If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.
I'm talking to wellness professionals to learn how COVID-19 has impacted their lives, as well as how they're adjusting how they teach to make quarantine a little healthier for all of us. Today, I chatted with Nikki Pebbles, a certified group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and body image coach.
What do you teach?
I currently teach dance fitness, indoor cycling, and strength training. For my indoor cycling classes, I teach at the Monster Cycle and for dance fitness and strength training, I teach them on my online membership site called Rock Your Body Online. I've been teaching for the last nine years.
Why did you start teaching?
I started teaching my complete accident and literally didn't think it was going to turn into a career at first. At first, teaching was a way to NOT work a traditional job. I just graduated from college and the last thing I wanted to do was work in an office. HOWEVER, my passion for teaching quickly emerged and I realized that I was able to help people through movement. I loved seeing how people felt more confident after taking classes and realized that I wanted to help make a positive impact on their lives.
What do you love most about teaching?
I love seeing students unlocking their POWER during my classes. You can literally see the switch go on after the first song and it's so cool to see. I want students to see how powerful they are no matter if they are new or are regulars and my main goal is to inspire people to see how AWESOME they are.
What is the current state of your studio?
Currently, the cycling studio I teach at is closed until further notice.
What virtual classes are you offering? How can people find those classes?
What is your biggest takeaway regarding COVID-19?
The biggest takeaway so far has been to breathe. Literally. This all has happened so quickly and the fitness industry was turned upside down overnight. I think a lot of trainers are freaking out, which is totally normal, but I think it's important to breathe and figure out your strategy. Yes, a lot of our colleagues are doing live, free workouts every day, but that doesn't mean you have to do it that exact way. Figure out what strategy works best for you and don't compare yourself to everyone else. Breathe.
What long-term effects do you see COVID-19 having on the wellness industry?
Studios and trainers are taking a HUGE hit on this and people are losing their jobs and businesses. It's very very very scary. Long term, digital fitness is going to boom in a way that we have never seen before. It is going to take time to rebuild from this, but I really believe this will bring the wellness industry closer and stronger.
What is one thing you want the world to know about the wellness industry, especially in light of COVID-19?
One thing I would want the world to know about the wellness industry is that we deserve respect.
If you are a wellness professional interested in sharing your story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.