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Ember Nevill

Meaning of LIfe

Dance Workout: Meaning of Life

By | Dance Fitness Workouts | No Comments

Every class has a cooldown song! This is currently the very last song on my class playlist.

Come take a live class!

Let me know! What song do you want to see next? Leave a comment and don’t forget to hit LIKE on the video for more uploads. I’ll continue to film and share our dances so long as you’re giving feedback and love!

Dance Fitness – Meaning of Life – Kelly Clarkson


Group Fitness Etiquette

By | Fitness & Health | No Comments

I remember my first group fitness class vividly. After a few weeks stumbling around the weight machines at my gym, I eventually settled for the treadmill or stairs to nowhere. From the treadmills, I could see into the group fitness room where I would walk and stare.

Why would anyone want to workout and look at themselves in a ginormous mirror like that? I would be too afraid of stepping on someone or getting in the way! I avoided that group fitness room like the plague for months! Everyone in that room seemed to flow in rhythmic motion like they’d been practicing together for months. I could never have that kind of coordination! I had many doubts.

Eventually, a good-natured friend lured me into a class.  I remember standing in the back praying the instructor would ignore me and maybe I could find a way to slip out the side door in the middle of class and get back to my viewing station on the treadmill.

Something happened though and I slowly became HOOKED. The energy, variety of exercises, instructors, and music all became very addicting. I was no longer getting bored with my workouts and started really looking forward to them! What was happening to me??? I was becoming a group fitness groupie!

Things got weird. I began moving closer and closer to the front of the room until eventually, I was on the front row in every class I would attend. I became friends with all of my instructors and then I became an instructor! What was happening!?

After years of teaching in different big box gyms, I decided to open a fitness studio called Fired Up Fitness. At FUF we would focus solely on the group fitness aspect of gym life. The part that had the biggest impact on MY life!

I’ve learned a lot of do’s and don’t since my time watching on the sideline! I want to share my top tips for newbies, oldies, and everyone in between.

Here are my top ten group fitness etiquette tips!

  1. Don’t be late to class.

    I learned this pretty early on. I felt mortified walking into a class already in session. It’s a huge distraction! Of course, things happen and sometimes lateness happens. If you’re more than 5-10 minutes late you might consider waiting for the next class. If you’re notoriously late, it’s time to find new methods to help with timeliness. Missing the class warm up and stretch out are big no-nos you’ll want to avoid.  If you need to leave a class early simply let the instructor know before class begins that you’ll be slipping out a bit early. Most instructors will appreciate the heads up instead of assuming they did something to make you walk out.

  2. Gear up!

    You’ll want a sweat towel, water bottle, deodorant that works, and pants that pass the see-through test when you bend over in a forward fold. Those back row ladies get a FULL show sometimes! A supportive sports bra and good training shoe should also be on your list! Do your research, ask the other ladies in class for their recommendations and figure out the gear that works best for you. Check out a list of our favorites here.

  3. Don’t be rude.

    Have you been in a class where the instructor is trying to explain a move or exercise but the chatty Kathy’s of the group are talking up a storm? I’ve felt the frustration as an instructor trying to talk over people and as a participant wanting to hush the crowd so I could try to understand what was being explained. Talking during class is rude. Turn your phone off too. This is time to focus on YOU. If you’re checking your phone during every break are you really focused on your workout? Probably not. If you’re too busy to workout, need to take a phone call, or respond to texts excuse yourself from class to avoid distracting everyone else.

  4. Don’t be a stranger.

    One of the best things about group fitness is the GROUP! This is your opportunity to make amazing new friends. Pay attention to your body language, resting bitch face, and overall vibe. Are you approachable? Your body language introduces you before a word ever comes out of your mouth. Say hello, smile, and introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met. Group fitness becomes a lot of fun when you’re taking a class with friends. A simple “hello” is a fabulous place to start!

  5. Don’t skip the workout, modify the workout!

    We offer modifications in all of our classes. It helps to have a heads up when someone is struggling with an injury or other limitation. Before class begins, inform the instructor of any injuries or potential need for modifications.

  6.  Respect community space.

    Wipe down your equipment, clean up after yourself, and leave the space better than you found it. This seems like a no-brainer but reminders help. We get it.

