I’m just going to jump right into this:
Good fitness instructors are NOT the ones who sweat the hardest. They are the ones who cheer the most, connect with participants, and know how to keep someone’s energy up when they’re starting to get tired. They also tend to look really good in spandex, but it’s all relative.
So when I was so scared about teaching tomorrow’s spinathon without being able to do it all – as background if you’re brand new to my blog, I hurt my hip and was allowed to start with 10 minutes of easy spinning as of Thursday — no resistance – and to build up according to the physio. Fair enough. Nervous is one thing, but not willing to is another. I think of myself as a person who commits to things and sticks to them unless there’s a legitimate reason not to.
Here comes the explanation of another way this injury is giving me so much insight…back to my point. I guess I can see why teaching a class off the bike would be hard if you were a new instructor. I’m flashing back to a class about a month after I got certified, where there were not enough bikes and I was approached to give mine up but held firm in saying that I wasn’t comfortable with giving it up (at the time this might have been a combo of not wanting to “wreck” my work out and nerves about being off the bike).
I am cutting my younger, inexperienced self some slack here. I’m NOT cutting myself any slack right now, though. I’m really sad that I let this thought—They’ll think I’m too lazy to do it. They’ll wonder why I’m even an instructor when I look like this.—get to me. Uh, really Cheryl? Doesn’t that sounds like ED? So, after some whining, advice, and mustering up some resolve in myself, I came to this realization: this is just the kick in the butt I need to move forward with my instructing.
If I truly love to teach classes as much as I really do (and not just love the fact that I get to work out and own the playlist), I’d still be excited at this opportunity to get out of my comfort zone. I’m not alone in being scared to teach off the bike. In fact, I found this article about taking that scary step on Spinning.com—even the title says it all—“Unclip your pedals and take the leap: Teaching off the bike”. The article, which was written by an instructor who kept teaching but went off the bike as a result of a knee injury, listed some of the benefits for participants of teaching off the bike regardless of an injury or not:
♥ Making it [your] students’ ride—completely.
♥ Cueing with more than short sentences.
♥ Someone is watching them, all of them.
♥ Building [a] bond. (i.e. emotional connection)
Yupp, it’s about the students. It’s about the students. It’s about the students. I know that, time to prove it. The reminder I’ll be giving myself is that there is a huge difference between being injured and being lazy. I’d give my heart and a half to be able to do a spin class right now. I also know that I am not overweight, out of shape, or disgusting after this week off and that no one is thinking that. If they are, they are clearly fitter than me and should go spin on their own ;). This is a perfect kick in the butt to get better as an instructor, to prove that I teach for the right reasons, and to challenge myself.
These same issues (worrying about people thinking I’m too young, chubby, out of shape, stupid, [insert mean, likely untrue word here]) come up in relationship to doing lots of things I want to do. So this could be a big deal. Epiphany much?
How do you feel about fitness instructors’ appearance?
Do you care if they’re doing the things with you?
Do you care if they’re fit LOOKING?