This is my hometown: Köln, Germany, a beautiful city on the river Rhein, famous for its cathedral, museums and remnants of Roman fortifications, as well as home of "Eau de Cologne", renownded perfume, and two (!) of Europe's few American Football teams: the "Cologne Crocodiles", and the "Cologne Falcons". It's where I was born and where I grew up, but I haven't been back for quite some time now. It seems that "where ever I lay my hat is my home"!
After completing my studies at the University of Cologne, Germany, I spent five years teaching in secondary schools in rural Zimbabwe, Africa. There, I met and married a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer. We returned to the US in 1994 and settled in Portland, OR. I enrolled in classes at Portland Community College, initially "just" for personal enrichment, fun, and to give me time to decide what to do with my life. I took classes in the Computer Information Systems sequences and worked as a Student Consultant helping to develop web pages for the various academic departments in the college. I also worked for a while as a CIS Instructor's Assistant, proof-reading lecture handouts, testing student exercises, and grading assignments. And last not least I try to keep my own pages up to date.
When not in front of the computer, I worked out in the dance studio or in the swimming pool. With Nia, a Mind-Body Fitness, non-impact aerobic form of movement, I honoured my body and got back in shape. The daily mile with the PCC Sylvania pool Orca helped with that, too. Somewhat by accident I became a lifeguard at PCC and suddenly found myself on the fitness track!
On that path I joined an Athletic Club in August 1997, where I worked as lifeguard, taught Saturday morning swim classes, and soon went through training to become a Hydrofit instructor. A year later, after graduating from PCC with the Fitness Technology Certificate I joined the Fitness department as a Fitness trainer for a while. I got also involved with the Cardiac Rehabilitation and STAR (Senior) programmes. Upon completing the first Nia Intensive, I was certified as a Nia White Belt facilitator, and began offering Nia classes in October 1998. (By now I have added Blue Belt (2000), Brown Belt (2004) and Black Belt (2011) Intensives.)
Always drawn to the water, I obtained the American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Instructor Certificate, and have trained several generations of lifeguards who now keep swimmers safe at PCC and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, I have made my way through the extensive apprenticeship training to become a Pilates Equipment Personal Trainer through Core Dynamics. By September 2003 I had successfully completed the required apprenticeship hours of instruction, observation, practice and participation, as well as passed the written and practical examinations centering on Reformer and Matwork. For a time I continued to expand my practice on the full equipment, for which I finished the certification requirements in May 2005.
Finally returning to an old favourite, I resumed my on/off Yoga practice in earnest and earned the Hatha/Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training Certificate from Yoga Pearl in June 2008, the Yin Yoga Teacher Training Certificate in November 2008, and the Tao of Yoga / Yin Yoga Teacher Certificate in October 2009.
I am Advisor for Yoga Mind ☯ Body Fusion Club at PCC, which has been meeting for practice Friday mornings since Fall term 2008. I am proud to have been privileged to initiate several classes new to the respective facility, e.g., Nia at RAC, Pilates & Ai Chi at SWCC, Nia at Linfield Community Education, Nia & Pilates at PCC Community Education, Mind ☯ Body Fusion Immersion (in a three-hour-once a week format) at Sylvania Campus. I feel very honoured as one of the first four programme participants to graduate, a decade later to have been the instructor for the Professional Activities: Mind ☯ Body Disciplines class of the Fitness Technology Programme. It pleases me greatly that in a way I have come full circle.
As time goes by I continue to participate in workshops, expand my training and add certifications. Not only did I increase the diversity of movement classes that I can offer both on land and in water, I also worked in a variety of different environments, from Community Centers to Community Colleges, from small to large Fitness, Health and Wellness Clubs, with their vast variety of patrons. For a full list look at my Curriculum Vitae.
I keep my certifications updated and currently teach a variety of classes in the Department for Physical Education & Dance and Fitness Technology at the Sylvania Campus of Portland Community College.
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Created by Lia Kidoguchi. Last modified December 2011.