  7. You don’t own that spot.

    We are creatures of habit and once you start attending a class consistently it’s easy to settle into the same spot. It’s like a punch to the gut when you show up and find someone else is in “your spot.” What to do!? Don’t panic. You don’t own that spot. As much as we might joke and claim dibs I’ve seen many feelings get hurt over this issue. Don’t be afraid to move around, gain a fresh perspective in a different part of the room! The word might eventually get around to that newbie in class that she’s “in your spot” and she might take it seriously. She might never show up again in fear of taking someone’s spot. Women don’t want to offend other women. You can use things, like a water bottle, to hold your place but I would not get too huffy if you find someone has moved your things. No need to throw down. Get to class early and secure your spot by BEING in your spot. Just remember, you don’t own it. Share.

  8. Class is in session!

    If you’re waiting for your class to begin and there is another class in session try to be respectful. Let the class in progress exit the room before you enter. If it’s a calm low volume type of class try to keep your voice down if you’re waiting in the next room over. Have you ever been in Yoga during the final savasana only to have roaring laughter and chatter happening outside the door? Rude. Please be respectful for the class in session.

  9. Substitute Instructors

    Give sub instructors a chance! Just because your favorite instructor is sick and called in a sub does not give you a free pass to skip class. Get your workout in, try it with someone new, and step out of your comfort zone. We suggest giving any format and instructor three tries before deciding if you like it or not.

  10. Hoarders.

    If you’re taking an equipment based class, like Fierce Flex, don’t hoard all of the equipment. If you work out in a facility that has limited equipment try to share and take what’s only necessary. Be willing to share with those around you. When class is over and clean up is in session it’s always a nice gesture to grab a neighbors equipment and help them put their things away too. What goes around comes around. Get on the good karma gravy train!

Do you have more tips? Share them below!
I want to hear your do’s and don’ts!


7 Yoga Essentials

By | All Posts, Fitness & Health, Friday Favorites, Yoga | No Comments

If you’re looking for a few tools to have some fun with on your mind body journey I’ve got you covered in today’s blog!

I’ve been practicing pretty regularly for ten years now. I started getting more serious about my yoga practice throughout this past year. I enrolled in a 200 hour yoga teacher training back in September and have definitely found a few props and accessories that I love bringing into my practice.

Now, granted, you can get your yoga on with nothing but your heart and soul. You don’t need a mat, a class, a teacher, or any props. Yoga can be done anywhere, at anytime, simply by getting quiet with yourself and focusing on the breath. Getting present with ourselves is truly what it’s all about.

Some of these items might seem a bit pricey but when it comes to things like your yoga mat you really do get what you pay for. I buckled down and dropped about $70 on the mat listed below and I LOVE IT. I have no doubt it will last me many many years. I asked a friend to test drive hers out one day during class and was sold within five minutes. No slip. No slide. If you’re just getting started with yoga and want to get a feel for it first you can also find decent yoga mats at Ross, Target, or any local sporting good store.

For everything else, I’d say shop around, read reviews, and ask your yogi lover friends what props they use. These items make an AWESOME gift for your yogi loving mom, friend or, sister!

  1. A yoga mat is nice to have. Bonus if you can get a carrying bag or strap.
  2. A nice firm cork yoga block, as seen on my Friday Favorite’s list, is a definite bonus if you’re tall or if you need more flexibility, assistance with balance, and also makes for a nice meditation spot.
  3. Yoga straps are great for stretching and assisting with reach. There are a ton of Youtube videos for how to use a yoga strap too!
  4. Mat spray is great to have in your bag or with your mat. Spray down your mat after each practice to keep it fresh and disinfected.
  5. A foam roller is a must for pretty much everyone not just yogis.
  6. Yoga socks help you from slipping and sliding on your mat.
  7. Yoga blankets rock! I keep one in my car at all times. You never know when you’ll bust out a picnic but these are also great for shoulder stands, savasana, and under the knees.

Click the images and you’ll be redirected to the info and purchase sites.

These are just a few of my favorites. What are yours? Comment below and let’s discuss!

Sweat sisterspotlight

Sweat Sister Spotlight: Karen Bratcher

By | Success Stories | No Comments

After I closed my studio last fall I said goodbye to some of my favorite ladies. I would get up early a few times each week to teach a 5:15am workout and had some of the most dedicated women in those classes. They made getting out of bed WORTH it. I was thankful they would get up to workout with me but more so amazed by their determination to get it done for themselves. Those early birds don’t play.

I got the opportunity to pick up my early morning classes at another studio just down the street from Fired Up Fitness. I started teaching several classes, including three 5:15am classes each week, at Studio One Dance Center in November. I was starting over and building my classes from nothing. I had a few of my FUF girls follow me to SODC and had a few other ladies become pretty regular pretty quickly.

