Ashley Bishop Offers Time Management Advice for Instructors

Episode 2: Ashley Bishop

Born and raised in British Columbia, Ashley Bishop is a professional dancer, a choreographer and was a featured performer for Carnival Cruise Lines. She's also a registered Certified Ballet Teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and a Zumba Jammer™ for Zumba Fitness®.


Oh, and she's also part of the reason we even have a podcast to begin with! That's right...if you like our show, you have Ashley Bishop to thank for it! And if you don't... Well...See above? (More on this later...)


Now living in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ashley is the founder of her own company BagelFit through which she offers fitness workshops as a Continuing Education Provider for ACE and AFAA, and as an Aquatic Training Specialist for the AEA.


Ashley is all of these things and so much more - but most of all she's someone we look to often for education, inspiration and motivation! And as you'll see when you dive into her episode below, it's impossible not to feel energized listening to her speak.



So how exactly did she influence the creation of the Aquaholics Bootcamp?


Last year, Ashley gifted Jenni Lynn a copy of Good Morning, Good Life: 5 Simple Habits to Master Your Mornings and Upgrade Your Life by Amy Landino. Jenni Lynn finished said book in a matter of two days, then sent AJ the following email:


SUBJECT: GOOGLE CALENDAR / LET'S DISCUSS
Calendar Blocking possible on our Google Cal? I want 2020 to be the year of the S'WET Cert.
PS ASHLEY IS AMAZING AT THIS!

And she really is. Just check out this incredible tutorial Ashley put together on YouTube explaining Calendar Blocking for Success!



So by February 2020, Jenni Lynn and AJ began mapping out the rest of the year. We prioritized what we wanted to do, then plotted it out over the course of several months, then prepared for all the hard work ahead of us.


It felt incredible to know exactly what we wanted to be doing and by when we wanted to accomplish it.


In March we would start meeting to discuss new DVD material. April would be the month to finalize the S'WET™ Cert. Then in May down in Daytona Beach we would announce to everyone at #IAFC2020 that starting in June we would launch our cross-country tour to bring S'WET™ to as many facilities as we could.


July-September would be filled with traveling all over the country and in October Jenni Lynn was set to visit Australia for the first time.


What could possibly go wrong, right?



CUT TO: Here we are recording a podcast instead, all the while building out an online version of the S'WET™ Cert to accommodate the "new normal." It's still a lot of work. But it doesn't feel like it. Why? It's because thanks to everything we learned about Calendar Blocking from Ashley and Amy Landino, we were able to pivot our plans without losing steam and continue to stay productive.


Now every Thursday and Sunday Jenni Lynn and AJ meet virtually to discuss the podcast and the status of the Cert. And every other Monday, you get to listen to a brand new episode of the Aquaholics Bootcamp!


So again, if you like our show, thank Ashley Bishop for the inspiration and encouragement to continue onward in the face of uncertainty.



Connect with Ashley online:

  • Email: ashley@bagelfit.com

  • Website: www.bagelfit.com

  • Social Media Handles: FB: /ashleybagelbishop IG: @ashleybagelbishop








Full Transcript:


Jenni Lynn:

Joining us today is Ashley Bishop. She is a continuing education provider for group fitness instructors and an Aquatic Training Specialist with the AEA, a Zumba Jamba for Zumba Fitness. And she leads her own workshops under her company Bagel Fit. Ashley, welcome to the program.


Ashley:

Yay. Thank you. I'm happy to be here.


AJ:

Where are you calling from? Where are you right now?


Ashley:

I'm in Las Vegas, Nevada.


AJ:

And how's everything going right now?


Ashley:

You know, it's a new time. So we're just rolling with the punches and waiting to see what to do next. So playing it day by day.


Jenni Lynn:

I feel like that's everybody's situation right now. It's just a day-by-day.


AJ:

We're all calling in from different places too. We have Jenni of course in New York City and I am out in Nashville, Tennessee.


Jenni Lynn:

This is a very good coordination by the way of all of our three timezones trying to get it locked down. So again, go team, thank you for doing this. I think Ashley, you and I have had similar situations, but I know you definitely travel a lot. So from all of this, how has business been generally affected?


Ashley:

It's been a roller coaster like when in March when everything started really coming to the forefront. And I just remember there was a day where every event I had booked from March until September got cancelled. And it was just crazy, because we never really anticipated it would be like this. And I guess none of us have even thought that this could happen in you know, in normal life. So it's been interesting and let I'm grateful I have a job that I work remotely. And even though our hours did get modified to make COVID situations work, I've been able to pivot some of my platforms to be virtual, which has given me a chance to still teach a little bit and conduct some sessions on the side. But it's definitely been good to just start fresh and start new and start a brand new planner because my old honor everything xed out. So start fresh and start over.


