Do or do not, there is no try.
When it comes to training clients, I think kids are the best. They will DO anything you ask. You hand them a weight and they take it, no questions asked. You tell them “Today, we are going to do jumping jacks and they look at you and say, “Okay, how many?” No whining, no complaining. They won’t even let you know if the weight is heavy. They will power through the exercise or activity. Now, of course, I would never give any of my young trainees an exercise I did not think they could handle. I don’t do this with my adults either. We keep it pretty simple and basic here at Fivex3 Training. And we have a ton of fun getting strong, setting personal bests and generally enjoying moving and using our bodies anyway imaginable. And, why would any 11 year old NOT enjoy learning how to squat, deadlift, press, throw medicine balls around, do jumping jacks and mountain climbers? Well, SHE does and more.This month, my client profile focuses on one of my younger trainees, Lucy. ( I also have a 10 year old boy who comes with his mom and 15 year old dancer from a performing arts high school who comes when she is not in rehearsal.) Lucy was a student of mine when I was the school director at a dance studio. In addition to running the school, I also taught a few ballet and modern classes as well as ran the senior dance company. Lucy was by far one of my most dedicated and talented young dancers. She joined the student dance company and has been making steady and amazing progress since. The reason Lucy excels at dance is a direct result of her dedication to her classes, her respect for her art form and her willingness to work hard. She listens, she watches. She soaks up every word you utter, every move you make. The result? Beauty and grace and strength in class and on stage. I am not sure what Lucy’s intentions are as a dancer, if she wishes to pursue dance on a higher level in the years to come or not. But right now, she is growing stronger each day, accepting new challenges, working hard and loving dance.
When I left the studio to open my new business, Lucy’s mom, Anne, was pretty determined to continue working with me. She has been coming to my gym consistently since last September. Which brings us to Lucy. This past January, while Anne was working in Baltimore on Saturdays, her husband, Carli, wanted to take a class at my gym. But the question, was what about the kids? I can’t remember if Anne asked me if it was okay if Lucy took class or if I volunteered and said “Why doesn’t Lucy come too?” Either way, we thought it would be great for her and there would be no issue with having her in class with other adults. So, while Anne was working, Carli and Lucy exercised with me. What an amazing experience! Here was my young dancer, now my young trainee, at my new place, taking class again from me, working just as hard and as focused as ever. And what a difference she has made in her body as a result! She impresses me each time she is here. I missed her and all of my young dancers so much when I left the studio. Seeing her every Saturday, hearing how much better she is doing in her classes each week makes me so happy. My Saturday mornings are always that much brighter when she is in class. 🙂 Of course, I love working with ALL of my clients, but in a world where child obesity is becoming epidemic, the more kids I see playing, moving and getting stronger, the better. People have asked me if this class is a family class. I don’t want to call it anything right now. I am letting it grow organically, with the hope of perhaps attracting more young trainees and their parents. We shall see…
Now, I could go on and on about how Lucy is now doing her goblet squats with the 8kg kettlebell (18 pounds -she is just about 60 pounds!!), pressing the 10 lb dumbbell for reps, deadlifting with the 20kg kettlebell (about 44 pounds), performing split squats and single leg deadlifts with weight, out planking the adults in the class, la, la, la…..but it sounds so much better when she tells it. So here is Lucy and her story and her quest to perform an unassisted push up and deadlift 50 lbs (she is soooo close.) 🙂
Lucy’s Background: I started dancing when I was 3 because my mom thought that I needed to get out of the house a little bit. I am in a dance company at my dance school and I take two ballet classes, a modern dance class, a choreography and repertory class, plus a rehearsal for company each week. Ms. Emily used to be my dance teacher. I loved her. She was serious at times but she also has a good sense of humor. The top things I learned from her are to always use expression when I’m dancing, to work hard, to try my best, and to be supportive of the other dancers. I was very sad when Ms. Emily left because she had been my teacher for a long time and I was worried that the school wouldn’t be the same. I became happier when I found out I was going to be taking exercise classes with her.
