It finally happened

Today, I finally felt like I LIVE here.

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I thought it would happen quite a while ago, especially with resuming the usual to-dos and chores, but nope. It still felt like vacation, even when I had a mountain of laundry to tackle and bags of groceries to put away. It comes with the novelty of getting to know a new place, and even Valdosta (which was not walking distance to any beach) felt like a vacation until things settled in and I started to feel like I belonged there.Β 

I think today it finally happened because I got to teach Zumba again! That little part of my heart came salsa-ing out of my body singing, “I’M HOME.”

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(Wore my oldest Zumba shirt for good luck.)

Thankfully, it was a best-case scenario as far as new classes go. I was super nervous driving down to the studio, wondering if I’d have anyone, wondering if they’d hate me, wondering if this would be help me land a permanent class, etc. etc. To drown out my “what-ifs” I blasted some Don Omar to get in the mood and knew I’d be happy to be out there dancing and teaching again, no matter what happened. I had six amazing ladies, and we had a blast! Good news is that the studio owner was there and said I can take over that class as a sub until she gets me my own class at the end of the month. Insert sigh of relief here.

Also prepped some goodies for tonight’s little dinner party:

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I’m still not totally used to the stove, so I’m sticking with what I know: salmon, mashed sweet potatoes, salad and pizookies. The classics never die.

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Have you done anything to step out of your comfort zone lately?

I’ve had to do recently in regards to teaching out here; there are a lot of great options, but the San Diego fitness industry is competitive. I’m not usually an assertive person, but I’ve had to be in order to get on sub lists and hopefully land some regular classes!

Hope you have a great night and I’ll see ya in the morning <3



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  1. Yeeesss so happy for you. You are officially a San Diegan. SEE YOU SOON!!!! :))))

  2. woot woot! congrats on a great tuesday! & boy that pink salmon looks amazing — enjoy!

  3. awwwww i am sooooo happy for you love!!!!!!!!!! so happy <3 <3 <3 <3 and look at your bum!!!!!!!! NICE A$$ my friend πŸ™‚

  4. I bet you did great teaching!

  5. Wahoooo! I’m still waiting for that feeling of “I actually live here (in Phoenix)”. I have a feeling it’ll help when we move into our own house, and like you said, get more accustomed to the area we’ll be living.

    Great to hear re: your Zumba class! You’re awesome! I’m sure before you know it, you’ll have several regular classes with lots of regular attendees.

    Going out of my comfort zone is always a little bit of a challenge for me, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve also grown to be less anxious about it. I’ve also learned that I almost never regret it! I just recently went out of my comfort zone and am making plans to become a Body Pump instructor. I’ve been out of the “gym atmosphere” and teaching group fitness for a couple years now, so I’m excited to get back into it. It still comes with that fear though. I’m planning to chat more about it on my blog within the next week, but it’s a pretty exciting time!

  6. Yay! It’s an easy place to fall in love with, that’s for sure. I just moved to SD less than a year ago, but it feels like I’ve been there ages.

  7. RachelG says:

    Congratulations on the class, Gina! I really hope you get your own class and that I can take it when I visit the San Diego area in July. If your live classes are anything like the DVD and youtube videos I know I’ll sweat my butt off. πŸ™‚

    It took me a while to get used to my current town, especially since the first two months here I was mostly taking fitness and yoga classes and looking for a job. Maybe you need to get a job in your area in order to feel like you really live there because it forces you to get a daily routine.

    • Fitnessista says:

      i’m trying haha! it’s taking longer than anticipated, especially because i can’t work a ton of hours. (the blog and taking care of liv are my full-time jobs, but i like to teach/train to stay on my a game.) i’m looking to teach or train a few days a week like i did in tucson

  8. Isn’t funny how you have to get used to a new stove? I loved mine in Tucson and the one in Phoenix I hate. I still can’t get used to it. Brand new house with a top of the line stove that I hate. One of these days maybe I’ll get a different one. I’m so happy to hear you’re settling in your new space and finding your place in it! Congrats on the zumba happiness and love the bun too!

  9. I would LOVE to hear more about your experience being forced out of your comfort zone to put yourself out there, by moving.