Jenni Lynn:

So I'm curious a little bit about your background, and how you found yourself becoming involved in specifically in aquatic fitness.


Ashley:

So I was a dancer first and foremost, and I danced professionally and taught professionally until I was 27. And then when I retired from dancing professionally, I wanted to stay in shape. And I loved Mexico. I used to live there and a girlfriend had said to me you should do Zumba. And I was like let's do that. And turns out it was the best thing that ever happened to me because it's dancing and music and Latin rhythms at the same time. And we have a license within zoombak called Aqua Zumba. And so since I just retired from dancing on cruise ships, I did have a good chunk of savings and I got this like bug about fitness so I took every single certification certification I could get my hands on every single license that has been been offered. And Aqua Zumba had this like crazy science portion about water and like how the body moves in water and how the muscles are affected and water and I remember thinking this is the most interesting thing I've heard in 85 years. And so long like fast forward a bunch of years I left Canada and went to America and the first job opportunity I had was Aqua Zumba and from there I just got more and more opportunities in America and I wanted to be a valuable valid human in America so I decided to look for a certification that was valuable, which was AEA and I found this crazy amount online called Mark Grevelding and I watched all his YouTube videos and found out he was doing a certification at the Zin convention and I thought this is it this is my time and then pretty much from there like everything just went full time into aquatics. I haven't looked back ever since which is crazy. I never thought I'd be obsessed with pools and teaching this format but it's really been a dream come true.


AJ:

How much of your schedule is aquatic? Aqua Zumba versus other kind of land fitness would you say?


Ashley:

I'd say right now it could go from like 60% of my schedule is aquatics because I still do the land Zumba pretty often. I in that Zumba Jamer role Jenni mentioned. I do teach a few workshops in that category. But in terms of my full time job and the classes I teach the majority now are all aquatic driven, which is crazy if you'd asked me 20 years ago.


AJ:

Yeah, yeah. And you mentioned Mark Grevelding course of Fitmotivation. And he so he was actually doing an aqua Zumba class and you you found him through that?


Ashley:

Kind of. So what it was is I had been asked to assist an Aqua Zumba Zest so an education specialist at our convention, and I wanted to make sure I had value as an aquatic person. And so I had started following Mark on Fitmotivation a few months prior when I first moved to America, and he was actually leading the AEA, prac day the AEA certification in person workshop the day before Zen con, so we'd have pre cons like and other fitness conferences and conventions, and he used to have a pre con at Zen con. And so when I saw it was Mark, I was like, oh, my goodness, I have to take it from him. He's like, my idol. And so I did. And then that's when I met Mark officially in real life. And then the rest is history.


Jenni Lynn:

Wow. Yeah.


AJ:

That's great. We love Mark. We love Fitmotivation, of course. Oh, yeah. I guess that's a great way to segue into how did you and Jenni Lynn?


Ashley:

Well, I had been admiring Jenni from afar through Fitmotivation. Because again, becoming a subscriber, I saw her videos, I was like, who is this amazing, fantastic woman, I need to be her best friend? And then when I was through Mark's connections over time, I was invited to the AEA Aquatic Training Specialist training group. And Jenni was also in that group with us. So I remember the first day we like walked into the room, and they had like a breakfast, like some fruits and stuff out. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, that's Jenni Lynn. And I like kind of looked at her. But throughout the week, we got a lot closer. And a few of us were similar age and character. And so we kind of bonded that week. At least that's how I remember it. Jenni might have a different reflection from it.


Jenni Lynn:

No, I just remember being like, Oh, I need to talk to her. Oh, she's a recommendation of Mark. I need to know this woman.


AJ:

That's amazing. And how many years ago was that? Because you guys have known each other for quite some time?


Jenni Lynn:

Five?


Ashley:

No, I think it was in 2015. Jenni, like late 2015, early 2016. I think we actually did it in 2016. I think it was January of 2016. But we should have data checked before...


Jenni Lynn:

I was gonna say the same exact thing. I was looking through a bunch of photos and found those and was I even set it like, I can't believe it was from this year. Because everything feels like I've been in this for 17,000 years total? No, it's been four. Yeah.


Ashley:

It's amazing what we can fit in four years.


Jenni Lynn:

Yes, that's why would you have to take two months completely off, it feels like time is just standing still. Very, very interesting. So with your current brand, which is Bagel Fit, what are your dreams for the business, kind of the direction you're going right now is absolutely amazing. And I love watching your progress. So I guess what's your direction that you're taking Bagel Fit?


