Deena C. Bouknight Contributing Writer
Zumba, yoga, and Pilates are a few options that visitors and residents of Macon County can access regularly. But retired-attorney Debi Gedling has begun offering a form of exercise unfamiliar to many people. She became a certified instructor of a dance fitness format called SHiNE, an exercise concept rooted in ballet, jazz, and hip hop that is choreographed to contemporary music.
“But it is much more than about exercise,” said Gedling, who moved to Franklin six years ago with her husband, Jim. “It’s about connectedness and community.”
At the beginning of January, Gedling launched SHiNE classes at My Fit Journey in Franklin. Before classes start, she provides an overview of the fitness regimen and offers encouragement to attendees. At a Jan. 21 class, she explained the warmup and asked participants to start in what she called a “power position.”
Although, according to Gedling, more than 500 SHiNE instructors teach nationwide, with at least one in every state and in many foreign countries, My Fit Journey in Franklin will be the only place offering the fitness format in Western North Carolina.
“Each class includes the perfect balance of high cardio and toning to ensure you receive a full-body workout with real results. SHiNE is a mood-lifting experience that leaves you feeling capable, confident, and connected to a supportive community,” said Gedling.
Gedling said she is looking forward to sharing SHiNE with individuals who have traversed a diverse fitness journey like she has.
“I’ve been physically active since quitting smoking after law school when I moved to Ohio,” she shared. “I began by running and when all was said and done, I had run 10 marathons all over the United States and numerous races at other distances, including many half marathons. Unfortunately, the running took a toll on me and injuries forced me to stop. That’s when I turned to fitness classes – aerobics, spinning, Zumba, etc. At some point, I began searching for something different to do. I found SHiNE online, tried it, and loved it immediately. The goal is not to do a routine perfectly but to use it, be creative with it, and have fun moving to the music.”
Gedling’s first SHiNE class took place on Jan. 14. She said her “hope” for individuals who experience the SHiNE style of fitness is that they become “… a group of people who want to support each other and have fun dancing their way to better fitness in mind and body.”
Currently Gedling is offering SHiNE classes the first three Saturdays of the month at 10 a.m. Interested individuals can check out Gedling’s Facebook page to learn more.