RedStrong Red (default) BlueCalm Blue GreenFresh Green

Chose your color scheme.

Archive for July 2018

My Very First ZIN Jam

Posted on July 25, 2018 by under Zumba.    

After being ZIN™ (Zumba Instructor Network) member for over six years, I finally attended my very first ZIN Jam™ session. You’re probably wondering what that is. ZIN Jam™ is the officially authorized program, sanctioned by Zumba® Fitness, for any Zumba®-related choreography jams, choreography sessions, or choreography exchanges that are held anywhere in the world. The ZIN Jam™ program can only be led by a Zumba® Jammer (ZJ) and is an exclusive benefit to ZIN™ members.

You can learn more about ZIN Jam™ sessions here.

Because of my busy schedule Jam sessions have been somewhat of a low priority to me. That and I had a different perspective on choreography and routines when I first started teaching Zumba®. In the beginning I wanted to be different from everyone else. Besides the songs from my favorite instructors that I had to use early on (with permission, of course) to get me through my first few classes, I generally stayed away from songs that others were already doing.

Over the years I realized what really bothered me about doing the same songs as others is when the choreography is completely different. If it’s the same or similar, I actually quite enjoy it. So nowadays I don’t mind doing the same songs as other instructors as long as I know we are all using similar choreography.

This change in perspective has allowed me to be more open to attending a ZIN Jam™. And so, it happened that I found myself at Eventum Salon on the South side of town, attending one. ZJ Jaime Ortiz led the Jam. The experience was such a positive one that I know feel significantly differently about Jams. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this very useful ZIN™ perk all this time.

Here are some pictures from the Jam…

Untitled

Here we are learning some choreo.

Untitled

My friends Alex and Rose attended the same Jam.

Untitled

I had to get a separate photo with Rose because we had matching outfits. (She usually tells me what to wear. LOL.)

Untitled

This is a group photo we took at the end but some people had already left so it’s not the entire group. Our group was small enough that it was conducive to learning but a good turnout overall. I met ZIN™ members from the surrounding area who I hadn’t met before and learned about some newly-minted ZINs.

Untitled

Here we are with ZJ Jaime Ortiz at the end of the session. Jaime taught us choreography to five songs:

  • Ya Te Olvide (Cumbia)
  • Bailalo (Soca Tropical)
  • Te Duele (Reggaeton)
  • Sin Pijama (Latin Urban)
  • Kizumbia (Kizomba)

Jaime did a fabulous job of breaking down choreography such that we were able to bring all five songs to class immediately. Thanks to the help of both Rose and Alex, we were able to do the first four songs in class the very next day (Sunday 2 PM class). I introduced the last song, Kizumbia, to the class the following weekend.

I typically only learn one or two new songs at a time so I was amazed that I was able to retain all five of these. Of course, I had help, but still this shows how skilled Jaime is as a Jammer. He made learning the routines so easy and the process of doing so quite enjoyable.

As someone who has a super busy schedule, I have a hard time justifying three hours that could be spent doing something else I perceive to be more valuable. Jaime not only made the session fun but also worthwhile. As a result, I’m more apt to sign up for another Jam should the opportunity arise in the future. It’s no longer at the bottom of the priority list.

Bottom line — it was such a great experience that I look forward to doing another; perhaps from Jaime or another Jammer. My eyes have been opened and my world turned upside down — in a good way.

That’s all for now. Until next time. GNG.

1 Comment

Fourth of July Aqua Zumba Class

Posted on July 24, 2018 by under Zumba.    

I had such a blast teaching Aqua Zumba on the 4th of July!

I ended up teaching at North YMCA instead of Andover because Lydia posted her holiday schedule first. By the time Kristen was putting together the 4th of July schedule, I was already committed to North. I’m hoping next year I’ll be able to teach it in Andover. We had such a great time!

Untitled

Brian said we had over sixty people. Of course, some of them escaped before the group photo (some people do not like to be photographed) so above is all I got.

One of the benefits of teaching at a different branch than my home branch is that it gave me an opportunity to meet some new people — quite a few of them were trying Aqua Zumba for the first time. I love introducing people to Aqua Zumba because they’re always amazed at how awesome a workout it is.

Honestly, between you and me, if I had a choice to take a Zumba class or an Aqua Zumba class, Aqua Zumba would win hands down. It’s not as fun to teach — I prefer teaching my regular Zumba classes — but it sure feels amazing when you’re the one in the water. I wish I had more time to take Aqua Zumba classes.

