“I am a 53-year old born-and-bred Jersey Boy with two beautiful teen-aged daughters. For most of my life, I have watched my family, particularly my father, battle weight issues that scared me. As I became older, I could only hope I would not have to fight the same battles.
In 2015, I was to attend my daughter’s first awards banquet sponsored by her karate school. I didn’t have one suit out of about five in my closet that came close to fitting me. After winning the student of the year award, of course they wanted pictures of the proud dad with his daughter. These pictures of me were the wake-up call I needed. I couldn’t believe the unhealthy look in my face on such a joyous occasion. After a good crying spell, I vowed to myself and my daughters to begin a journey of taking care of myself and being happy with how I look and feel.
For the first time ever, I became a member of a local fitness gym where Zumba classes were offered. I walked into my first class on May 25, 2015, and the rest is history. Although extremely intimidated and outright frustrated with myself, I knew that I could make a change for myself if I stuck with it. That first class changed my life…how so? Well, let’s just say that since then, I now attend Zumba classes 4-6 days a week at several gyms. The positivity from all the amazing instructors AND fellow students led me to pursue the opportunity of becoming an instructor myself, which I did in June of 2016.
Taking Zumba classes is a commitment I have made to my family, my newly discovered Zumba community, and myself. I have lost 26 pounds since that first class and I am so proud to be a part of the most exciting and rewarding fitness program around. And to my dearest friend Emanuel…this one’s for you!”
– John Branwell, licensed Zumba® Instructor; never shows up to class without his Zumba® Wear and a smile
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