Trainer of the Year: Winalee Zeeb
Every year for the past several years I've honored a Nia Trainer who exemplifies and embodies what I imagine to be the promise of Nia. The easy promise of Nia is a stronger and more versatile body, cardiovascular conditioning, increased flexibility, and improved health. The elements not so easy to deliver, such as joy, heart, transformation, and healing are only possible when the work is shared by someone who has dedicated their life-force energy and consciousness to expressing their unique spirit through the work. The form of Nia is beautiful. And yet, it is only an empty form until one brings themselves fully, honestly, and lovingly through the work.
Teaching classes is one level of sharing Nia. Training is a whole other level that involves, as they say in the martial arts, "going to the mat," time and time again. If I've learned one thing from the martial arts, it's that Aikido - harmonizing conflict - is the way. Nia Trainers quickly learn this to be the most important tool for blending with the multitude of personalities they train.
There are some things you can teach, and then there are those elements that are just naturally ingrained that make a person great. They're called love, compassion, and the willingness to stand for peace and harmony no matter what. It's that big heart, the one some people are just born with. This is the heart of the individual we honor this year, Nia Black Belt and Trainer Winalee Zeeb. Winalee's gifts are bountiful. Her love, grand. Her joy, profound to the point where you almost wouldn't believe it to be real, and yet it is. It's with deep gratitude and appreciation that we honor Winalee as Nia's 2012 Trainer of the Year. May she inspire you to expand your heart and share your joy even when you think there is none left.