Untitled

Oh, while it was nice meeting new people, it really made my day that my Andover Zumba family came to do Aqua Zumba with us at North YMCA. When you’re teaching a class full of strangers at a different gym that you don’t normally teach at, it’s nice to see familiar faces.

Huge shout out to my Andover Zumba family. Thank you. You guys are the best!

BTW, when we say family we really mean it. Alicia and her kids Brandon and Kariana were there. Amanda brought her mom and dad and brother and even her brother’s girlfriend came to workout with us!

Untitled

Here’s Alicia with Brian. She’s like my sister from another mother. Super nice and full of joy. I really enjoying having her in class.

Untitled

Amanda and Andrea are two others who are great to have in class. They’re both full of energy — Amanda specially. Oh, and they’re both licensed Zumba instructors too so they’ve been leading songs in our regular Zumba classes and that makes it even more fun. I just love my Zumba family!

No Comments

Carlos O’Kelly’s Summer Drink Tour 2018

Posted on July 23, 2018 by under Food and Drink, Free Stuff, Things to Do.    

I did the Carlos O’Kelly’s summer drink tour for the first time ever last year. This year I couldn’t wait for it to begin! I kept asking my friend Missy who does it every year, “Has it started yet? Has it started yet?” like an annoying child in the backseat of a long road trip.

Guess what. It’s started and, even though they give you until Labor Day to complete your drink tour, I’ve completed it already — twice.

36308692_10156033471312740_6499349798859046912_o

It helped that you only had to drink five drinks this year. Last year you had to drink twelve different drinks to complete the entire tour. You got three hand-blown glasses after the first six drinks and then a matching glass bottle after completing the entire tour. Naturally, I completed the tour twice because it’s just weird to have a set of three glasses. It made more sense to me to have six.

I know it’s supposed to be FREE but this is probably the most expensive glassware I will ever own.

This year you got two hand-blown margarita glasses and Carlos O’Kelly’s “legendary” margarita mix for completing the tour.

36137323_10156033468622740_9015619585369440256_o

I planned to complete the tour twice to get four margarita glasses so I started two punch cards right off the bat. And, before you freak out, no — I did not drink all of those drinks in one visit.

Untitled

I’m kind of a lightweight and can only handle one drink each time. I know some people who could easily complete this tour in one visit. Unfortunately for me, it took several. I did manage to complete both tours, though, and well before Labor Day to boot! I know this probably isn’t an achievement worth bragging about but you gotta celebrate the small victories. Otherwise, what else is there to live for?

Untitled

Here’s what the bottle of Carlos O’Kelly’s “legendary” margarita mix looks like. It’s a decent size bottle.

Untitled

Here’s what the fancy margarita glass looks like. It’s got a nice weight to it. It’s the same ones that they serve margaritas in at the restaurant.

Untitled

Brian and I decided to skip pickleball yesterday because he needed some new sneakers for ZINCON. He mostly just goes to hang out but that doesn’t mean he can’t hang out in style. Anyway, since we were already out and about, we decided to hit Carlos O’Kelly’s to complete my second drink tour because I only needed one more punch on the second card.

Untitled

Here’s my set of our margarita glasses that I worked very hard to earn this summer. LOL. It would be nice to have six and I have plenty of time to complete another tour before Labor Day but I’m not quite sure yet if I will go for round three.

Untitled

Anyway, for those of you who are yet to start your tour, here’s the daily drink specials so you know the best days of the week to go.

Untitled

Have fun on your journey and always remember to drink responsibly. GNG.

No Comments

Final Night in Kansas City

Posted on July 8, 2018 by under Food and Drink.    

Untitled

I got to hang out with the Knowledge Management team in Raytown on my last full day in Kansas City. From left, Aaron, Joy, Molly, Kristy, and Mary Ann.

Untitled

Later that night, a few of us got together at Seasons 52 for happy hour. I picked it because (a) I’d never been there before, (b) they had $5 small plates and two glasses of wine and a flatbread pizza for $15 during happy hour, and (c) happy hour there lasts until 7 pm, whereas it usually ends at 6 pm at most places.

Untitled

Check out the happy hour menu (above) and the regular menu (below).

Untitled

These are the grilled chicken yakitori skewers. They were amazing and the best part is they’re less than 350 calories!

Untitled

These are the wood-grilled meatballs. Slightly more calories but also very good.

Untitled

Here’s a picture of the flatbread pizza. You’d think it would be tiny considering you’re practically getting it for free during happy hour, but it’s actually a decent size. I think this is the garlic pesto chicken.

Untitled

I think this one is the roasted roma tomato flatbread.

