Fitness with Lianne
Would you be able to take a Zumba class for the garrison, for COs PT? Erm yes!
I jump at the chance for ANY opportunity to teach Zumba to big crowds. The most I’ve ever taught before was approx 150-200 soldiers at my Dads old work. There was absolutely no picture or video evidence of this though which I am gutted about because my Dad was fully involved in strutting his stuff amongst the soldiers. It was an awesome, fun morning! I love to do charity events, I love to teach it end of! Zumba is one of those things that splits opinion. If you like it, you LOVE it... if you don’t like it, you really really don’t like it! BUT before you make your mind up you need to attend a huge class/an event etc because the atmosphere is amazing.
I had just had Georgie and moved to Colchester when I decided to finally undergo my Zumba training. I wanted to build up a business for myself teaching classes and Zumba was where the numbers were. Apprehensively I attended the training, I learned my songs and set up my first class. It took me around a year to develop my own style. I was sticking to the book, the CDs I was being sent and teaching mainly Latin stuff which I really don’t actually like. Gradually I came to the realisation that I must must must teach what I like. People attending pick up on my vibes, I was teaching it a lot and I needed to come across as motivating and sassy as I could. This was the turning point. From then on my Zumba classes were bouncing and I bloody loved teaching it. It was never ever a chore!
Over the years I’ve done a number of charity events, hen dos, warm ups for races, demos and continued teaching in person and more recently online. I teach Zumba amongst many other styles of fitness classes.
Before I took the course I’ll sadly admit I looked down my nose at Zumba. I was a runner, loved HIIT, cardio and a few weights and honestly thought Zumba was just dancing, prancing and not much of a workout.
Oh how I was wrong 😂 Zumba is the class that for me burns the most calories and the one I leave absolutely exhausted but BUZZING too. Because of the numbers of attendees it is a massive buzz teaching it. People pick up on the happy vibes almost immediately and it just becomes the most fun and tough session. You bounce about, wiggle your butt, laugh and whoop your way through. Before you know it you’ve burned about 500 calories in a 45 min session and not even realised it’s been 45mins!
With my songs I make sure there’s some silly stuff and fitness stuff all beautifully mixed up. I like to get everyone involved- some shouting, some clapping. I also like to get people moving- as much as possible! That may include running backwards and forwards, jumping to the side, jumping forward, wiggling back, using the 4 walls for something, getting into a circle... I try get in as much as I can.
Back to Zumba for the garrison. I’m told there could be 500 people attending... woah! Ok... that’s fine. But then I also know lots of people are on holiday the day before so I’m thinking maybe half that number.
As the day edges closer, realisation starts kicking in. Ok, if there’s that many people I need to make these songs simple. I want as little confusion as possible. I sort out my playlist and throw in a Xmas song for the end (All I want for Christmas). I hear it’s fancy dress... I had ordered Xmas leggings anyway for my last Xmas themed Zumba so have those and a Santa hat to wear. One other thing was that the music system isn’t compatible with my iPhone 8, so I make sure my playlist is on my old phone to connect up. Sorted.
Two nights before I teach my Xmas Zumba for the ladies and it goes really well. I have about 15 there for the last Zumba of the year. Atmosphere was fun and as normal I was knackered at the end! There’s a couple songs I add into the playlist from this. One song is a hip thruster...hilarious getting 200/300 people to do that at the same time! And my cool down.....
The day of my Xmas Zumba class we heard “Santa Baby” on the radio on the way home from a pool day at the Empire. I decided then and there I would do it that night for a little cool down, for a laugh... after the cool down everyone asked if I would do that Friday morning for the garrison session. Noooooo way! I said. But to risqué to be strutting to that in front of that many men..... Unless you come up with me....ok then 😵 they agree to come...!
The night before the garrison Zumba I had a late one at a Xmas party. I left my old phone on charge and my clothes ready for the morning (5.30am alarm). When I got in the phone was nowhere to be seen. I hunted for it everywhere then clicked that it would be Georgie...! It was 1030pm at the point. She was completely passed out, I tried waking her, she half woke, completely vacant. Arghhhh. I lifted her up to try wake her then saw the phone. Under her pillow with 5% battery! Not the type of panic I needed in the morning so bloody good job I noticed now! Phone on charge, to bed, dreaming of things going wrong in the class and dreaming I slept through the alarm...!
I didn’t sleep through the alarm. I shot up though when it went off. Quickly got dressed and attempted to down some water to hydrate. I had a couple festive drinks the night before (only two!) so was dehydrated from those and the fact I didn’t drink much water the day before. The night before 5 friends had promised me they would be there this morning, 4 of whom were getting in my car. I’ve a thing about lateness. They know this. So when I turned up 5 minutes earlier than I said they laugh about it. At this point I’m a little nervous, hence being early..!
As we pass camp a trail of cars turns in just after us. Wow that’s a lot of cars. Yes, this PT session is scale A...as in the WHOLE garrison must attend. Ok. I’m still thinking it can’t be that many. It won’t be surely.
We get to the field. The truck (my stage) is there with a roof on. I ask that it be taken off because I would definitely bang my head on that! It gets taken off and I can feel the nerves getting a little worse. Not been this nervous in years... we turn around and a group of soldiers comes running in. Around 75 of them. Ahhhh there you go. I knew it wouldn’t be that many. Not that many is there! I think, “oh well, more would have been fun actually”.
30 seconds later more arrive, and more and more. Yep, there was about 500. Shiiiiit. Compose compose and my legs need to stop shaking. And my arms.... and my head 🙃.
Before I know it I’m up on that truck. There’s a microphone which I asked for to introduce the session but I don’t touch it because I feel like I’m going to drop it if I do! So I shout something then get going.
First song... “Five More Hours”...ok we did it. Everyone’s happy, smiling, getting sweaty. It’s a nice easy one to start with. My nerves go.... I’m now smiling rather than forcing a smile to pretend I’m not nervous! ......Time to get stuck in! The only issue is the truck has no sides so I could easily fall off the back so I’m very conscious of that so can’t go quite as crazy as normal....my heart rate suggests otherwise. After the session I notice my heart rate before the session for 20 minutes was up over 100BPM (my resting HR is around 55....!) then throughout I averaged between 170-189BPM... my usual HR averages 145-160 in Zumba...!!
Every now and then I’ll spot someone I know and it makes me laugh seeing them dancing about, then I’ll come back to the front and see my friends smiling away and the front row of men going absolutely mental! The video footage is awesome! Have a look on my Facebook page “Fitness With Lianne” or my Instagram for the videos.
The hip thruster song was the 3rd song in and I feel like that was the turning point for the atmosphere. Everyone laughing and just having a great, fun time.
At one point I come down into the crowd to do the “wiggle wiggle wiggle, yeh” of “Sexy and I know it”. I do this a lot in classes so felt I should here. It’s great to go down into the crowd, people start working harder and you get to feel the atmosphere too. It’s fun!
The CO is in a full Santa costume, a few people have come as elves, there are hundreds of Santa hats. Everyone came for fun, and they definitely looked like they had that.
I skipped one song on my playlist. I needed to. I looked around to get the vibe of the energy levels and I could see everyone was soaked from sweat. It was fun but I didn’t want to overdo it and cause people to pass out..! Including me...! I was so thirsty and boiling hot. I would grab swigs of water between songs but it wasn’t enough. I usually have control of the music via Bluetooth but the phone was off the truck and behind me connected to the system so I couldn’t stop and drink for long. I ended up with a banging headache for the rest of the day but it was worth it! You get leaders legs anyway leading sessions... you just go off everyone’s energy and there was a lot there... especially on the first few rows!
We end with “All I want for Christmas” which looked great from the stage- everyone mostly going the same way, all in sync. This is great to see when you’re teaching! It’s definitely a winner for Xmas Zumba! Upbeat and Christmasy. Then I get the girls up for the cool down. I was just making up the moves on the spot for “Santa Baby”! At one point I say to them, “what next” then I think ahhh hip circles. Seeing 500 soldiers doing slow hip circles to “Santa Baby” has got to be one of the highlights for me...! Yes slightly risqué but fun at the same time and definitely received in good humour.
35 mins of Zumba, with Brunei Garrison was awesome! I would do it again, anytime! A great morning. I was buzzing all day from it and still am. Everyone did amazing and it’s a secret (well not after publishing this) achievement for me because wow my nerves were crazy that morning, and I did it!
I used to be riddled with nerves for things back around 17-20 years old, maybe a bit of anxiety; never diagnosed. The way I get over it is just by saying yes to opportunities, and to things that push me out of my comfort zone. It’s what made me start up working in a gym and start teaching classes. It was the only way to get rid of nerves, to just go for it! This session was up there with being outside my comfort zone to start with...but was absolutely amazing to do. What next?
PT, Teacher and Mum. Currently living in South East Asia. Thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do.