Friday, August 9, 2013

Fit Friday - Thoughts on Being a Newbie Group Instructor

As many know, I have been working as a group fitness instructor for about a month.  I worked really hard to get certified, and you better believe I was a little nervous for my first handful of classes..... very nervous for putting on the mic for the first time.

But now?  Now I really feel like I'm starting to own it.  I have always felt at home in the gym.  If you know me, you know that it's a close call between whether my natural habitat is the gym or the kitchen (what if I could have a kitchen IN a gym?.... omg, that would be the stuff!!!).  I have always been confident in the gym, either out on the floor on equipment, or in a group exercise room, but..... my goodness, it is a different ballgame when all of a sudden YOU are the leader and everyone is waiting for YOU to tell them what to do!

I have been subbing my booty off trying to build rapport with my colleagues and, at least at one location, it has been paying off, and I am really thankful for that.  This week, though, has been the icing on the cake.  To have multiple participants come to you and tell you that they enjoyed your class is really the best feeling, and I hope I never forget that.  I subbed a kettlebell class today and we had such a wonderful time.  That is the environment I live for - where we are all working so hard together, sharing in both the pain of those darned plie squats and the victory of accomplishment.

However, I have come to realize a few things:

1. Not everyone who comes to your class is there because they love working out as much as you do.  This is a hard one for me.  Why can't everyone love that endorphin rush the way I do?

2. Not everyone who comes to your class is even there to do that actual class.  Case in point - a lady who has come to two entirely different classes and each time she stood in the back of the room and did her own thing.

3. Most people don't know how much it means to you as an instructor to get a simple thank-you.  Before teaching, I never really thought about this unless I really had a stellar experience.  Now, no matter what, I make sure to thank the instructor and tell them something I liked about the class.  Sometimes you are so tired and this little act of kindness can really lift your spirits.

4. Most importantly, sometimes you need to say no.  As a newbie, this one is hard.  I feel such pressure to show what a team-player I am, and how hard I'm willing to work, but for example - as you know from yesterday's post, I had a women's coffee night to go to which had been planned for some time, and I struggled with whether or not I should cancel it to go sub a class at the last minute.  Ultimately, I went to coffee, and you know what?  I am super glad that I did.  I needed to connect with other women outside of the group-ex setting.  I needed that refresher.  It meant that I had to say no to work, but I now see what a necessity it was.

So, thoughts from a newbie.  It's only been a month, and it has been a roller coaster at times, but I am definitely finding my place in teaching, and I love it.  I am so thankful for the path God provided for me.

I know that not all of you are group-ex instructors, but can you relate at all in your own jobs?