    I have moved (by myself) 4 times in the past 2 years for work, and the growth I have been forced into has been the biggest blessing!

    Like it or not (and belive me, I don’t always) having no network in my new locations to rely on, I have no choice but to follow up when making plans to “get together for lunch soon” with the potential girl friends I meet. It has been the most amazing experience! Not only have I made incredible friends, every single person, has said, I am so glad you followed up! It’s so hard to make friends after college!

    Bet of luck!

  10. Carrie Wright says:

    I’m so happy you had a great day!

  11. Brittany says:

    Umm can I have your body? You have this perfect little body that I would die for! I was just in europe for a week and I need to go on a diet/cleanse now! I think I gained a few (or 10) pounds!

  12. Heather says:

    San Diego is beautiful. I lived there for several years and it is a great town. The produce is fantastic, as is the seafood, including that gorgeous salmon! Your post reminds me, though, that I came across an article about eating appropriately for Zumba. Perhaps some of you might be interested:

  13. Glad to hear that your first class went well! It’s so nice to get the “first day” of anything new out of the way — now you can just relax & enjoy yourself πŸ™‚

  14. Yay! Congrats your Zumba class went well!! I am sure your will develop a huge following in no time!

  15. You look amazing!! Totally second the bum comment!!
    I recently started CrossFit (in Buenos Aires so in Spanish eek) which was a big step out my comfort zone for me but I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I’m an ex-rower and it’s got all the bits I loved but without the pressure and stress and I’ve met some great people and made one really good friend πŸ™‚ totally worth the nerves. I always think the best things in life are the ones that you have to really push yourself to get πŸ™‚
    Glad to hear that you are feeling at home!

    • Fitnessista says:

      thank you!!
      i totally agree. there’s a quote that says something like “great things don’t happen in the comfort zone” and it’s so true. the best things are the ones you have to work a little harder to achieve.
      so happy to hear you’re enjoying cross fit! if you have a shockwave class nearby, it sounds like you would like that too πŸ™‚

  16. yay!! so happy for you Gina!

  17. Jessica A says:

    Can’t go wrong with salmon and smashed sweet potatoes! Yumm!! I am PCSing for the first time, and unfortunately being stationed 5000 miles away from my husband. I don’t even remember what my comfort zone is!!

  18. Congrats on kicking off your new Zumba gig! Those ladies are so lucky to have you! πŸ™‚

  19. That’s great! I’m impressed–it really didn’t take you that long. Maybe it’s because of all the other moving you guys have done.

    All your posts are making me long for a San Diego vacation! I have been down there in nearly 4 years, which is way too long since I just live in Silicon Valley.

  20. so so exciting! glad your feeling more at home! you look amazing!

  21. I’m happy to hear your zumba class went well! And you had pizookies?! Yum!!!

  22. I whole heartedly believe that one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to step way outside our comfort zone. It almost always leads to positivity and change for the best! Congrats and have fun!

  23. The Eastlake/Southbay YMCAs are looking for both Zumba & Pump instructors. It’s a bit of a drive for you but worth looking into. πŸ™‚

  24. PS I’ve been here 5 months and still feel like I’m on vacay. πŸ˜‰

  25. I have a few yoga/barre connections in San Diego if you are interested!! My sister teaches barre and yoga and a friend owns a yoga studio in Pacific Beach πŸ™‚

  26. So glad to hear your class went well! I can remember the feeling when I first started teaching in Indy after working on a cruise line…those auditions, subbing, the whole nine yards, but it all worked out. My hubby and I are moving to Denver in 3 months and I am nervous about having to do it all over again…yikes!! πŸ™‚ Keep it up, Gina!

  27. Congrats on finding you groove! I haven’t stepped out of my comfort zone in a while…maybe I will find a way to branch out today!

  28. Aw yay so glad it feels like home!

    I’m not generally assertive either but I was at a college graduation and the speaker – Colin Powell! – walked right by me and I stuck out my hand and said hello! He stopped to say hi and we shook hands! πŸ™‚

  29. I remember how competitive the fitness industry was when I was out there! Good luck with your job search. I know with time you will find something that works for you and your family!

