raccoon eyes

by MrsFatass on July 6, 2011

Well, I did it. I survived teaching my first class. And I only lost one student along the way! I think I’m happy with that. Wanna hear about it?

Okay, after spending a large portion of the weekend going over choreography on my deck (now THERE’S a visual for you and all my neighbors – a chubby chick in a bikini oiled up and sweaty practicing Zumba in the garden. Oh boy.) Tuesday finally arrived, and I woke with a knot in my belly and butterflies in my chest.

I had a plan for the morning that included breakfast and a shower. Then I had primping to do. You remember that photo I posted of my trainer? Or, have you ever watched a Zumba video? No? Well. Let’s just say that in order to emulate those instructors, there is glitter involved. Glitter and eyelashes and big hair. And while that’s not the entire reason I wanted to become an instructor, it was definitely part of it.

I have to admit, I don’t actually own any glitter eyeshadow (GASP!) but I felt okay substituting some that shimmers until I can make the glitter happen. And I can boof out my hair with the best of them. I also wore a tank that said Zumba




And also? My kickass new New Balance trainers.

Okay. So. Breakfast on board, hair boofed, and all primped, I took some time to go over a couple of pieces of choreography, and lo and behold it’s a half hour before class and already I’m a sweaty mess. Which makes me sweat. I mean, who wants a chubby instructor who’s drippy before class even starts?!

But, I tell myself not to think about that now, because it was time to go. I loaded the kids in the car and drove to the Y, got them signed in, and headed to my room. I left the lights off, turned the fans on, and spent a couple of minutes reading a few special go get ‘em messages on my phone.


Then people started coming in.

This was technically supposed to be my ‘evaluation’ class, where the program director watched me to make sure I was good at my job. But? She didn’t show. And the regular instructor for the class knew nothing of it being my evaluation. So there I stand in eyeshadow and boofed hair wearing a neon shirt that says INSTRUCTOR and lo and behold, the only 2 people who thought I was there to teach were me and Mrs. Tim, who is normally a bendy yoga person but made an appearance in Zumba to lend me much needed moral support.

I felt my moxie heading out the door, and it was on the tip of my tongue to just say “Never mind. I’ll slink back to my corner and just be a student today, and try again later,”

But then I thought about all of you. All of your tweets and comments and messages. And I took a breath and said “Well, do you think we could just go ahead and do this? Even if I have to do it again later, I’d really love some feedback from you.”

And there you have it. I didn’t chicken out.

So, this lovely teacher showed me how to use the stereo equipment and how to sign the class sheet and she said “you’ll do great” and she was just so gosh darned sweet about the whole thing.

Noon came. I got in front of the class. I smiled. I said a few words. I made a joke. People smiled back at me. I took a deep breath and started the music. Two ladies in the back remarked quietly to each other that it was loud, and one of them slipped out of the room and came back stuffing her ears with cotton or something. And the other one left halfway through the class, but she left the message with somebody else that it had nothing to do with me or my loud music, she usually leaves halfway through because she does a step class first, and somebody else said “I’m not used to the teacher facing us!” and you know what? It was all okay! I didn’t freak out, and I didn’t run screaming from the room in panic. There were lots of smiles and tons of sweat and a few woo-hoos and several people said they loved this song or that one. According to my HRM we had a 750 calorie burn, so I think I gave them a decent workout. When we got to the end of the stretch took our big class-is-over inhale together and I realized we’d all made it through, well, I was just happy.

And then people clapped and some came up and introduced themselves and lots of people said I did great and the instructor that watched me said that she could see I worked hard to incorporate all the things we learned at training and that it looked like I’d been doing that for a long time.

So, we high fived and Mrs. Tim hugged me and I put the room back together and grabbed my stuff.

And then I looked at myself in the mirror. I still had boofed hair and shimmery eye shadow. But I also had two black raccoon eyes.

Note to self: Next time wear waterproof mascara.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Coco July 6, 2011 at 9:56 am

Wow! I think I wold have gone the “never mind” route. You ROCK!


A Girl Who Loves Cupcakes July 6, 2011 at 9:57 am

I so wish I could of been there! If you are teaching again and I can make it, I am so there, girl! I bet you did awesome!! I wouldn’t worry about losing students, in my experience with classes, people come and go as they please. Sometimes, I only feel like doing half the class and then go do something else. I would love to see some of your choreography! We need a Zumba party!



Grace @ Healthy Dreaming July 6, 2011 at 9:59 am

🙂 I bet you did wonderfully! Great job on your first class. I’ve never taken a Zumba class before but I’ve ALWAYS wanted to. It looks like so much fun. 750 calories burned is GREAT!


Amy July 6, 2011 at 10:06 am

YOU ROCK!! Go you!!


Donna July 6, 2011 at 10:08 am

SO PROUD OF YOU!!! Know that years from now, wherever you are on your journey, you will look back on this day and cherish it. What a huge accomplishment, Sue. Not just for your fitness, but for your confidence. Sending you lots of love from Ida-ho.



