As you might know, I spent this past week in Los Angeles with a few hundred amazing soccer-loving teens and a few of my favorite fellow bloggers to teach fitness skills, run drills, and host a soccer championship game for them, sponsored in part by Microsoft Lumia, Partnerships for LA Schools, and The Mia Hamm Foundation. This is the kind of stuff I love – love – to do.

I must say, this was the most rewarding work I’ve done all year.

I spent several days with 200 high schools who excel at school and are leaders in their local communities, sharing insights and information about fitness and nutrition, sharing simple tips that they could take back to their parents or things they could consider when they make their plates at home, and teaching several classes – 19, to be exact – on pre- and post-workout routines like cool downs, warm-ups, and stretching. It was awesome – not just for the kids, but for me, too.

Had it not been for the grace of someone in my younger life, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. In fact, there are several people in my life who thought to extend a hand back to help pull me forward, and that has become a core part of who I am. Having the opportunity to do that, and have the kids come up to me and hug me, thank me for the lessons, and ask to take pictures with me – photos like this awesome shot below – made me feel like I’d done something good, like I’d been a part of something special.

Since the week was all about “making it happen,” we asked the kids to each make a pledge. It didn’t have to be a fitness-related pledge – one of the kids pledged to read 30 minutes of unassigned un-school-related reading a day – and they had to vow to stick to it. We gifted the kids with a super dope “Get Fit Kit” – a few t-shirts with the week’s slogan of #MakeItHappen emblazoned across the back, a new Microsoft Lumia 635 smart phone, a FitBit fitness tracker, a water bottle, and a notebook that gave them space to track their progress on their goals.

I can only hope I made as positive a difference in these teens’ lives as they’ve made in mine.

As you might realize, this was my first time teaching group fitness. And, though I’d doubted my pedagogy – my ability to teach others and ensure that they come away with the correct and full message – and whether or not I could get the job done, hearing the kids ask questions and being able to give them clear and concise answers, being able to guide them through complex moves and assist students when they needed it, and being able to command the respect of the teens – not an easy feat, I must admit, because whereas adults are polite enough to play it off sometimes, teens are rude – gave me more and more confidence with each class I taught. Eventually, my swagger was on a hundred thousand trillion. (I mean, I’m not gonna lie – I was feeling myself.)

In other words, I feel more confident in my teaching abilities… and now, I’m looking forward to making my sixth certification the Group Fitness one. And I’m looking forward to seeing y’all next #ScaleFreeSummer.

Oh, and I’m giving away stuff.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest ends December 20th!