January 5, 2015

Lessons Learned at the Front of the Class

I don't ever write about what I'm about to write about, but after three oddly similar ‘HEY I’M THE UNIVERSE AND I AM TALKING TO YOU’ moments, I think I'm supposed to put the following out there:

I've been a group fitness instructor for four years. In that time I've seen what people do to themselves and for themselves. I've seen people who stick with it and people who don't. And I've seen people, slow and steady, come to love themselves one day at a time. In the face of all the "New Year, New You!" bullshit, I share the following in hopes that it helps a person.

Lesson 1: He Likes It. Hey Mikey.

There are a million different ways to move your body, to build strength, to raise your heart rate. If an activity didn't catch your interest and hold it long enough for you to gain some sort of skill set? MOVE ON. Guess what? I hate soccer. The ball, the word ‘dribbling’, all of it. So…...I don’t play soccer. Don't like to swim? DON'T SWIM. Don't like to run? DON'T RUN. