Heartbreak turns into joy in Auckland

If there’s one thing every Les Mills instructor dreams of, it’s attending a Masterclass filming in New Zealand, whether you’re on the stage or in the crowd.

New experiences are created. New friendships are fostered. And best of all, you experience the best group fitness classes in the world with the best instructors.

For Christina Moore, an instructor from Jacksonville, Fl., the experience started good, turned bad but turned good all over again.

Moore, who recently made the long journey to Auckland from Florida for some Masterclass filmings, was kind enough to share her story recently.

“I was going to New Zealand and the first part of my trip was to attend the BodyPump and BodyCombat trainings,” Moore wrote in an email.

When Moore went to sign up online, she discovered the only Masterclass that was open was for RPM, but she was informed that signups weren’t required for the BodyPump masterclass.

“I asked if [they] were sure because I was coming from the states and didn’t want to run into any problems,” Moore said. “So, when I arrived in Auckland, I went to Les Mills on Victoria Street the day before taping to make absolute certain I would not have a problem.”

An attendant at the most famous Les Mills club in the world assured Moore all she had to do was show up with $35 and be ready to go.

But the next morning, when she arrived dressed in red and black BodyPump gear and armed with $80 – enough for Moore and a friend that made the trip with her – she found out that wasn’t the case after waiting in line for a half hour.

“I started seeing people take out slips of paper so I asked the guy behind me what the paper was, and he said it was their event ticket, because [apparently] you had to register in advance,” Moore said. “My heart sank because my nightmare, though I worked to avoid issues, was unfolding and a knot grew in my throat.”

But keep the faith, Moore thought, and the fellow instructor informed her that she could register on-site no problem. However, there was another bump in the road.

“The counter woman said it was $160 [for two people],” Moore said. “I was floored because the woman the day before said it was only $35 per person.”

It turns out the cost was $80 per instructor, and since Moore didn’t want to pay for herself and leave her friend stranded, they walked back to their hotel, tears streaming down Moore’s face.

However, every cloud has a silver lining, and Moore went back to the club the next morning for the BodyCombat taping, again arriving at 6 a.m., but armed with more ammunition this time.

“[I was] armed with a credit card so no price tag would emotionally cripple me on that day,” she wrote. “When they ushered us in, the counter girl told me that since I am registering on the last day [of filming], that the cost was only $45.”

Finally, Moore was inside the most famous group fitness studio in the world, a place that gives instructors the feeling of playing football at Notre Dame Stadium, baseball at Fenway Park or basketball at Boston Garden.

“It was such an amazing experience,” Moore said. “The vibe in the room was electric.”

Presenters Dan and Rachel Cohen were leading the Masterclass, with Rachel, whom I had the chance to meet last year in Massachusetts at a Quarterly, feeling a tad under the weather. But that doesn’t slow the Les Mills tribe one bit.

“She came out with a smile and as beautiful as ever,” said Moore. “She addressed the audience and you realized she was well under the weather, yet she worked to hide it and as she soldiered through the taping, it made me respect her so much more.”

As instructors, we teach hurt and sick, so it’s clear we can learn something from Rachel and Dan.

“He seems to have such a beautiful soul that you just wanted to have tea with him and pick his brain,” Moore said, “and he seemed like he was the kind of person that would be accommodating for such a request.”

The one thing that Moore will bring back to her Les Mills tribe in Florida is the true aura of hundreds of people in one room doing what they love.

“The passion everyone had on the floor and the passion of Dan and Rachel, it’s all well placed,” she said.

Even though Moore “had her heart ripped” when she couldn’t attend the BodyPump filming, she said “being there for Combat was an incredible experience.

“I plan on going back at the beginning of January and hopefully, I won’t have the same issue,” Moore said.

For any instructor who plans on going to a filming from the states, be sure to bring plenty of money to register the day of the taping, and get there early to secure a spot in line. Also, leave your gym bags at the hotel, because you will have to bring it to another room and your place in line may be lost. Also, no cell phones or cameras are allowed in the studio, as per taping regulations.

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective with BDN readers about what's happening on the Boston professional sports scene.