I realized pretty quickly that new girl Karen was with me for EVERY early morning class and knew she was attending the other early class that I wasn’t teaching too. She was committed! Come to found out my new girl was actually and one of Studio One’s founding members. Karen and her family have been with SODC since it opened more than ten years ago!

She shows up with a smile on her face, a positive attitude, and genuine excitement to be there. Yes. Excited at 5:15am. It’s amazing! I feel so inspired and thrilled to be a witness of her journey and true physical transformation. She’s eager to learn and encourages everyone around her. Not only this, but she’s an amazing mother. She has two, absolutely stunning, daughters and is an incredible example to them both.

Karen started working out and taking classes at SODC 4-5 days each week when we started in November. She started making healthier choices, intermittent fasting, and changing her mindset. It wasn’t long before I could see changes physically. She shared her goals with me and I encouraged her to take a few progress pictures and measurements. We took these first set of pictures on December 1st. 30 days later we took the second set. How much did she lose? It doesn’t matter. She lost weight. She lost inches. It’s obvious in the pictures. Most importantly she’s gained a stronger sense of self, found FUN in fitness, and is enjoying the process. For me, this is what it’s all about!

“Listen to your heart, be inspired, celebrate along the way, make a change, and be EAGER.”

Karen recently shared this on Facebook…

Personally, for most of 2017, I felt stuck in a rut. I felt defeated, not happy with anything, grouchy, unexcitable, and wanting a change but unsure of what change I was wanting.  I was not really being present. I wasn’t the Karen I was at one time in my life or the Karen I wanted to be. I was believing lies without fully knowing that I was believing them. Furthermore what’s worse is not realizing the extent the lies grip had over me. To those stupid lies, I say “NO MORE!” Please, friends, don’t sell yourself short of stupid demoralizing lies.

In October, EB and I went on a cruise to celebrate our 15 year anniversary. As we started the set sail I got an email from SODC regarding fitness interest that was going to be starting up at the studio!! Yay SODC for this opportunity!! So as we are leaving Galveston, I sent a random cryptic half-email reply from a cruise ship saying “YES! Interested!” Thinking this will be something fun to try but not expecting to much more than that. I really just wanted to see what this is all about.

Enter November and SODC trainer Ember Nevill. Ember taught my first class and my life hasn’t been the same. I find that in my life, rarely has someone made such an immediate impact, but she did and continues too!! I am forever grateful that our paths crossed and forever changed. Thank you, Ember for your passion, your encouragement, your inspiration, your love and kindness that you freely give to all. Your passion is contagious.

Secondly, enter SODC fitness trainers Sidonie Hale and Casey Marler Blakewood these two gems are incredible. They both inspire, motivate, encourage and have pushed me way beyond what I thought was my limit! These two ladies have rocked my world and continue to do so!! Thank you, both! I love you dearly.

If any of my friends haven’t tried any of the fitness classes at SODC you TOTALLY should.

It is my prayer that anyone who reads this post, will NOT believe any lie that the enemy is trying to SELL you.

Don’t be afraid to try, take a step forward, trust in God’s plan, listen to your heart, be inspired, celebrate along the way, make a change and be EAGER. This is my 2018 theme word. I want to live with an EAGERness in all areas! I look forward to what is to come and live with focus and intentionality.

Blessings to each and every one of you! ❤️

I know Karen’s family, friends, and SODC sisters are SO very proud of her hard work. It’s awesome what is possible in a short amount of time when we are consistent and show up! I can only imagine where she’s going from here. Karen is currently enrolled in my Carb Queen program and ROCKIN it. Stay tuned I’m sure you’ll be seeing much more from this girl!


Dance Workout: Dance Like We’re Making Love

By | Dance Fitness Workouts | No Comments

It must be the diva series because we had Beyonce last week and now Ciara this week. Who’s next!? Any requests? You KNOW I love these dancing divas! This dance is one of my favorites. I love when the ladies in class get into it! HOTTIES.

My favorite part… 
If you’re down just maybe

We dance like we’re making babies
As soon as our song comes on
‘Cause boy we got all night long
So if you’re ready
I’m ready to get it come on
I see a little faded
You wanna get crazy out on this floor
I hope you’re sure this is what you want
‘Cause once I’m turned on, you can’t turn me off

Come take a live class!

Let me know! What song do you want to see next? Leave a comment and don’t forget to hit LIKE on the video for more uploads. I’ll continue to film and share our dances so long as you’re giving feedback and love!

Dance Fitness – Dance Like We’re Making Love – Ciara