Thursday, November 15, 2012

Riveting Rosie

Rosie, left, soon-to-be newly-minted Body Pump instructor
Let me introduce you all to Rosie Rodriguez-Robinson, a classmate of mine at the twice-weekly Body Pump fitness sessions I attend at my local gym, Merritt Athletic Club (, in Baltimore County, Maryland, where I make my home. An employee in the government sector, as so many in this area are, the 43-year-old Social Security Administration manager has long dreamed of becoming a certified Body Pump instructor.

For the past five years, Rosie put that dream on hold while she pursued a master’s in Human Resources at Towson University, located in our county seat.  With the ink barely dry on her HR degree, Rosie recently began the months-long process of becoming certified to teach Body Pump through New Zealand-based LES MILLS (, a leading group fitness training conglomerate with over 70,000 certified instructors in 80 countries.

A few months ago, as Rosie and I exchanged pleasantries before class, I told her how I had recently lost 70 pounds and created a fantastic new life for myself, due in no small part to the morale-boosting support of my group fitness instructors at the gym. At this week’s Monday night class, Rosie took the stage alongside our longtime Monday Body Pump instructor, Robert Biffle and led a few segments of the session under Robert’s watchful eye. After the class, when I told her what a good job she’d done, Rosie told me that my story is what inspired her to finally take action to become a certified instructor. I was thrilled.

At last night’s class, Rosie took the stage with Devon Dohony, head of all group fitness instructors for Merritt Athletic Clubs across the mid-Atlantic region. When it was time for Rosie to lead us in several tracks during the hour-long stint, she donned the microphone and confidently called out our movements to the rhythmic thumping of the accompanying music, just as she had on Monday.

Now Rosie’s only remaining task before receiving certification is to submit a videotape of herself as she teaches an entire hour-long class, which is due by next month. Once the Les Mills organization has approved her submittal, Rosie will join the ranks of elite athletes who are qualified to rivet their audiences each week with masterfully coached sessions of Body Pump group fitness. She will have added a life-affirming talent to her list of considerable skills and, as I celebrate my own milestone this week, that of surpassing 10,000 pageviews of my blog almost exactly one year after having launched it last November, I am honored to have played a small part in her accomplishment. Congratulations, Rosie!

P.S. Rosie finally got word from New Zealand on April 26, 2013 that she passed her video exam and is now a Les Mills certified Body Pump instructor!  Way to go, Rosie!!

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