What I Learned In Sculpting Class
Every month or so I have to travel out of town for a few days on business. Tami doesn't mind so much because she says it gives her a break from having to slave over a hot stove. Plus it gives me the opportunity to earn a few extra dollars to pay for her next trip to the shoe store.

Anyway, when time allows, I try to find a nearby gym that offers Pump classes in the hopes of picking up some new cues or techniques we might use. But during this latest trip it dawned on me that I needed to step out of my comfort zone. So I stopped by a local gym and took something they call Super Sculpt. Now, I don't know what part of the class was "sculpting", but I can tell you this - I've never been to anything like it before. It was a non-stop combination of step, dance, hand weights, a weighted bar, and abs. I wasn't totally lost, but I was definitely out of my element.

And that's exactly what we instructors need every now and again: A good reminder of what it's like to be a "newbie". If you're a Pump instructor, going to someone else's Pump class won't give you that - you already know the moves. Same goes for Step, Flow, RPM, or anything else you teach. Try on something new, though, and suddenly you're reminded of what it was like the first time you set foot into a class.

I walked out of there this evening knowing that instead of fiddling with my mic before class or talking to the regulars, I need to do a better job of seeking out new faces. Especially the confused ones in the back of the room. I've got a new appreciation for the importance of really clear cueing. And after spending the class feeling like I was always two steps behind everyone else, I was reminded that a little praise goes a long way when the instructor said I'd done just fine.

So while I was a little too preoccupied to pick up any new cues - and my physique probably didn't get much sculpting - I can honestly say really got a lot out of that experience. Matter of fact, I might stop by tomorrow evening for their Boot Camp class...
It happened here
A week or so ago, while watching a movie about JFK, I mentioned to my teenage daughter and son that at some point in their lives an event so extraordinary would take place that they'd forever remember the moment when they first heard the news. I could never have imagined it would happen right here, barely a week later. But it did: Blacksburg Virginia is our home town.

It wasn't so long ago that people outside of our state had barely ever heard of Virginia Tech. In the past several years, our powerhouse football team, our supercomputer, our bioinformatics research institute, and lots of other notable achievements by the university helped put us on the map. Still, Blacksburg is a very small town. Whenever Tami and I are out and about we almost always bump into someone we know.

So it's an almost surreal experience to see the buildings and streets of our local community plastered across the television screens and websites around the world. Like most Virginia Tech graduates I've walked those very sidewalks thousands of times, went to classes in those buildings, been on every floor of that dorm, and know that campus like the back of my hand.

I can't say for certain that Tami and I knew any of the students or faculty that were killed, but we do know people who knew them personally. We help support the Campus Crusade ministry in which three of those kids were involved. My son's classmate lost his father in the shooting. One of the victims was a regular attendee of our church. A friend of ours told me yesterday he was scheduled to teach 10 minutes later in one of the same rooms in Norris Hall where the killings took place. Like I said, this is a small town.

It'll be a long road, but we're starting to heal as a community. Tami and I went to the memorial yesterday afternoon and that was immensely helpful. We walked around campus for awhile and had lunch at Souvlaki's downtown. We've been praying a lot for the families of the victims. Last night we decided to watch American Idol instead of CNN, and it was really nice to see how they (and others) took the time to extend their sympathies and prayers.

Something To Look Forward To
I mentioned in a recent posting that we're back to teaching again. A local gym - The Weight Club - has decided to take on the BodyPump program. We've been practicing for our official launch, which is coming up soon (the first week in May). This is one thing we feel really good about because we know that in some small way it gives us an opportunity to bring something positive to our community. From what we've heard, many members at The Weight Club are really looking forward to having BodyPump classes available to them. I know we sure are looking forward to teaching again.

Finally, here's a short bit of video I'd like to offer up - this was the closing speaker at the memorial yesterday afternoon. If you've got a couple minutes, watch the whole thing - especially the crowd's reaction at the very end. I think it sums up why we love this community so much.