“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, PUSH it class! Squeeze! You’re working HARD, come on, we’re almost done! Two more counts of eight.” Norma’s vibrant and dynamic voice echoes in my head all week, and I feel the energy inside me building up every time that we come to her aerobics class. In fact, I’m addicted to the class, to the energy and to the guru: working out enthusiast, Norma. She is the most extraordinarily strong, hard working, fun, motivating and inspiring woman that I know. If I was to ever feel like writing to Luna Bar about a woman, the image of Norma would appear in my head. But I don’t want to write to a nutritional company about her; my admiration is a part of me and it’s shared and connected within every individual that comes three times a week to her three hour class.
Not only is her class the most balanced, unique and hard class I’ve ever stepped into, Norma, the instructor is the most committed, loving teacher that I could dream of having in my life. She has created a class of an exerciser.s dreams: every muscle, every part of our bodies is addressed in each class. From the heart to the shoulders, backs, arms, legs, abs, more legs, and even more legs — what we do is what we get. With love and very hard work, our bodies are born anew and treated with our highest attention and care. Our bodies are our temples, but they are not who we are. Even though a lot of the toning is centered on repetitions, with the blaring music, the sweating Norma, and the excited class, every work out is a new experience, and every minute matters.
Norma has fostered a love of health, nutrition and hard work within me. She is an example of result, of goal setting and meeting them, of what positive energy and a loving attitude of life could do to one’s soul, body and mind. On her website (normalarson.com), Norma writes, “Accomplishing your goals is the best feeling of all, and if I can be a catalyst for your fitness and health endeavors, I’ve exceeded my own expectations. Love yourself and know that you can do anything you set your heart to!” Yes, Norma has truly been a catalyst, and continues to catalyze my love and admiration of the human capacity to be able to do anything and everything that we set ourselves to.
Last class I came in feeling tired, school was hard and stressful and I didn’t have time to finish my homework, yet I set everything aside to go to aerobics. We came late, while the class was jumping to the cardio warm up, screaming “Whoo!! Go Norma! Go Jose! Go Cynthia!” They were encouraging each other and themselves, and that energy overwhelmed me, I smiled too. Norma was front and center, wearing bright colors, screaming at the top of her lungs, with the microphone, and her energy could be felt at the back of the class, in every corner, and was reflected in the mirrors, hitting and combining with the energy of the enthusiastic class. And she asked, “Why are you here?” People called out various responses, “To work hard! To feel good! To have fun! To stay young and healthy!” and one guy called out, with pride, “To see Norma!” It was said as a joke, but it’s true: Norma brings all of us together, and her strength and motivation keep us going, even when our muscles are on the point of exploding from the work. Let’s end with another quote from Norma, “I don’t know what I would do with out fitness and I am so glad it’s become a big part of me. Fitness not only helps you physically but mentally and spiritually too. The best part about all this is being able to teach and share this with others.” Norma has made herself of positive and inspiring energy and she is a model of what love of hard work and love of one’s self can achieve.
- Olga Fostiy