Midway through my first semester of junior year, the “I’m going to have to really adult soon” realization hit me hard. Health and wellness have always been such a huge part of my life. To me, your health is the one thing that no human is exempt from – we all have a body that we must treat with respect and care for in order to happily survive. I didn’t realize how passionately I felt about the health world until a few choice interactions and several major changes caused me to wind up in the Kinesiology Department here at UT pursuing a degree in Health Promotion. Since making that change, I can honestly say that I have never felt more confident that this is the field that I was born to be in.
One of my “far away future dream land” goals that I have had for the past 5 years is to become a certified group fitness instructor. I had grown up taking spin classes with my parents at our local YMCA and continued loving group exercise at the University’s Rec Center when I got to college. I always admired the instructors and appreciated all of their hard work and energy that they put into every class. The way they commanded and lit up the room motivated me in ways that I could never have on my own. They always managed to make my workout the highlight of my day, and I knew that someday I wanted to be that person making a positive impact on someone’s health journey too.
Even though it had always been such a big aspiration of mine to get certified, I avoided going through the process like the plague itself. I was absolutely terrified of it. Mainly I was afraid that I would royally suck at instructing and would never get to see my goal come to fruition. Luckily, I have some of the most supportive, sweet, and ambitious humans around me who finally inspired me to bite the bullet and start pursuing this crazy instructor thing. The past few months have been an absolute whirlwind. I ended up going through spin instructor training at a gym that I have been working at and eventually got hired to teach spin there twice a week! To this day, it is still so scary and surreal to be up on a bike on a stage with a colorful spotlight shining on you while you try and spin for 50 minutes while talking into a microphone and still trying to look like a pleasant human at the end of it. Each week strapping on the instructor headset feels like I’m a 5-year-old little girl again trying on my mom’s high heels. People ask me how I do it, and honestly I just laugh because I have absolutely no clue – all I know is that the love and support that I have received from all of my sisters has honestly been my saving grace throughout this entire process.
I have not taught a single class that has not had at least one Kappa Delta on a bike in front of me. My first month of teaching, of the 32 bikes in the class, easily at least 15+ of them has had a beautiful KD lady sitting on it – even by some of our wonderful Sigma Epsilon alums. After every class, I am greeted with a nice big sweaty hug from each and every one of them. They’re the ones who encouraged me daily from the start. They came and snuggled with me when I was too dead from spinning for 3+ hours every day during training and didn’t want to leave my bed. They make fun of my love of kale and beet juice, but will then buy me a box of vegan cookies to congratulate me on a great class. They stalk Spotify and send me song suggestions that are “approximately 72 RPMs and at least 4 minutes and 30 seconds long” when I can’t find music for a round of tabata. They don’t disown me when I make them listen to my new favorite warm up song and proceed to count out and cue all of the choreography like I’m full out teaching a class. Every time I walk into the house, someone asks me about how teaching is going and excitedly tells me that they’re signing up for my next class. I don’t mean to get too sappy, but these girls are the greatest support system, source of encouragement, and family anyone could ever hope for. Words can’t express how thankful I am for each and every one of them.
When I have my “oh crap, I’m about to have to really adult soon” panics, it’s no longer about what I want to do with my life. Now the only thing about graduation that makes me sad is thinking about leaving this school and not seeing my sweet sisters on a daily basis. Assimilating myself into the normal, adult section of society doesn’t seem quite so bad because I know that I will forever have these KD loons on my side every step of the way!
About the Author:
Rachel is a junior Health Promotion major and serves as Kappa Delta’s Health and Wellness Officer. When she’s not juicing beets in the kitchen, you can find her dropping it to some beats on the dance floor.