My journey through fitness

I was just thinking back how far fitness classes have come over the years. Before there was Tae Bo, Hip-Hop Abs and Zumba-type classes, there was aerobics.

It was 1980, the beginning of the fitness revolution, when my second little girl was born. Little did I know my lifestyle would change forever when I decided I had to find some way to lose the baby weight. We were a military family stationed at Fort Ord, Calif., at the time.

My very first work-out session was following Richard Simmons on TV. Then I got totally hooked on aerobics after graduating to a more structured class for women offered at the recreation center on the military base. There we were in our leotards and tights, leg warmers and the new Reebok aerobic shoes. I cringe thinking about it — but that was the fitness attire of the era. Being in the military, we moved every three years. And everywhere we moved, I found an aerobics class to join.

From 1983 to 1989, while stationed at Stewart Airfield in New York, an outpost of West Point, and then while stationed overseas at Ansbach, Germany, I taught my own aerobics classes. I took everything I learned from previous classes and books and magazines, I had read, including Jane Fonda, and designed my own class. My one-hour classes incorporated aerobics with body sculpting exercises with the use of light weights and dowels for specific exercises and stretching, all to the sound of ’80s my husband recorded for me on cassette tapes.

In New York, I taught 10 classes a week – morning, afternoon and evening classes, six days a week at the post recreation center, a fitness studio in Newburgh and after school for the teachers at the elementary school. Sundays was my prep day to plan a new program for the next week.

In Ansbach, Germany, I taught three times a week, until I give birth to our third child. We moved to Fort Meade, Md., shortly after my daughter’s birth. It didn’t take me long to find a class, but only as a participant this time. Jazzercise in the early ’90s was my all-time favorite class. I loved the jazz-style choreographed moves.

Six months before my husband retired from the Army, we moved to York. I’ve been a regular participant in my current fitness class for 20 years. Even though I’m in the “Prime of My Life” now, with physical challenges to boot, I intend to continue to workout until my body just won’t let me anymore.

If you want to start your own journey to fitness, I recommend checking out these classes in York County.

 

About Susan Mafnas

Susan Mafnas is an editorial assistant at the York Daily Record.
This entry was posted in Aerobics, Cardio, Classes, Fitness, Trends, Workouts, Zumba and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My journey through fitness

  1. Sue,
    You are one SPECIAL lady, and you are one of my reasons I continue to do what I love so much. I hope I can keep inspiring you like you do me. Thank you for being with me for 20 years and I look forward to many more healthy years to come.

  2. Leigh Zaleski says:

    Susan, I’m so impressed that you used to teach classes! Also, I think leg warmers and leotards have come back in style : )

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