I’m Also a Fitness Instructor

Alternately titled “Teacher Appreciation Week.”

I don’t just teach in academic classrooms; I teach in fitness studios, too. My current schedule consists of two step classes, one yoga class and one abdominal traning class (which I hate, but is only 15 minutes, so I suck it up). I teach at the health club for a couple of reasons; the first is that it forces me to work out – if I weren’t expected to be there to lead a class, I might never make it into the gym at all (I can come up with ALL KINDS of reasons why today’s not a good day to work out). The other reason is that I LOVE my participants. They make my classes fun, and I miss them when they’re gone.

I received this note yesterday morning after teaching my level 2 step class:

Dear Chili:

About a week ago I started up with Strength Works classes again at 8:00 a.m., right before Step. I left Step class Monday because I was afraid I would trip over the board and fall 😦 I was tired from the Strength class and I also just could not “get” Mimi’s routine. I also should have known that 7 squats around the board would definitely “do me in” in no time at all.

All that sort of set the stage for me being in a funk the last few days. To hear you say you had trouble with Mimi’s class Monday made me feel SO good! I thought, well maybe it’s not just me. I had the feeling you said that just for my benefit:) And even if you didn’t, that’s fine…I felt great after that comment! And then, not 5 minutes later, you told me what I great job I did with the “tap-and-clap”…..by then my confidence was restored!

I LOVE your class and I love that you encourage everyone in the class. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but your classes have been getting bigger and bigger. Maybe other people have finally figured that out as well!

I’m very lucky to have you for an instructor…thank you SO much!!!

Much love,

Pharma Girl

I love this woman. She’s in her late 50’s (I think – it’s hard to tell – but she’s retired, so that’s some indication of her age) and she’s a walking riot. She’s always willing to laugh and never takes anything too seriously, so I was surprised to get this note telling me that she’s been feeling “funky” lately – and not in a good way, either.

I wasn’t aware of her trepidations; I singled her out because she was doing a great job and I know that she doesn’t mind being singled out. I’m SO pleased that I can be that kind of instructor for her, and even more pleased that she’d be willing to take the time to tell me so.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “I’m Also a Fitness Instructor

  1. My hubbie and I joined the gym lately and I am so terrified to go to a real class… Not only am I shamefully out of shape and overweight, I am the least coordinated person I know. Add those reasons to my fear of jazzercise queens being the majority of the class (I live in a college town), and I am having trouble convincing myself to go.

    I so hope I can peek in on some classes and find an instructor like you. I can tell, if you were an instructor at our gym I could give it a shot.

    Is there a way to tell if a class will be friendly to “my kind” (read as fat, out of shape, and clumsy)? Any advice you have is appreciated!

    Also, I just love your blog! Thank you for putting a smile on my face every time I read your writing!

    YOU ROCK SOCKS!

  2. Honey, any fitness instructor who makes you FEEL like you’re fat, out of shape, and clumsy isn’t doing his/her job.

    If you came to my class, I’d notice that you were a new face. I’d introduce myself and ask you if you’ve ever been to a step class before.

    I’d explain that I’m left/right retarded and that I point a lot more than I give audio cues (becuase, well, I can’t tell my left from my right on the fly and pointing is more accurate than my voice would be).

    I’d tell you NOT to get frustrated, even though you WILL, because no one gets the patterns in the first class and that you’re NOT allowed to just stand there, hands on hips, wondering why the hell you came in the first place.

    I’d tell you that it’s more important to keep moving – I don’t care if you just up-and-down on the step for 40 minutes – just keep moving.

    All these things are true and important, even though I am getting better at the left/right thing. I still SAY that I suck at it, though, so that people can blame ME when they screw up. I make a point of checking in with new people at least once during the class, and I seek them out when the class is over to make sure they had a good time.

    If your instructor isn’t open and friendly and encouraging from the MOMENT you walk in the door, go find his/her boss. Seriously.

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