Oh Barbara!

Barbara loves this song. Every time it comes on, she begins to sing it loud and clear for all of us to hear. Barbara has pizzaz; she has spunk. Barbara is my step instructor. She also happens to be, I would estimate, in her mid-seventies. She rocks my world and I write this post with so much admiration and respect.

I have been taking Barbara’s step classes for a few years now. I began when I got engaged because I was on a mission to lose weight and fit into that white dress. I credit her and my Zumba instructor, Wil, for getting me into shape and keeping me there.  She teaches step at various LA gyms and clearly loves doing it. She does it 7 days a week! I know, I still can’t believe it, but it is true. I am assuming she is retired, but knowing Barbara I may be wrong about that. She inspires me to get up at 7:00 in the morning on the weekends. Now, that is something worth blogging about!

What I love about Barbara is her zest for life. It’s contagious and gets us all there early morning to “step” with her. She plays contemporary Top 40 and pop music and has most of her songs memorized. She has a passion for ABBA (as do I) and she even has a whole remix ABBA CD. Love it!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFrGuyw1V8s]

I take Step class to be a healthy me. My fluctuating weight has been a constant in my life and I struggle with it daily. Even though I am now at an ideal weight, I fear gaining weight all the time. I was at my “scary” weight years ago when I was in a dysfunctional relationship. I should have read the signs – unhealthy body = unhealthy relationship. However, I did not let the fear paralyze me. With lots of cardio and nutritional eating, I slowly lost the pounds. Now, I get up and step or I get up and dance.  I also monitor my portions and take responsibility for everything that goes into my mouth. In other words, I am always being proactive about my body.

Barbara makes my weekend mornings so much fun. She gets so much joy from seeing us sweat. I still can’t get over how in shape she is! She is older than everybody in the class and some of us struggle to keep up with her energy. Barbara burns the most calories of all of us because she has to verbalize all of the steps we need to take….”repeater, power V, mambo, L step, revolve, scissor, criss-cross, ricochet etc.” She commands our attention and you better not interrupt her class or you will see the wrath of Barbara! There have been a few times when some people have come into the aerobics room to do their own exercises and she has kicked them all out, as politely as possible but still with authority. She is very protective of our time and of hers. Total respect for that.

I love to see women taking control of their lives and being positive role models for all of us. What I love is having this class as a support system of women (and an occasional guy) for healthy living.  We are all of varying shapes and sizes and of different ages, but we all are dedicated to our wellness. If you have the same weight struggles as I do, I suggest finding what you love doing and a support group that enjoys your same interests. There is power in numbers!

Barbara, you are our “dancing queen” and when I grow up I want to be just like you.