My incredible FJ partner in crime, Michelle, met Judy Quint– we call her Zumba Judy -in a cooking class at the Cuisinart in Anguilla during her honeymoon (Michelle’s honeymoon). Within minutes of the class being over, Michelle texted me something like “OMG! I just met the most amazing woman who is a Zumba instructor in MA, we HAVE to have her on the site.” Since then, Judy has been an incredible FJ supporter and we are so thrilled to have her as our Spotlight trainer this week.
What inspired you to become an instructor?
I was inspired to become an instructor by a close friend who told me during one of our early Zumba Classes together that she was watching my butt and not the butt of our lead instructor. She told me that she could not follow our lead instructor nor did she think that our instructor cared one way or the other. The lightbulb in my middle-aged head went off-if I could bring this amazing form of exercise to more women like myself who were not young, agile dancers but loved to move that would be a great gift to give my friends and community members. I noticed how happy and calm I felt after my Zumba fitness workouts and I wanted to spread this good feeling to others around me. I had not felt this great training for the Boston Marathon or doing the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I was happy to be contributing to wonderful charities but I did not feel the personal passion for the activity like I did dancing in my Zumba Classes. For my birthday my gift to myself was to take the Basics 1 Zumba Fitness Certification and it is certainly the gift that keeps on giving!
If this is your second career, what made you make the career change?
For 25 years I had been a Real Estate Attorney working in a solo practice and for other attorneys on a contract basis. What I liked best about the job was helping first time buyers journey through the maze of a home purchase and making them feel comfortable and less apprehensive. I was not excited about the legal community and always knew that I wanted to do something else with my life just never sure what the ‘something else” was until I became addicted to my Zumba Classes. I always wanted to “teach” since I was a little girl and I loved to work out so this was a perfect combination of my skill set and goals. Working with women whose lives were actually changed by coming to my classes was the icing on the cake for me. I’m so glad that I had the nerve to leave the legal profession and do what makes me happy-I hope everyone gets that chance in their life!
What inspires you most about your clients?
Many of my clients are cancer survivors enduring all kinds of physical and mental challenges. My classes are their first voyage back in to the sea of working out after a long battle and I love watching how committed they are to attending classes and mastering the dance fitness movements. They tell me how happy they are when they leave class and what a difference it has made in their body shape and mental health. Not only cancer survivors but those suffering from fibromyalegia, bipolar disorder, diabetes, and post partum depression have confided that my classes have made a difference in their well being.
What do you love most about your job?
I love working with warm hearted and fun loving women both on my staff and in my classes. I love that I’m passionate about Zumba and get to do it every day with people I care about and from whom I learn something new each and every day. I love that I wake up each day and can’t wait to do my “job” if that is what I have to call it!
What are some of the motivational tools you use in your life each day to stay healthy?
I try and eat something “fun” each day whether it be chocolate or yummy morning cereal or an awesome salad-I’m not really in to “rules” of eating or exercise. I like to do what makes me feel good and just do everything in moderation. If I don’t feel like exercising that day I allow myself to goof off because I know the next day I’ll get up and want to do a workout-whatever that is. I don’t like to feel regimented about anything. I guess my scale is a tool that I use to stay on course-I’m not afraid of it-if it tells me something I don’t want to know than I just work a bit harder the next few days to see if I can change its message-I don’t let it rule me however I just keep it in mind-I hope everyone can see the difference!
What is your advice for someone looking to get started on a better diet and/or fitness plan?
My advice would be to find an activity that you enjoy whether it be dancing, yoga, spinning, tennis and try doing it at least 3 times a week. You can try and get some resistance training in there with weights and/or bands but really try and stick with a pland to do something-I would like to say 6 days but start with 3. Find a buddy who will commit to going to class with you or going on a fast walk or if you do classes like mine-I would be happy to check in with you to remind you to come to class as I would love to see your face there. Get some cool clothes to wear to class so you will feel comfortable. Try and follow a sensible (NOT CRAZY) eating plan-try eating all 3 meals-try to eat everything in moderation and don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake. Again-life is to be lived and you need to be happy then you will treat yourself well and you will feel better physically and mentally.