Ashley:

Honestly, right now, it's kind of more of just keep doing what I'm doing or maybe doing more of, I have a lot of hats still. And I'm enjoying all of the hats and the Bagel Fit hat is you know, leading workshops by myself and not like, you know, from someone else's company. So I'd like to keep hosting those. It looks like we're going virtual and live in the next few years. And I just like traveling and spreading the love of fitness and water and education. So I just want to kind of keep doing what I'm doing.


Jenni Lynn:

Yeah, I can definitely say that you wear many, many hats, but you wear them very well. Because you very structured in your days, which is? Well you sent me the book from a Amy Landino, Good Morning, Good Life. With all the hats you wear, the time management that you've been kind of teaching me I have to say has been super helpful. So thank you for that.


AJ:

Why don't you talk to us a little bit about your time management lectures or workshops or presentations that you've done.


Ashley:

Yeah, um, you know, it's, it's funny, it's becoming more and more formalized, because I guess there's a need that people want to learn more about it. And really, it's almost a hobby that took over every aspect of my life. And I've always really loved planners, like I used to love that first day of high school, and they give you your planner and you write homework in it and tasks and like prioritize the things to do. And so I've kept up with paper planners this whole time. But in the last few years, I've really gotten more focused on calendar blocking, which is, as Jenny mentioned, somebody that we've both fallen in love with, Amy Landino, was the first person to expose me to that. And then combined with this getting things done or GTD method from David Allen. It's kind of just the way I like to structure everything I do and helps me not really compartmentalize Lies all the different hats but make my day phone away where I know I'm targeting everything that's important and I'm not getting behind. And it's a lot of kind of like reverse engineering projects so I can stay on top and still feel like I have a balanced normal life which, to be honest, some days is not as balanced as a girl would dream. But that's kind of it's always ever evolving and growing and improving upon it. So...


AJ:

Yeah, I mean, especially now with the lockdowns and quarantines, you know, I think people struggle, especially with time management, what are some of the things that you've learned, or you've been teaching others, both professionally, and personally, how best you know, manage their time and their day.


Ashley:

So as I kind of put it down to these three P's, which is prioritize plot and prep, and that's not like a formalized thing, but it just kind of helps me keep track of it. And so the first thing is to prioritize what's important and what's not, and what has to get done that day or that week. And so I have a running to do list that is electronic, and I can put due dates and move things around and make sure I'm always on top of projects that way. And once I have my list of things that have to get done, and this could be professional or personal, like maybe I have to get laundry done this week, maybe I have to go to the grocery store, I have to mail that thing, or I have to finish that article for UCLA, I then put them in my calendar, because if it's not in my calendar, it's not going to get done. And Jenny can attest to this, if we don't put a date in the calendar won't know there was a phone call system eight because I live off my Google Calendar now. And I love that because you know, I can view it on all my devices, I'm always comfortable to know where I'm supposed to be in my day. And there's also flexibility there. So I'm not married to if I was supposed to do yoga at four o'clock, but something came up, I can bump that to another time and the world doesn't end. And so with that it gives me flexibility, I can move things around is color coded because y'all this girl loves to color code, and that just makes my heart feel better. And then so that's plotting it like putting on the calendar, getting it set. And then also just the prepping of it. And so again, knowing if you have something big, that's due in a fortnight looking at the steps you have to do to reverse engineer them and getting them in your calendar. So maybe it won't take you that full two weeks to do set project. But if you have it plotted, when stuff does happen, you have that ability to move things around and make sure you get done on time and not feel like you've procrastinated or you've gotten behind the ball. So just just kind of keeps me like balanced and in control of what's happening. And again, you know, I don't have a family. But I have a lot of hats. So I can imagine people that have other hats that are involved in the workforce, my personal life to have lots of things to juggle. So just kind of gives clarity and balance and then beauty because it's color coded. And it makes everyone happy.


Jenni Lynn:

I have been privy to some choreography charts. And I can say aesthetically, looking at them on the computer. I was like this.


AJ:

Yeah, I have this vision of Ashley as a middle schooler with like a Trapper Keeper. different color highlighters. And each subject is like perfectly written out in like a tab of its own.


Ashley:

That's kind of what life is like now.


Jenni Lynn:

I love it. I absolutely love it. As we're just talking, I'm writing things down like David Allen, prioritize, prep...


AJ:

We are going to put all that information in the show notes, all the names and resources that both Ashley and Jenni and I use. We'll include that in the show notes. So you can find them as well. One of them you mentioned, Amy, you both are following what she does, right?