  30. Yay!! Congratulations on your new gig!!

  31. Yay! I remember that feeling here. I was really intimidated by the traffic here at first. I remember thinking I’d never be able to navigate certain areas. The first day I realized I wasn’t anxious it totally felt like this was my new home, haha.

  32. Yayaya congrats!! Such a big step. Welcome home!

  33. Totally agree, this is how I felt in LA the industry is SO competitive but stick to your guns you are popular in the world wide web you will for sure ROCK IT! Enjoy SD, it is one of my favorite places in the world πŸ™‚ Lots of Love C

  34. Michelle says:

    Yay! So happy for you! I’m enjoying following your adventures with your sweet little family. You all are so beautiful!

  35. Yeah!!!!!!

    It took me almost 6 months to feel comfortable in our new area of Philly when we moved 2 years ago. We only moved 2 miles down the road but it is a completely different neighborhood with different people and such. I drove back to my old market and CVS for months before finally figuring everything out here. Now it feel more like home than any place I’ve ever lived even though we’ve only been here a couple of years.

  36. For me the hardest thing was finding mom friends. I would start sweating before finally getting the courage to ask another mom out for a play date. SO MUCH WORSE and harder than finding a suitable husband in my opinion hahahah

  37. Jennifer says:

    So happy for you that it’s feeling like home, yea!!! You look fantastic, by the way, way to score that class! Yes, yes, and yes, I totally feel like it’s hard to step out of comfort zone and am going through my own little thing currently. Please cross your fingers that it will pay off and work out for the best. Thanks for the dinner idea, that salad looks nom-nom-able! All the best to you for more days feeling the home love.

  38. I ventured out of my comfort zone by auditioning and now training to be a barre instructor!! So far, I’m loving every minute of it!

    • Fitnessista says:

      what studio are you going through??

      • I’m going through Barre Bee Fit. They’re a franchise based out of Chicago. Relatively new to the barre scene πŸ˜‰ I like them because they also offer a 45 minute HIIT class and interval barre-which combines 20 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of toning, 20 minutes of cardio.

  39. It’s good to be “home” I’m sure! I’m thinking you have a pretty awesome place to call home.

    Good luck landing more teaching spots!!

  40. Congrats on getting a class and on feeling like you’re “home.” I can imagine that area is super competitive with the health and fitness industry. While that can be intimidating, does it also inspire you?

  41. Caitlin says:

    I’ve lived in SD for 6 years and it still feels like vacation. Welcome to Paradise! Where are you teaching? I want to take your class! (Sorry if you have already published these details elsewhere) πŸ™‚

  42. So glad you’re feeling more at home! quick question: i know it’s old but do you remember where you got that zumba top? i know my mum would LOVE it and mothers day is coming up!

  43. Will you share where you are teaching? My in laws love in SD and I always go to Bay Club Carmel valley when I’m in town, but would love to come to a class of yours sometime!

  44. Michelle says:

    I totally feel you about taking a while for a new place to finally feel like home. For me it’s when I start watching the local news on a regular basis (for more than the weather). The very first time we moved, away from where I grew up, it took months because I was home sick and didn’t care what was going on in the new place. That time it took about 4 months but each time we move it has gotten shorter because I figured out the sooner you get involved in your new area the sooner it feels like home.

  45. Congratulations Gina, that’s great news. And happy to hear that you feel home now!!

  46. caitlin says:

    Congrats on the zumba class gina!! love reading your blog and hearing about this new adventure of your life!

  47. Congratulations on both the successful first Zumba class in SD (I live in NYC and so badly wish SD wasn’t so far-I would love to go to a Gina Zumba class!) and finally feeling like SD is home. Feeling like a new place is home is so important!

  48. It definitely does take awhile to feel at home anywhere. πŸ™‚ Glad to hear you finally felt that in SD. And hooray for a successful Zumba class! Hopefully more to come!

  49. Amanda says:

    So I read this post and wondered what the heck is a pizookie?!? I did some google research and now I see! It looks delicious! But I was wondering if you make a big one, do you serve it onto individual plates and then top with ice cream? Looking back it now appears to me that you did individual ramekins which seems genius. Did you follow a recipe? I’d love to jump on this pizookie wagon!

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