Check out Annette one year ago!
Well, friends, I did it. I survived turning 40. Somehow I woke up this morning without my face shriveling into a wrinkled prune, my (nonexistent) boobs drooping to my knees, or needing bifocals and dentures. It's really turned out to be a day just like any other day. It's a day where I get to open my eyes and be grateful for the opportunities that lie ahead, be humbled by the strength my body provides me, and awed by what this world has to offer. I think birthdays are just a perfect reminder of what we should be doing that each and every day.
Check out BLDG 25 for a recap of the Free People #FPLETSMOVE event!
So, I just passed the halfway point in my challenge to my 40th birthday. I'm 22 days in. Since January 1st, I have taken 25 classes, taught 25 classes, and trained to teach three more. My body is a bit fatigued, but overall I feel great.
Even though I am incredibly sad to have to retire from teaching I wanted to write a little Lithe Love Letter to let you, and the Philadelphia Lithers know how much my time as an instructor meant to me.
I’m still suffering from a badly herniated disc in my lower back (L4) that flared up last May. I’ve been improving over the past few months, and feel great some days, but I don’t feel comfortable committing to teaching all of you only to wake up on the day of class unable to move.
Being an instructor was an amazing and absolutely unforgettable time in my life and has helped me grow in so many ways. I never thought I was “good” enough, “cool” enough, or confident enough to teach. I’m naturally a shy person, but being an instructor gave me the confidence to get up in front of a large group of impressive, fit, professional women and make them all “get low,” “see their eyelashes,” and “break it down - one time each!” Teaching not only gave me confidence on the podium at Lithe, but also helped give me the confidence to speak clearly and commandingly to others in my law profession. (I still remember the day Lauren asked me to audition – I called my best friend right after and couldn’t stop jumping up and down with excitement).
While I can’t take classes at the moment because of my back, I’m working hard everyday to hopefully be back on the mat soon! This is the first time in my life I’ve had an injury that has forced me to take more than a couple weeks off from any activity. While it’s been a terribly painful experience, it has made me come to terms with the fact that I can’t always do everything “100%” and that I’m not a failure if I need to take a little break or modify. My type A personality has always had me pushing myself beyond my limit, which, I’m learning from this injury, is not always the best choice. I’m coming to terms with the fact that it’s okay if I have to take a week or two off and I won’t get horribly out of shape, gain weight, or lose my ability to Lithe. I’m still in physical therapy but working hard with my doctors to get better as fast as I can!
I absolutely LOVED every second of teaching and would continue to teach for years if I had the chance. It was amazing to work with so many wonderful other instructors and support staff who all continue to inspire me. I’m going to miss being a part of such a wonderful team.
Thank you so much Lauren. For giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to be a Lithe instructor, for creating Lithe Method that has given me so much confidence and joy, and always proving that working out can be silly, fun, and incredibly tough! I can’t wait to be back!
Retired Lithe Instructor Cat Kiernan wearing Lithe via Dom
A little over two weeks ago, Lithe Instructor Rachael Bridgens wrapped up her 2014 "Lithe by the numbers" personal challenge. Rachael, we love that you took a picture of every Lithe Burn! Burn baby, burn!
Lithed: 12 classes
Taught: 27 classes
Total burn: 17,791
I love the flair and edge that this week's subject of 25 Things! brings to Lithe. She is a powerhouse of strength and explosive energy who exudes confidence in the studio. I love her classes because she's firm and relentless, but supportive while pushing us to get lower, finish every rep and work through the transitions. When I take Kalika's classes, I can feel how invested she is that Lithers leave her class getting the best possible workout. So when I read number 25 on her list, I wasn't suprised at all. Read on to find out more about the Lithe vixen she is.
1. I was born and raised in Neptune Beach, Florida.
2. I have a BA in Dance Studies from the University of South Florida (in Tampa).
3. My boyfriend and I moved to Philadelphia in 2005 and it was the best decision we ever made.
4. I have been a member of the Peek-A-Boo Revue Neo-burlesque show since 2006.
5. We won Best Troupe at Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in 2008 and 2012.
6. My boyfriend, Chris, and I have been together for 13 years. We're considering marriage.
7. I have a 10-year-old Jack Russell Terrier named Kya who doesn't act a day over 2. It is impossible to be in a bad mood around her.
8. I am the oldest of three. I'm seven years older than my brother Andrew and ten years older than my brother Matthew. They're my half brothers, but really they're my brothers. We are different in many ways, but share the same overly sarcastic sense of humor.
9. The Exorcist and Garden State are tied for my favorite movie. The Breakfast Club is a close second.
10. My troupe was on America's Got Talent in 2010. We made it to Vegas.
11. I dislike most reality TV shows.
12. I have never seen a Harry Potter movie.
13. The first job I had in Philly was in "The Freezer" at Nightmare on Broad Street, a haunted attraction at the Spectrum.
14. I worked with a wheelchair dance company in Tampa.
15. One of my earliest childhood memories is seeing Michael Jackson in concert while sitting on my dad's shoulders.
16. Most people call me Kaley and my stage name is Ginger Leigh.
17. Three things I can't live without: coffee, sushi, and peanut butter.
18. I am gluten-free 93% of the time.
19. I perform with The Roddenberries, a Star Trek cabaret band.
20. I quickly became a city girl, but am most at ease near the ocean.
21. My first experience with Lithe was at my instructor audition. I instantly fell in love.
22. I used to say I would never be a cheerleader. Now I can't get enough Lithe CCS.
23. I have been dancing since the age of 3; ballet, tap, jazz, modern dance, and many other forms have been sprinkled in over the years. I love and hate to choreograph.
24. Entertaining and teaching both make my heart sing, but in different ways.
25. I teach burlesque classes. Helping women feel comfortable and sexy in their own skin is far more rewarding than teaching them dance steps.
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