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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Confessions of an Ex-Personal Trainer

The 90s. What an interesting fashion decade that also saw the sports/health and fitness industries having a say so in what was cool. It was a decade I had my fitness mojo till somehow something/somebody stole it from me. Let me take you there for a moment. I had just relocated from Nigeria to the States. I was a bit thankful because I was literally coming off the shoulder pads era of the 80s. It seemed women around the globe were interested in being like American linebackers. In a freaky way, it was very empowering to have huge squared shoulders that hid your neck. lol! Women felt equal to men, especially in power suits. Think the hit show "Moonlighting" with actors Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis. I was influenced by the trend. It struck a cord with me as it seemed like my desire, especially when I lived in Nigeria, was to feel empowered as a young girl and being "sexy" didn't hurt. ;) I recall my favorite white knee length skirt matched with my pink blouse and of course the inevitably linebacker shoulder pad inserts. I wore it and felt so beautiful, so strong, so confident!
The '80s shoulder pad trends ultimately fizzled and ushered in the 90s. This was when I relocated back to the States. The fashion-forward here were still coming off the 80s trends. Now ladies, y'all don't act like you don't know what am talkin' 'bout! Em, multicolored hair, cropped tops, sweater on the waist, spandex? lol! The grunge look was the "in" "thang," especially among punk influenced teens, while lots of black teenagers, especially boys, kept it trendy with colorful baggy jeans, among others. Let's just say hip-hop was making its grand fashion entrance. Flannels? I wore them like it was nobody's business. They were hot on me, seriously. Lol! Shoes such as dockers and platform sneakers were the order of the day. I could not resist the platform sneakers and doc military styled boots, too cute. It was sort of my way of hanging on to the memories of going to a military grade/high school and the interesting experiences that are only fitting for a book. But, the key trends for me were never the fashion styles or the fact that I also got my flannel craze on. It was an intense obsession and craze for sports and staying fit, like six-pack fit. The fitness world influenced and made its mark and even celebs were talking Atkins diet, vegetable diet, step aerobics, kick-boxing, pilates, yoga, medicine balls, ab-master, Taebo and more.
I enjoyed sports. Playing basketball was an all time favroite, not for any team, just pick up games. The only girl, for the most part, on the courts, armed with a healthy dose of trash talking and insisting I play otherwise, no one else got to play, seriously. "Fellas" ranging from 5ft to 6ft 11inch tried to intimidate yours truly thinking they could steal my ability to say it clearly and loudly "I got next!" and choose my team. But, they got it all twisted because when I was through with them, they knew it was not that kind of party and we weren't going to make it that type. lol! By then, within the African communities I observed neither the "brodas" or sistas were into fitness. You'd catch them maybe in the club and on a weekend at the soccer field but definitely not hiking, mountain climbing or pumping weights in the gym. In fact, for the longest time, an African guy with a 4/6 pack was not considered sexy to a lot of my African girlfriends in the West and it was worse when you visited Africa. I don't blame them, the fitness industry went crazy and even women walked around like they were on steroids.lol! Another attempt at interpreting the 80s American linebacker trend? How times have changed, especially when I look at African male entertainers who have such fit bodies. Anyway, my obsession with fitness ultimately led me to become a certified personal trainer. For five years, helping people stay fit motivated me to maintain my intense fitness level. I felt like I was on cloud 9 whenever I saw and could help people achieve their fitness goals. My obsession extended from the 90s well into '00s.
So, it is a wonder that I ask myself these days how I got to here. "Here" being a state of minimal exercise. My nutrition is an upgrade from back in the days but my exercise game, not so hot! Although, late last month into early this month found me a bit rejuvenated and gradually getting back into my work out routine. A true Ladybrille fashion-forward woman knows you can't begin to talk about looking great in clothes without a healthy assessment of the body you are putting the clothes on.

There is a sweet euphoria of knowing you look and feel great in and outwardly. From my intense workouts, playing basketball on so many courts, atimes till midnight, carrying one in the trunk of my car so I could catch the next game whenever and where-ever it may be and doing some more trash talking--I backed it up though :), to dance classes, spinning classes and helping clients lose weight and/gain muscle, what happened? Life got busier? Nope. My life was actually busier before. I think it was when I sprained an ankle a while back and that sort of sent me down the tube. Trainers will tell you that when you lose your workout mojo, it can be like a death sentence. While you might go to the gym or do the outdoor stuff, it is not quite the same. Anyways, I am determined to get my fitness mojo back! My ankle is much better and I am about to put the "F" back in fitness,although I'm not so sure it will be on that level again--I am getting old. lol!
There you have it. The confession of an ex- personal trainer! But,to kick off my celebration into a re-commitment to staying fit for life, I could not resist these funny clips of comedian Jim Carrey in "Living Color." One is an impersonation of Vanilla Ice complete with exercise moves. I remember one of my African "brodas" who thought he was Vanilla Ice and did these moves like wow! RI, sorry. I am calling you out bruh! lol! The other is Jim Carrey showing ladies self defense skills. Have a healthy and brilliant day! I'll be back b/4 u know it :)
JIM CARREY-- "White," "White" Baby!

JIM CARREY teaching women defensive skills

3 comments:

Omodudu said...

First time here. Great blog, from Africa Enterprising group. Will be right back, promptly added to my reader.

Ladybrille said...

@Omodudu- thanks for stopping by! Will check yours out.

Lady A said...

LOL
You took it back with Jim Carey. That is so funny!

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