“I feel so lucky to be able to teach. Sometimes getting paid for working out and helping people feels like I’ve cheated the system and won!”
Maria’s Power Song, Girl on Fire, by Alicia Keys, is fitting, to say the least. Maria built up her Zumba and Power Yoga classes one glowing student at a time. In late-2015, she set out on a mission to make it easier for other instructors to do the same.
Thanks to Maria, FitSprint now makes it easy for instructors around the world to connect with students, and vice versa. Her Lululemon-clad legs have called Miami, Boston, and London home, and like most instructors, her teaching is deeply inspired by her students.
With a heart-warming smile, she shares one particular teaching moment which feels far from being an isolated case:
“A shy but sweet lady joined my Zumba class and told me she’d recently been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. She said she felt like the diagnosis had stolen her life and her body. I told her that wasn’t the case, that her body and her life was her own and if she came to class every week we would be able to prove it. Every week she was there, smiling and ready to go. Every week, every month, she was more confident, happier- and then one week she came in and she was beaming with joy. She came straight up to me before we started and told me her doctors said she no longer needed to take medication, the same medication the doctors had told her she needed to be on for life only a few months before. She was so happy- and I was floored when she looked at me and said, ‘thank you, I couldn’t have done this without you.’ Then I was the one who was beaming with joy. Watching her improve and become healthier week by week was honestly all the reward I needed, but I loved that she considered me part of her journey.”
Maria’s invigorating choreography will leave you feeling like you’ve been hanging on Miami Beach. But apart from the class routines, there’s no set daily routine for Maria. “One of the best things about teaching so many different styles is that every day is different,” she says. Her Fit Kit is packed with clean socks, a bottle of water, a pair of shoes, a clean top and a cashew bar. The Apple Watch helps keep her busy days on pace.
Among many goals on her list, Maria is currently working to conquer Scorpion pose. Her advice for nourishment is simple. “Eat plenty of protein and make sure you get your 5 a day. And most importantly, don’t stress about it,” Maria says. She’s truly a woman who follows her own advice. After teaching all day, she takes time to unwind. “I live for watching Orange is The New Black with a sushi platter for one.”
Maria’s Keep Fit Philosophy is intuitive. “Move in the way that feels right for you, don’t be afraid to shop around till you find ‘your instructor’ and ‘your class’ If you love it you’ll stick with it. It will come as little surprise that Maria’s proudest moment as an instructor was doing what FitSprint does best – “Filling my first drop-in class with loads of happy, sweaty ladies was a definite high point for me as an instructor,” Maria says.