Training / Body Building
& Aerobic Dance
by Donna Rose Stewart
my early twenties, I pulled muscles in my upper back. I was in so
much pain that I could not get up or down by myself for two weeks.
The doctor told me to "never lift another grocery bag!" (I had not
hurt myself by lifting grocery bags, but this was his way of saying
for me to never lift ANYTHING ever again.) How ridiculous was this!?
No way was I going to live my life like that! I waited until enough
healing had taken place and I bought a set of barbells and dumbbells,
along with some weight training books.
began working out with an empty bar while following directions from
my new books (I do not recommend that you "try this at home," as
you could get hurt. I have always been able to learn correct form,
technique, etc. from books; but most people need to learn these
things from a qualified instructor.) As I grew stronger, I gradually
increased the amount of weight that I was using, and my back felt
better and better. Over the next months I found that as long as
I weight trained, my back did not hurt; but if I slacked off for
any length of time, my back would hurt again.
I began noticing other fringe benefits to this new training program.
My body was taking on a new, more balanced and symmetrical shape.
Not only did I look better, but I became more extroverted and more
expressive as well (which I needed as a vocal performance major!).
I was enjoying myself, life and people more. This was a win-win-win
experience! I suppose hurting my back was one of those "blessings
in disguise" that I'd always heard about.
later (as my life had not turned out the way that I'd expected),
I found myself in Santa Monica, California working as an instructor
in the very first Jack LaLanne ever built. From there, I went to
New York and managed a gym. I taught some of the very first Aerobic
Dance classes and got into body building. Of course, body building
(for women) today is not what it was then. Then, it was about being
healthy, strong, muscular, flexible, refined, and looking like a
behalf of my boyfriend at the time, I moved back to my hometown
for a few years, where I opened and ran my own aerobic dance studio
called "Donna's Body Shop." It was very successful, and the members
had a lot of fun while getting into shape. As the relationship with
my boyfriend drew to a close, I moved to another city where I continued
teaching aerobic dance for a few more years. I, also, joined a local
health club, where I continued to body build and dance.
you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy
Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from
God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.
Therefore, honor God with your body."
I Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
as the years wore on, I got away from working out. I kept promising
myself that I'd get back to it, but "life" just kept getting in
the way. And guess what happened!?... In March of 2001, I fell down
a flight of stairs and injured my LOWER back! I was in so much pain
that I couldn't lift my legs to walk (except shuffling like a very
old &/or extremely unhealthy person)! So, with many visits to
the chiropractor, and (again) after healing enough, it was back
to lifting weights and getting strong.
now, I hope and pray that I've learned enough to never stop taking
care of myself by taking care of my body, which is my vessel through
I want to add that along with weight training, I have always stretched
a lot. It is very important to be flexible, as well as strong!