CeCe Simms has a gift. Her joy and dedication come through when she teaches fitness classes at The Ranch. She can get your heart pumping and body moving, and before you realize it, you’re working out and having fun to a soundtrack with a tempo of 120 beats per minute. In 2019 she was named Best Zumba Instructor by San Diego Magazine.
We’d like to introduce you to CeCe.
You have lost 50 pounds since you started working at The Ranch last year. Congratulations! That’s amazing. How did you do it?
Actually, it’s 45 pounds though 50 is a sweet number! I couldn’t have achieved it so fast without being at The Ranch. I hate to sound boring, but I lost weight from a good old-fashioned diet and exercise. First, there is a ton, and I mean TONS, of walking everywhere here at The Ranch. I ate the cuisine provided here, and aside from my scheduled classes, I devoted one hour each day to a workout for myself. This could be a gym workout, solo hike, or online class. I hit my weight-loss goal about 4 months in, but I kept up my healthy eating habits and exercise because I felt so good, and I had a ton of energy to keep moving. It stopped being about fitting into a smaller clothing size and more about giving my body the ingredients (diet & exercises) to function. Now it’s a lifestyle.
How do you stay motivated?
Motivation comes and goes. I can have an entire week where I’m not motivated. I rely on discipline. I believe a true form of self-love lies within discipline. That gets me out of bed and hiking up the mountain on days I’d rather stay in.
Where were you raised?
I love this question because it is my chance to rep where I’m from, not where I live. I was born and raised in Seattle. I love my hometown.
How did you land at Rancho La Puerta?
A lovely woman named Carla was a regular at my Zumba class when I taught in Carlsbad. It took her an entire year of asking and pushing me for a vacation. “Oh, you must come to The Ranch. You would absolutely love it,” she would say. I was teaching so much at the time and had no idea what Rancho La Puerta was. She was relentless in asking me to visit. She would mention it whenever I saw her or asked if I was free. I broke down and finally agreed but could only give her three days with my busy schedule. She truly was an angel. In the three days I stayed, she had arranged for an audition for me, and I became a guest instructor because of her. I’m so grateful she never gave up. I will forever remember being a first-time guest and then getting the news, I would be auditioning for a spot.
What classes do you teach?
Haha! What classes don’t I teach? This is a tricky question for me because I then have to list all the classes, and nobody has time for that! Tons of cardio and strength classes: dance, water, hikes, stretch, spin, and relaxing classes.
How would you describe your teaching style?
Music is my number one motivator for a class. It sets the tone and provides the tempo. So first and foremost, I must have a fire playlist. I like to bring intensity and energy while simultaneously creating a comfortable space to work out without judgment. I want to boost all of my participants’ confidence and remind them of their capabilities. Witnessing the human spirit that pushes you through a workout is beautiful. Everyone has that inside us, and I love to bring that out.
How did you get hooked on fitness?
I have been a dancer since I was three. So I’ve naturally gravitated toward fitness and movement. My experience and education with health and fitness yearn to evolve, and I believe that’s why I’m here now at The Ranch. Physical fitness is great and should be a staple in everyone’s routine. But what I’m focused on learning is the wellness aspect. I want to provide a wellness class for the mind, body, and soul. I guess I’m hooked on fitness for the rest of my life!
What’s your favorite workout or training?
I was terrified of going into the gym and using machines. I feel too vulnerable out in the open, and other people, especially experienced lifters, looking at me. So naturally, my guilty pleasure happens to be the circuit class. It took so much courage for me to try it. Once I did it and stuck with it for a whole month, I got into it. On the other side of fear is success! It’s so true. Now you can’t drag me away from a quick circuit workout at The Ranch.
What workout would you recommend people do regularly?
Take a walk! Walking, oh my goodness, walking works. Before bikes, buses, cars, scooters, trains, and planes, we walked. Set your intention and shoot for 20 – 30 min a day, 5 days a week. Great for mental health as well!
What is your number one fitness tip?
Comparison is the thief of joy. Remember where YOU started and how far YOU have come. Celebrate the small things. Stay focused on yourself and your progress alone. Everyone is different, and not all bodies are the same. What works for you may not work for others. Self-care and self-love always!
Thank you, CeCe. See you in class.