M2 Fitness is reminding CNMI residents that "health is wealth."
Fitness instructor Mary Grace Bautista, a licensee of Zumba’s international network, and one of the organizers of M2 Fitness, said, "Health and fitness are crucial for us to live happily and enjoy what we are doing. We all can do our duties and discharge our responsibilities properly only when we are healthy."
Over 100 Zumba enthusiasts joined M2 Fitness's first anniversary celebration on Aug. 28, 2021 at Saipan World Resort. Participating virtually were Filipino actors and dancers Wowie de Guzman and Joshua Zamora.
Bautista said by joining M2 Fitness, one can learn dance steps, high-intensity interval training or HIIT routines and other activities for free.
"After years of telling myself ‘I am too tired, I am too busy, I don’t have any time,’ or ‘I will exercise soon,’ I decided to make a commitment to myself because health issues scared me and prevented me from doing things. I wanted to stay healthy so I could have more energy for my children and live a long, healthy life, so I could be with my family until my departure from this earth," Bautista said.
She and a friend, Mita Pelicano, started going to the gym and had fun working out together. They also attended different group activities. When Pelicano obtained a Zumba certification and license, she encouraged Bautista to do the same.
Bautista said she was really hesitant because of her busy schedule, but the support from her family and friends motivated her to "level up." She started taking classes and soon became a Zumba fitness coach.
“Could you believe an individual like me who has a passion for eating lobsters, chocolate, ice cream, cakes, and lots and lots of sweets actually became a Zumba fitness coach? Could you believe I lost weight and am living a healthier lifestyle now? If I can do it, you all can," she said.
Like all startups, she said M2 Fitness had humble beginnings.
Using a small portable speaker set up at the Minachom Atdao pavilion in Susupe, about 10 people, mostly family members and close friends, showed up for M2’s first fitness session.
"But God knows we could be better and we could grow, and to our surprise, He blessed us by providing a facility — TSL Sports Complex in Garapan — where we could hold our Zumba classes, rain or shine. Slowly but steadily, our numbers started to grow to 15, 20, 30, 50 and now we have 135 members from various ethnic groups — and we’re still growing,” she said.
Recently, she and Pelicano were invited to Tinian to conduct an M2 Zumba clinic there.
This month, they will return to Tinian to hold another Zumba clinic.
"I thank God for all the opportunities and blessings He gave me and coach Mita, including the honorary and committee members of M2 Fitness,” Bautista said.
“What started as a way to improve our own health has become our mission to help the people of this community. Providing service to the community is not to gain fame or be known as the best dancer or best coach. It is about our determination, truthfulness, and love for what we do and committing to help others. We do this at no cost to all participants because we want to give back to the community and help as many people as possible get fit and lead a healthier life. We encourage everyone in the community to join our free Zumba fitness class," she said.
The M2 Fitness Zumba and HIIT classes are offered Monday to Saturday at the TSL Sports Complex in Garapan.
For more information, check out the M2 Fitness Facebook page.