Scrumpy July 6, 2011 at 10:15 am

You are just the kind of fitness instructor I would want. Freakin’ love that you’re doing this.


jeep.jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:16 am

Great Job Sue!!!
You stepped across the abyss, and you showed them all who’s boss!

I’m very proud of you! 🙂


Becky July 6, 2011 at 11:34 am

So awesome!


Christie Inge July 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm

So proud of you, Sue!


JourneyBeyondSurvival July 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Congrats! You are amazing. I’m so glad the blog is working again, and that everything is going smoothly. Well. As smoothly as such things go.

I truly do hate dancing. It’s not something that would change with trying. Believe me, I’ve tried because even before I had a dancing husband my friends tried to get me to dance to every single fast song at the school ‘stomps’. I hate dancing.

This is why I truly do admire you. And also why you should so deeply appreciate me saying I would totally do that class.



Laurie July 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I got a little teary reading this, and not because of the black eyes, because you didn’t slink in the corner, because YOU DID IT.


Bitchilla July 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Nice work! I bet you do a really fun class.


Fat Daddy July 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Man that’s awesome! I’m glad you did it. I knew you would. You don’t buy Zumba Instructor shirts to stand in the back of the room by the old ladies with cotton in their ears. I’m all about chciks getting all dolled up to work out. There’s something wonderfully old school and cave-manish about it. Can you work high heels into it to?


Lindsey July 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Congrats! I’ve never done Zumba but I’d definitely take your class!


Deb Alvarado July 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm

You freaking rock star! Do you know how gutsy you are? Seriously, I am in awe! I so wish I could take your class. Way to go!


Kerri O July 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm

You. Are a rock star. I’m finding my Zumba love. Slowly. At home. But if I could go to a class taught by you?! I’d be there every class. 😉


Angie July 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Well Done you!
Congratulations on teaching your first class, you’re so brave I could never do that.
They will all be easier from on!


Annalisa July 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Sorry, but I had to laugh. So proud of you. Still jealous! Next time I’m in Michigan…


merri July 6, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Ive never seen a zumba teacher wear glitter…mine wears regular gym clothes and if she has makeup on, it’s the kind that looks like no makeup. Maybe she had some but sweated it off. All I’ve ever seen is lipstick. That’s a great zumba shirt though! My teachers always face me. It’s better that way, because you get to see a real person, not just a butt. Wow 750! I doubt anyone burns that much in my zumba class! My kickboxing, I’ve been told, yes, but that’s a bunch of kicking, punching, etc. you must do a great class! Mine’s mostly just sedate dancing, which is fun, and gets me sorta warmed up for my bodypump weight class after it, but that’s about it. I only break a sweat if the room is already hot from the sun coming in the window. Wish I had YOUR CLASS! Congrats!! 


Nicole July 6, 2011 at 6:56 pm

That is awesome. I just rented Zumba for the Wii.There is a Zumba class up the street from me. I thought I would try it out first. I know people that swear by it.


Fabulous Ego July 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm

That is wicked WICKED wicked awesome. Ive yet to join {ZUMBA} because I am too chicken shit. Any obvious reasons why I should just suck it up and go????

-Miss Felicity


natalie @ http://healthybalancingact.blogspot.com/ July 7, 2011 at 12:55 am

well done! i am so so so happy that you have followed your dreams and are doing something you love although it scares you. your a very inspiring person i hope you recognise that!


chris July 7, 2011 at 1:33 am

lol…I like the liquid liner because it doesn’t budge at all! I have always worn eyeliner to the gym..I have gotten so used to it my eyes look naked without it. lol. congratulations zumba instructor..I know with your social anxiety this was a huge hurdle and you took it in stride. Look how far you have come in the last few years..It’s amazing.


Esre July 7, 2011 at 2:29 am

Well done for not chickening out, I’d have been heading straight for the back of the classroom! Sounds like you had an amazing time, I might have to see what the Wii Zumba is like as there aren’t any classes I can make and you make it sound like a real blast.


LyndawithaY July 8, 2011 at 9:19 am

I love that you got over your fears & anxieties; I love that you challenged yourself. I love that you not only rocked the classes, but became a teacher. A teacher with the t-shirt and the gorgeous pouffy hair. I’ve been thinking about this post for days. (I know, my days are kind of quiet now.) I must insist that you get yourself to Sephora, STAT. Glittery eye shadow everywhere. I just bought myself some Lorac sparkly eye shadow. Anyway, this post is exactly what the Healthy Living journey is about. Love your blog.


MMM/Fbbmomma (Micah) July 11, 2011 at 12:29 am

I AM SOOO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!! That is awesome! I wish I could have been there to Zumba with you! I have been on my computer more off than on the last few weeks, but have been wondering how your certification went. AND YOU DID IT! AWESOME!!!! YAY!!!


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