Exercising with Mom and Dad: I think it’s cool to exercise next to my mom and dad because I can check out how they’re doing and we can give each other tips. I started going on Saturdays with my dad at first because my mom was teaching a class in the city at that same time. We decided to get stronger. Now my mom comes too on Saturdays. She also goes during the week a lot! It is interesting to see how they move and do things. My dad works very hard. Mom does too. My dad sweats a lot. When I see older people exercising, it’s not weird. I think everyone should exercise no matter what their age. There are people of all different ages in my Saturday class. It’s fun to have my brother and sister on the sidelines.
Traveling into the Big City: It’s cool to go to Baltimore and see how different the city is from the suburbs. Sometimes afterwards all we have to do is walk not even a block and eat lunch at Teavolve. I like to have the hot chocolate with a hunk of whipped cream. Also I like the French toast with cinnamon apples. It’s delicious. My dad works nearby so he shows us where he works and all the sites there. My highlight of the trip other than exercising is when we go around the big statue and see Hagen Dazs from the car window. Every time I walk up the stairs to her studio, I smell that distinct smell that lets me know I’m there. It makes me feel relaxed because I love Ms. Emily and her exercises.
Self-Defense class: I took a self-defense class at Fivex3. At first I was a little freaked out by the talk about criminals. But then I really liked learning how to protect myself. It made me feel more confident about myself. At school, we were asked to share an interesting fact about ourselves last week. Mine was that I took this self-defense class. After I shared this, a boy who was sitting near me scooted away from me. That made me feel super-confident. My favorite part was when Mr. Steve showed the class a funny clip where a person dressed as a scarecrow on Halloween jumped out at a person trick-or-treating, and the trick-or-treater punched him in the face. Now I know that if someone were to bother me, I would know what to do.
Leader Project at School: For a project at school I had to choose a living leader to interview and do a presentation on. I chose Ms. Emily because she is a great teacher, a great listener, kind, strong, and a business-woman, which is what I would like to be. Her dance teacher self and her exercise teacher self are very similar. She uses visuals in both. She helps me see what I’m supposed to do. In both dancing and exercising you need a strong core. She reminds you about that all the time.
How Lucy knows she’s stronger now: I can balance longer on one leg now. I can do a double pirouette which takes a strong core. I can out-plank all my classmates in Modern. I can band-pull the red one, and not just the green one. I have been increasing my goblet squat weight. I used to do ten pounds. Now I can do 8kg, which is more than 10 pounds. I can press 10 lbs. with each of my arms. My goal is to do a full push-up without assistance. I can deadlift about 12kg. I want to be able to deadlift 50 lbs for now….
Lucy on particular exercises: I love passing the medicine ball, even though it’s a little heavy for me. It’s lots of fun. Planking helps the most with my core. Building upper body strength is good because I don’t get a lot of that in dance classes. A couple times ago, I partnered with Ms. Jane, an adult in my class, and did band pulls in the plank position. It was hard but fun. It was a challenge. It made me feel proud that I could do it—with the red band!!
Lucy waxes poetic on the importance of exercise: It’s important to exercise because strength to do every day activities is necessary. I don’t want to struggle to carry a jug of milk to the table at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Also, I want to be able to pick up heavy groceries when we carry them in from the car. It’s like doing farmer walks. Exercise makes you feel healthy and like you can do almost anything. I want to be very strong for the rest of my life. That’s why I exercise.
“I want to be strong for the rest of my life,” Lucy writes. I don’t think I could have said it any better myself. Lucy, you are truly an inspiration to me. Great work. 🙂
Whatever you are, be a good one. Abraham Lincoln
Hear, Hear! Lucy is amazing. She has my daughter wishing for the day she can join the class, too.
Looking forward to the day she can join us too! Another girl gone strong in the making! 🙂
Very proud of my daughter…love the post, Emily!
You are an inspiration to us all, Lucy. Keep up the hard work!
Pingback: Strong Curves Hits the Pre-Sale Market with a Bang | Mother Fitness Revolution