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Feb '09


Since December I’ve been studying and preparing to take the AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) certification exam for primary group exercise. I’m already certified to teach group exercise by Fitour, but AFAA is more highly accredited. And the AFAA exam process is harder.

Yesterday was the Big Day. I woke up on Friday morning at 5, wondering if I should go ahead with the exam. I’d already paid for the test, I had spent two months of my life preparing for the test, and it costs a bit of money to change the date of the test. But on Thursday night as I was studying I had a miscarriage. I had been expecting it; I was twelve weeks pregnant but at a routine ultrasound at ten weeks had learned it was no good. So I’ve been waiting for the miscarriage and worrying it would interfere with a multitude of commitments I considered too important to miss, including my AFAA test. Was I done miscarrying? Was my body able to endure a day of aerobic activity and three exams?

I opted to go and drove two hours in the rain and, later, snow to get to the testing site. The workshop presenter was fabulous with an equally fabulous British accent. We spent hours reviewing anatomy, kinesiology, proper form and alignment, and preparing ourselves for the practical exams. There are two practical exams: One tests your knowledge of strengthening exercises (“Demonstrate at least two strengthening exercises for the pectoralis major…”) and stretches corresponding to each of the ten muscle groups. That test is done in a group setting, so you’re all demonstrating together. I think I passed this part, although I know I made at least one mistake.

The other practical test is an individual presentation where you stand in front of the class and demonstrate a movement (cardio, strength, or flexibility) and teach the class three variations of intensity. You’re encouraged to speak a lot during your presentation about proper form and alignment. This was my favorite part of the whole day; I had fun teaching my cardio portion to the class. I got a lot of whoops and hollers, which to an aerobics instructor is a good thing. I’m sure I passed this exam, even though I accidentally made a reference to table dancing. During the most intense part of the exercise we were jogging and jumping, and I told the class to land softly on the balls of their feet and, to help them do this, to pretend they’re moving on a glass surface. Except I couldn’t think of the word “surface” on the fly and instead said “on a glass table” and added, “Like you’re table dancing.” Just after it came out of my mouth I realized maybe an AFAA examination wasn’t the place to be talking about table dancing, so I quickly added, “The good kind of table dancing!” Thankfully, the table dancing comment got me a lot of those happy-sounding whoops and hollers, the loudest of which came from the examiner herself.

Finally (and by this time the day was starting to feel long) it was time for the 100-question written exam, which we had an hour to finish. The last thing I expected was to be the first one done, but that’s what happened. When I answered the last question I looked around and everyone was still hard at it. I didn’t think I had gone particularly quickly through the test. I mean, either you know it or you don’t. There were a few questions I had circled to come back to at the end that I wasn’t sure about, and I took a few extra minutes reconsidering my answers, but even with that I finished first. That could either be a good sign or a bad one. I have to answer at least 80 of the 100 questions correctly to pass, which I think I did, but I’ll find out for sure in 4-6 weeks when the results are in.

To celebrate the end of my studying days (which made me feel like I was back in college) and the end of my pregnancy, today I am cleaning the house, doing laundry, listening to Harry Potter on tape, and playing with Wesley. It’s a good day to move on.


6 Responses to “AFAAaaaaaaahhhhh.”

  1. alicia Says:

    Wow, you are amazing and very dedicated! Way to go! I bet it is nice to have the testing done. That is so awesome! I really want to go to one of your classes. Let me know when you are teaching and where, and if I can pay for a one time class (since I don’t think I want to commute all the way south). I would love to see what Zumba is.

    I’m sorry about the miscarriage- I’m sure you are relieved to not have to have the D&C. You should take it easy! I think the last couple of days give you the right. :) I remember my miscarriage very vividly I was at work at birthmother’s apartment helping her move and I had the worse pains ever, then I miscarried in her bathroom. Kinda crazy. I decided I should take her to her apartment and then go home. :)

  2. tara72 Says:

    I’m really glad you posted about how it went, I was about to call and see! so first of all, way to go!!! I know you studied a LOT for it (which is probably why you were the first one done with your written test). and I know that you are a really good instructor. the table dancing thing is pretty funny, but you recovered well. so good job. :)

    of course, the timing sounds a little poor…..but you survived. you know I’m sorry about the miscarriage, but at least you are done with the hard part! so good for you for getting through this week and having just a day today! wanna come over to MY house to clean? I haven’t been doing that much lately.

  3. katrinajr Says:

    So sorry about the miscarriage. If I were you I would include cooking a batch of cookies in my to do list today…

    And congratulations on your test, I am glad it went well!

  4. Maurine Says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I know it is always hard to go through that no matter how early in the pregnancy. Also I am totally proud of you for your dedication to the aerobics certification. I totally wish I still lived there, so I could see you in action. Thanks for your comment on my blog, it has been rough especially since I caught it too. It is hard to be the mom and take care of everyone when you are too weak to stand up.

  5. brozy Says:

    I’m sorry about the miscarriage. That’s rough.

    Congratulations on getting your AFAA, though.

  6. Dream Shard Blog » Blog Archive » AFAA VICTORY! Says:

    […] share that I got my test results for the AFAA exam–and I passed with flying colors. Remember how I was the first person done and wasn’t sure if maybe all the questions that I had thought were easy were actually […]

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