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Jessica and her amazing flying ponytail

Yesterday, my old student and dear friend, Jessica Smith, looked me right in the eyes and told me I am strong. I am  also”excellent.” I’m  “looking good”. Why, Thank you, Jessica.
Of course, she hasn’t seen me in about a year. She was there with me, however, in a role reversal that had me grinning from ear to ear. Jessica has produced a workout tape on sale through Woman’s Health mag., and yesterday, I was one of her customers.

I work out every day. Sometimes I do my dance warmup. Somedays, Mark gives us both a pump class with weights. That is sort of funny, because he puts on his teaching persona and barks orders at me. One day I answered the phone in the middle of our session and he was so peeved. I was told to “pay attention” in his class. Your class? Um, it’s just you and me dear. Ah well, he gives a good class, so I’m game to any rules that apply.  

On nice days, I run (huff, puff and hobble). But more often than not, I workout to a variety of tapes in my workout room. The closest health club is a 40 minute drive from here, and while I attended for several months when we first moved, I finally gave up. It simply ate up too much of my precious day. That’s when I began walking the mountain, but I found bad weather interviened more often than not and I missed a full body workout. So, I am now a stay at home workout person, which I like. I The social aspect of working out in a health club doesn’t appeal to me, I like the privacy and the freedom of working out alone – it is when I do my best thinking.

I am a fan of DVD’s produced by the Firm for cardio, but I also tend to finish with a Yoga tape. (I swear, I don’t know how anyone without years of dance training can do yoga. It challenges my balance and my flexibility, and I am fairly adapt in both areas. But the meditation is amazing. I always turn off the lights and work in the dark to the yoga tapes.)  I have pilates tapes and exercise ball tapes and you name it.

I find most home tapes are designed for people who are out of shape and lack much self disclipline, because they segment exercises in short sessions that never push the limit. So, I end up doing more than one tape to get a full hour workout.  The day Jessica told me she had a new tape soon to be on the market, I went on line and ordered it right away. Heck, even if I didn’t use workout tapes, I’d have done that.

I got a call from a writer from the Sarasota Herald Tribune interviewing me about Jessica too. Her article came out just yesterday. Here is the site for those of you who are interested. Really, you should read it. Ever seen a writer act more enthralled with a subject? Jessica has a way of gripping people.

You can visit Jessica’s blog too. It’s I can’t critique this, because I haven’t been to visit it. You can bet I will today!

So, now it is time for my video critique. Ha. You knew this was coming Jessica.

Frankly, I can’t be objective. I am so entertained by watching her do her thing, and looking at that remarkable body of hers, (which is nothing like the body I trained for years – dammit) that the actual workout is secondary. But I will say that I did the cardio section, then the upperbody and then the lower body workout in one session, which is supposed to be three days of work. But that isn’t Jessica’s fault. That is the format of these sorts of watered down workout tapes because they are designed for people trying to squeeze in a workout in ten minutes as they get ready for work. If you do more than one day’s session, you can get a nice full workout from this video.

I didn’t like the music, I am afraid to admit. They only play generic  music softly in the background, and you barely hear it, so it is as if you are working out to a voice only. I am someone who craves music as inspiration. But Jessica teaches very well, and in that way, this is a very good tape. I like the sets. The three girls demonstrating look fantastic, and that is inspirational to any woman who works out in effort to get the “body she deserves” . The exercises are great, though nothing remarkably novel. Ah well, classic never goes out of style. Mostly, I was thrilled to watch Jessica. She has chrisima and a sexy way of smiling into the camera that makes me laugh. I listen to her voice, watch the way her body naturally moves,  and I am taken back to years of dance classes – the one’s she’s taken and the one’s she’s taught. She is still the same Jessica. Dynamic.

I especially liked watching her ponytail swing back and forth as she exercises. I liked looking into her bright eyes and fresh skin. She looks beautiful, but better yet, happy. That is what I like best about this video. It is good to see someone you care about in a good “life place”. Obviously, at this particular time, she is happy. That makes me happy too. 

Anyway, I think everyone should buy this tape, even if you want to use it to just sit on the couch eating bon bons while you stare at the teacher.

I would like to say more, a full fledged commercial, but I am late for a date. I am going to the campbell school to see what my husband has created these past few days without me.
Let me just say, I’m not sore from my workout, Jessica. In fact, I feel pretty good. Inside and out. Thank you for that. I’ll see you later today again for the last segment. I’ll try to be “excellent” and to “look good” and to “be strong”  so your compliments won’t be a big fat lie. I’ll also drink water and eat trail mix, as you ordered. You see, I may have been your teacher for years, but I can be a good student as well. At least, I’ll try.

Remember that day when you said to me, “Someday, I want to be just like you . . . or Cindi Lauper.”
Well, Jessica, someday I want to be just like you. I don’t even need a Cindi Lauper fallback. You’re amazing.
Congratulations on your rising career.  

About Ginny East Shaddock

Ginny is the owner of Heartwood Yoga Institute. She is an ERYT-500 Yoga teacher, C-IAYT Yoga therapist, RCYT & Ayurveda Counselor who loves nature, gardening, and creative arts. She has an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University, and a BA in Business Administration from Eckerd College. She teaches writing and is the creator of the memoir writing program, "Yoga on the Page" combining the teaching of yoga to writing personal stories with integrity, intention, and heart.

3 responses »

  1. Thanks for the amazing shout-outs Ginny! Your critique was on the mark – although I thought for sure there would be something about my counting in there..Can’t wait to see you guys I still aspire to be just like you..I started a blog too, didn’t I?


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