After having twins and completely sacrificing my body, time, and energy I was ready to get my body back.  My identical twin girls were 1.5 years old and I joined the FAC.  I tried different classes like body pump, spin, and yoga.  I loved the results of my changing body, but never really enjoyed the act of working out during the classes.  The instructors were fabulous, but the work out was hard and honestly, not enjoyable.  I was proud of myself for completing them, but I had to talk myself into going to them all.
Then I saw THEM.  After a body pump class, I found myself staring through the glass at some crazy people moving their bodies in ways I have never seen before.  It was interesting, but I was not going to that.  What if someone saw?  What if I couldn’t get the moves?  No. No way I was going to embarrass myself.  Then enters Tabitha.
Tabitha said to go and try and stand in the back.  She assured me I would not get all the moves right, but I just needed to keep moving.  I did.  I was a total mess.  Salsa?  Merengue?  Listen, just let me freestyle.  I did it though.  A whole hour.  I was out of breath and out of shape, but I went back because it was fun.  Everyone was so nice!
I went back and got better.  My brain and body recognized the movements.  After about 2 months I was feeling confidence I have never felt before.  I was moving my body like I’ve never moved before. My body was changing.  My spirit was changing.  I was changing.  I love dance!  Wow.  I was addicted.
Javin, Kayla, and the crew (previously referred to as THEM) invited me out to gatherings.  I went.  I ate.  I laughed.  I had fun.  I made friends I probably would never have made.  I danced.  I grew.  I am still growing and I’m still dancing.
I was inspired to push myself and be challenged.  With encouragement from Javin and Kayla, I now am a Zumba instructor.  I believe in the power of dance.  It’s freeing.  It’s beautiful.  Everyone does it differently, but unfortunately not everyone does it.  I feel sorry for them- they don’t know what they’re missing!

“After about 2 months I was feeling confidence I have never felt before.” ~ Tiffany S.

When I stumbled upon Javin’s class at my local gym, I weighed nearly 250 pounds. I had just ended a long marriage, and wanted to finally take control of my health and happiness. I stood in the window and watched for weeks before working up the courage to go inside and join them.

I was very uncomfortable with my body then. I didn’t have any athletic ability, or rhythm, or any prior dance experience at all. But, I loved music, and it just looked like too much fun not to give it a try. I hid in the back row so no one would see me. Javin saw me.

Recognizing that I was new, he introduced himself after class. He thanked me for coming and asked if I enjoyed myself. I told him that I had a hundred pounds to lose. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “You’ll do it.” He hugged me, and asked if I would come to another class.

If you’ve ever been morbidly obese, you understand how invisible we can feel in a place like that. Javin saw me. He acknowledged me. He believed in me. I’ve been following him around town dancing with him ever since.

I quickly discovered that this was much more than an exercise class. It’s a community, a family. Javin and Kayla have created this amazing place for us to feel safe and comfortable in our skin. We support each other, learn and grow together, and share success after success as a group.

Gradually, I moved from the back row to right up front. I’ve now lost over seventy pounds. When I started dancing with Javin, I was taking prescriptions for high blood pressure and Type II Diabetes.  I would come to class and dance for an hour, and have to go home and ice my feet. Today, I don’t take any prescription drugs. My blood pressure is normal, and my diabetes is GONE!

In losing the weight, I found my confidence again. Moving my body helped me to reconnect with myself and restore my self-esteem. I have so much more energy now, and my outlook on life in general is much more positive. Taking control of my health has helped me see just how strong I am. I know that I can accomplish anything I desire with small steps every day.

I will always be grateful for Javin and Kayla- I truly believe they have helped save my life. My success is truly theirs, as I could not have done this without their support, encouragement, and friendship.

 

 

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“Seventy Pounds and Counting” – Renee B.