Jackie Hulm

Ahhh, 2013 ... a new year, a new beginning. With that comes a variety of emotions for most of us -- from excitement for what is to come, to fear of what may not come -- and a jumble of hopes that this will be the year to follow-through on resolutions.

Dancing allows me to connect my physical, mental and spiritual wellness. It allows me to be free of the outside, to commitments and challenges. Like Lady Gaga says, "Just Dance." It's a way to live in the now, to celebrate and appreciate where I'm at in life, all "woulda, shoulda, couldas" left at the door. I am freeing my mind, body and spirit of those New Year's goals for just 50 minutes a day.

I began my fitness journey approximately 13 years ago when I was five months pregnant with my first child. I was pretty nauseated and found that as long as I ate, I felt better. Quick gratification and fast weight gain resulted in a large amount of back pain. A physical therapist encouraged me to begin weight training and basic cardio to strengthen my back and core. I loved the feeling of strength and personally taking charge of my health. After the baby arrived, I continued my workouts, slowly trying a few fitness classes. I loved the positive coaching from the instructors and wanted to do the same for others. I started with just one beginning aerobics class 11 years ago, and now I lead several classes a week at Gold's Gym.

Zumba is a cardio class that combines dance and fitness moves to a variety of Latin American music. It's really a fitness party where we get the opportunity to have an incredible workout while having a great time.

A goal gives the mind a clear place to go, to re-direct negative thoughts. I've learned through working with women in my Mary Kay business and at the gym, that every challenge can be seen as a good opportunity. Every conflict is a chance to pull out strength and access grace from within.

We determine for ourselves what we experience; what we sow is what we harvest. This is what I want for my 2013 and for yours.

Jackie Hulm is a consultant and senior director with Mary Kay, a fitness instructor at Gold's Gym, Bismarck, and busy mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend to many. Her website is www.marykay.com/jhulm.