Ashley:

Yes.


AJ:

What are some of the things Jenni that you've learned from what she's done?


Jenni Lynn:

I have to say the biggest one for me is the 20 things to do in the morning that have nothing to do with social media. And I love being able to do even like two things off the list makes my morning feel amazing before you start any sort of work related project. And I'm kind of realizing that I do almost like eight to 10 of them, which is like, amazing. And then the rest of the day feels like I really got a lot of time. This is amazing. I could finish a book in less than a week. That's crazy. So yeah, it's pretty incredible. Because as I sit here at my desk, talking to you guys, I have my Google Calendar, I have my things to do. Things are filed and I honestly don't think I'd ever be like this had I not really delve into Ashley's brain and psyche. Like when you talk about workshops, what do you do for this? And even when we had our first opportunity to work together, and I hope there's many more to come in Connecticut just recently, I was actually sitting in the back of the workshop listening intently to her light bulbs going off everywhere. Like this is what's really happening. Oh my gosh, I love this lecture. And honestly, it did not feel like work or anything.


Ashley:

But it's funny you say that because like this was the first year we really did get to work just you and I together. And I remember it was so much fun because a being someone who's a super structured instructor learning from you gave me the ability to come out of that structure. And teach more freestyle and realize it is okay to not know exactly every beat what's gonna happen next. But it also made it fun and intuitive for my classes and I love that we were able to feed off each other. And I know at first we were like, we're so polar opposite, but I really, I mean, I hope that you know, it blended well together and we work together and I, I came home and said to our boss, I was like, I want to work with Jenny every time like put me on an event with her as much as I can. Because not only do I learn so much that we just get along so well we work so well. It's just so much fun. I mean, I couldn't have asked for a better few. I got you twice this year, which was epic. So I'm reallygrateful for that.


Jenni Lynn:

Really epic. And I really appreciate that because I think as a freestyle instructor, you know, many of us might aspire to be on the beach and go with the choreography because it feels like that's what the industry calls for. But at the same time, obviously I'm doing something right people keep showing up to my classes. And for you to say like that allows you that freedom to try to do freestyle. I was just so happy because you stepped outside your boxer comfort zone and ended up liking it. And you you know, you said your students liked it too, which is just cool to see it go both ways, choreographed and not.


AJ:

Ashley, do you do you have anything else that you are particularly inspired by and hope to teach other people?


Ashley:

I mean, I teach a lot about music driven movement in my workshops, and just how music can inspire all things awesomeness. And then I also really like to talk about self care. I've done a few workshops like on like self myofascial release, and just good practices for fitness instructors to keep themselves successful when teaching on deck. Especially as y'all know, in aquatics we're doing crazy stuff on that concrete. So I actually have another workshop where we spend some more time on like teaching skills and just best practices for your body. But yeah, I'm just all about self care, music and feeling good.


Jenni Lynn:

Yeah, yes, you can definitely keep everybody in the pool on the beach is incredible and amazing to watch and be a part of when you're in the pool.


Ashley, as we're, as we're rounding down here, what's what's one piece of advice that you would have for someone who I guess would either want to follow in your footsteps as a group or aquatic fitness instructor, or even just getting involved in some of the other things that you do? What's a piece of advice that you would offer to someone?


Ashley:

I definitely say like learn everything, get your hands on any content certification course, video, like anything out there that's relatable to the field that you want to be in, I feel that education brings confidence. And without that backbone behind you, it can really hinder how you present yourself. And when you are given the chance to make an opportunity to make that step in the right direction. And also find someone who's like a, it could be like a digital mentor or somebody that you may not know, but as in those footsteps and, and kind of watch them to see how they're killing it, who their connections are, what they're doing and just see how it's applicable to your end. And then just be ready to take any opportunity when it comes your way. If you have an education, you have that confidence, then you're going to be ready for that opportunity. And as long as you practice and prep, you're going to kill it. So be ready.


Jenni Lynn:

So can you tell our listeners where they can reach you and find more about what you're doing?


Ashley:

Sure. I mean, I have a website called Bagelfit.com like the food bagelfit.com. My email is Ashley@bagelfit.com. And my social media is also Ashley Bagel Bishop. So I know all that stuff will be linked, but that's pretty much where I hang out. I don't hang out in Facebook. Don't find me there. I'll never get back to you find me in my inbox. It's more likely I'll get around.


AJ:

Well, thank you so much for joining us, Ashley. This was such a great conversation.


Ashley:

Of course. Thank you for having me.


Jenni Lynn:

Bye, Ashley. Love ya.

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