Untitled

These are the caramelized grilled sea scallops, which is also part of the $5 menu amazingly enough. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this place before.

Untitled

Had I known about this place sooner, I probably would have made it a point to visit several times. The food was delicious and really inexpensive during happy hour.

Untitled

Here are a few pictures of me with my Communications Hub teammates.

Untitled

These guys are so fun. I miss them already! Until next time. GNG.

No Comments

I Don’t Know Why I Do This To Myself

Posted on July 7, 2018 by under Dreams, Hobbies.    

Untitled

A few months ago I signed up for a couple of 5Ks on whim. I don’t know why. I’m not a runner. I mean, I dream of someday being someone who enjoys running but I truly and honestly suck at it. I don’t have the attention span, nor do I have the determination to run for longer than a couple of minutes.

I had a 10K running app on my phone that I was doing for a while last year but then I just kind of fell off and haven’t gotten back on it. I was doing pretty well too but, since I haven’t been doing it, I have to work back up to where I was. With running, it seems like I’m constantly starting over.

Anyway, I joke that I have no idea why I signed up for these 5Ks. I actually signed up for the KMUW one because I love NPR and KMUW is my favorite radio station (and Brian’s too). We both listen to the station all the time. It’s about the only station we listen to on FM radio these days.

Untitled

Here’s a picture of my finisher medal. I was so slow that, even though the race started at eight o’clock in the morning, I was actually concerned that I might not make my 10:30 AM Zumba class. I felt so bad for Brian who had to wait for me at the end. He had to wait for almost an hour. Yikes!

Oh, it didn’t help that I started having knee issues leading up to this event. Although, I think it was my body’s way of revolting for my stupid decisions like signing up for 5Ks even though I’m not a runner.

The KMUW run was on May 19. The same day as Logan’s graduation party. That was kind of a hectic day. We got up early and were downtown by seven-ish for the race then I had to teach my Zumba class then Logan’s graduation party then we were back downtown again for Zumba in the Square.

Untitled

It was the first one of 2018 and it was a great turn out. I didn’t end up leading any songs at the event because we knew we would be coming from Logan’s graduation party and we weren’t sure what time we would be able to get away.

Untitled

Fast forward to the Diva Dask 5K, which my friend Sarah posted about shortly after I’d signed up for the KMUW. It’s a fun run that benefits Girls On the Run. Since I easily get talked into things, I signed up for that one as well. Never mind that I haven’t been running at all and I suck at it. I’m such a joiner!

I could blame peer pressure but it wasn’t even that. I’m just an easy target.

I knew some people at the KMUW race but I was pretty much doing it alone. Diva Dash was the first race that I’d ever done with a group of people. I didn’t get our official group shirt. I should have so I can remember this day forever. I hate running but Diva Dash was actually a lot of fun.

Untitled

I did only a smidge better than the KMUW 5K so I was still super slow. But I didn’t die and I had a blast hanging out with my Zumba besties. Incidentally, we called our team “Zumba Divas” — super fitting, right?

Untitled

This is embarrassing but I’m posting it anyway just so you get the idea of how badly I suck at running. I would say I’m as slow as molasses but I think I’m probably even slower. LOL. But, hey, it was for a good cause and it was fun.

Untitled

Brynden got third place in her age group without even trying. Maybe she tried but she made it look so easy. Her mom Laurie did really awesome also. She got sixth in her age group, which is my same age group. She was one of the fastest and I was one of the slowest. Ugh. Thinking about it makes me sad so we’re moving on.

Untitled

Here’s a group photo of us with some princesses.

The craziest part about the races is that, besides not being a runner and completely sucking at running, I had so many excuses not to sign up. When I signed up for both of these events, the summer schedule hadn’t started so I completely forgot about my Aqua Zumba class. It wouldn’t have been a problem if I could run faster but there was no way I could complete the run and make it to Andover YMCA to teach my 8:45 AM class. Thankfully, my friend Eleanor was available to sub.

After the fact, I joked that I should have found a sub for the running and just stuck to teaching my class after I realized I had a schedule conflict because I’m actually better at Zumba. LOL. Speaking of, this is one of my life’s biggest mysteries. I don’t understand how I can do Zumba for hours on end and be unfazed and I cannot stomach two minutes of running.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’ve cured myself of my running delusion for the time being. There should be no 5Ks or any type of running events in my future for a good long while. If I get any crazy ideas, I hope someone smacks me and talks sense into me so I don’t get myself in the same situation again.

I had fun and I didn’t die so I guess there’s that. GNG.

No Comments

« Older Entries «