, they come in on their good days, they come in on their bad days, and to trust someone to show up on your bad day and know that you might not be that great. And you might fail a little bit, but to put trust in somebody that they're still going to accept you and encourage you no matter what."
Marcy: "I think it's important to realize that your fitness level can be fluid, but it is something that you should be aware of to make a conscious effort to get activity in. And sometimes it is truly just activity. Sometimes it's just a walk or something, something it's not always going to be a super intense, you know, bootcamp class, but movement is so good for your body, and it's important that we continue To move. And it's also important that we appreciate what we can do right now because nothing is guaranteed. And it's it's rough to think about, but you know, the use of your hands or your arms or your legs is not guaranteed for life. So you need to take advantage when you can move right now."
Marcy: "Well, my biggest thing that I do for me is I have two dogs. One we've just had about maybe two months now the other one is five years old. I walk them every single morning. And that is huge for me. I really thrive on being outdoors. being outdoors safely so with your sunscreen in your head and your sleeves on to protect your skin. But getting that outdoors time is huge to me and be because sometimes my schedule isn't great. I work evenings I work seven days a week, I work weekends, but I don't usually work in the morning. And so I can wait until eight o'clock in the winter when the sun comes out and then I can go for a walk or I can choose to walk at noon when it's a little bit warmer. And you know, I have that flexibility to get outdoors even when it's cold. Just being outside is still really really good for you. But so I get the outdoors and that is something that makes me feel really happy. It brightens me up..."
If you've never pole danced before, you are missing out. It's fun. You get to be creative. And it's an insane workout that builds strength and body confidence. I've been lucky enough to do several pole classes with Marcy at her studio and it always kicked my ass (in a good way). I always left feeling stronger and more confident and excited that I had achieved so much in one class. I'm sure there are A LOT of misconceptions and misperceptions about pole dancing - whatever you thought you knew, I want you to think "strong athletes and dancers." I once ran a marathon. Working on my first pole dancing routine was just as hard. And just as rewarding when I finished it.
Marcy: "I think that the self confidence is something really, really huge because to the point of what we were talking about, About earlier is that we're different every day. And so most of the time, you can come in to your pole class, and you can still do things. Even if you didn't have a great day, you're not feeling your best there, you can still do things and you can learn to appreciate your body that maybe your body isn't the way you want it right now, or maybe you're not at the wage you want or whatever. But your body is still capable of doing things and doing really cool things. And so I think it teaches you to be appreciative of your body, how it is that day. And we can always change it, but it can still do really cool things right now. And as humans, we really like instant gratification. So a lot of times when you come into the poll class, you will learn something new. And so it does provide that instant gratification of learning something new and accomplishing it and being able to you know why? Got a class and what you think, wow, I just held myself up on a pole or I just did this really cool spinner that looked great."
Marcy: "And as you progress more into pole, not all of the moves are something that you can just learn in one day, but you will at least still see the progress. Because we are moving our body in such different ways than we've never moved before. That you do get really big leaps and bounds from one practice session to the next as far as improvement goes. Just as your brain is learning to communicate to your muscles and your your muscles are learning what they can do, you're going to have big improvement. So even if you are working on the same trick from practice to practice, you're going to see big improvements in it. And so you still do get that instant gratification in addition
To that body confidence... we like to encourage each other in class and when someone gets a move, you know, the whole class is cheering for you and who doesn't love that appreciation?"
Ellen: "Yeah, and that's one of the things I always loved about going to your studio was that not only were was there literally everybody tight from super skinny to bigger women, like everybody's in there, and they're all on your team. They all want you to do well. And that like there was never any judgment, you would think that something like pole dancing, there would be so much judgment for perfection and I never once saw that. I mean, you have so many moms with all these c section scars and they are just out there."
1. Give compliments. Express appreciation.
2. Bonus challenge: See if you can accept compliments.
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