I’m teaming up with Ricola® Herb & Throat drops, as part of a campaign with Socialstars, to bring you this sponsored post all about what’s in my bag.
Hi friends! And a happy Thursday going out to you. I hope all is well in your world. Today, we’re going to get personal, because I’m sharing with you every single thing that is in my bag. No, not a purse. A big bag. A gym bag, to be exact. And I have a lot with me each day, because I hop around from gym-to-gym, teaching group fitness classes.
Some of the things that I carry around are expected, but some are not. This was a fun exercise for me, because it had me thinking about why I have such a heavy bag — I need a lot of gear each day for what I do.
I’m probably not alone in that. Because we all have different responsibilities depending on our jobs, I find it very interesting to get a glimpse into other peoples’ stuff. In fact, this is a post that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, so I’m excited that working with Ricola gave me the extra encouragement to do it.
What’s in the bag of a group fitness instructor
- Healthy snacks. I always have a couple of healthy-ish protein bars, granola bars or a bag of almonds as a snack on-hand. I need the fuel and do not like to get too hungry between meals.
- Reusable water bottle. I don’t leave the house without a water bottle and try to fill it up as many times as possible throughout the day. I don’t keep track of my water intake, but can feel it in my body immediately if I’m not getting enough. Water is a beautiful thing for your mind and overall health.
- Energy drops. I only have a few minutes to transition between classes when I’m teaching back-to-back at Orangetheory Fitness, so when I can’t fit in a snack, I pop one of these Ricola Revitalizing Herb Drops for a quick burst of taste, energy and fizz in my mouth. I love these little drops not only for their taste, but also because they are natural and made from herbs cultivated in the Swiss mountains using natural farming methods. An easy way to boost your immunity, as well, which I need working in the fitness-world around people all day.
- iPod for music. I use my old iPhone to store all of the music for the classes I teach. I have a ton of Les Mills group fitness releases and my own mixes I’ve created for freestyle and bootcamp classes loaded up and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Along with this, I have the charger for this particular device, because it’s different from the one I use to charge my current iPhone.
- A/V cord. This is totally a group fitness instructor thing, but I have this red A/V cord to connect my iPod to the stereo at the various gyms where I teach. Most of us carry around our own, because these things tend to get damaged in a high-traffic group fitness room, and I prefer to have a sure-fire set-up with me at all times.
- Microphone wind-screens. I have several microphone wind-screens to put on the microphone headset at gyms, so I don’t share germs with other group fitness instructors. You’d be surprised how much sweat and spit can get on one of these things while teaching tough classes. Therefore, I like to keep it fresh, by changing my own screen fairly frequently.
- Microphone belt. Yes, I have a waist-belt, which I wear and put the microphone battery pack in so it doesn’t bounce around. A few of the gyms where I teach have fancier headsets not requiring the pack, but some don’t. I put this thing straight in the washer every couple-of-weeks as well, because as you would imagine, it collects a lot of sweat.
- Weight-lifting gloves. I wear these gloves to teach BODYPUMP classes, as well as to do my own weight-lifting workouts in the gym. These are also machine-washable, and they protect my hands from calluses and germs.
- Nine-volt batteries. Once again, I have a few sizes of batteries in my bag, in case I end up using a dead microphone and there are no gym-provided battery replacements around in the stereo drawer. These things are expensive!
- A notebook and pen. My trusty Golden State Warriors notebook and pen is actually not always group fitness-related. While I can take notes in there of peoples’ names, I mostly write down blog business when I’m on-the-go. Yes, these days it’s very possible to take notes digitally on your phone, but I like to write it out and have a hard-copy.
- Wallet. This gold Michael Kors wallet is an oldie, but a goodie. I bought this at the outlets in Orlando before I moved to San Francisco three years ago, and it’s still going strong. It fits all of my loyalty cards, cash and even some checks.
- Sunglasses. Do I need new stuff? Once again, I bought these huge green Dior cat-eye shades more than three years ago from the outlets in Orlando, and they’re still my sunglasses of choice. They’re getting a little loose though, so I should get them tightened or buy a new pair.
- Cosmetics bag. Yes, a bag within a bag. I have a pink zip-up full of lip gloss, lip balm, hand lotion, a mirror, a nail file and antibacterial. In this bag, I also always have extra hair-ties and bobby pins to keep my hair contained with all the movement I do.
- Mints. When you (very nicely) scream in peoples’ faces, or get up very close to them to correct their form, you should probably have fresh breath. After enjoying a Ricola drop before classes, I pop a few mints to keep my breath in check before every single class.
- Earphones. I have a pair of blue earphones I can plug into my iPhone for talking hands-free while walking around. And I also use these earphones to plug into my iPod and listen to my group fitness class music to prepare before class.
- Lacrosse ball. I use this yellow lacrosse ball to soothe my tired and achey feet, as well as to loosen up my muscles. I sit on it, or wedge it between my back and the wall for some light pressure to release any tight areas. Recovery is key, and this little thing does wonders!
- Choreography notes. While most of my Les Mills choreography and all of my Orangetheory Fitness workout notes are digital, I still like to have a hard-copy of an older class release with me just in case technology fails.
- OT Beat heart-rate monitor. Because I not only teach classes at Orangetheory Fitness, but also take them, I carry around my OT Beat heart-rate monitor, so I can pop it on before getting into the Orange Zone during a sweat session.
Other things I always have with me not pictured, include a stop-watch wrist-watch, which I wear for teaching classes and keeping time, my cell phone, my car keys and a jacket. And I throw deodorant, an extra shirt and body wipes in my bag as I need them, as well as a protein shake, if I won’t be heading home directly after working out.
With all of these items, my gym bag is pretty heavy, so I try to switch which arm I carry it on from time-to-time. And this is something I highly suggest to everyone out there carrying a bag. Don’t let back or shoulder problems creep up on you!
Being prepared and staying healthy each day
As you can see from the contents of my bag, preparation is key. Whether that means having extra snacks and teaching supplies on hand, or focusing on my own health, fitness and recovery, I know what I need to be successful as an instructor. It’s taken a few years to put it all together, and I continue to learn and grow.
There you have it, friends. I hope this chance to sneak-a-peek into my bag was somewhat entertaining. Have a lovely day, and meet me back here tomorrow for “Friday Favorites.”
*Disclaimer: As part of a Socialstars campaign, this post in sponsored by Ricola. I’ve really enjoyed learning about this family-owned Swiss company, its rich history and the product line available throughout this campaign. So thanks Ricola. However, please know that all the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. For more information on Ricola, you can visit Ricola on Facebook or on Twitter.
Questions of the day
Is there something you can’t leave home without?
What are a few unexpected things in your bag?
How do you make sure you are prepared each day?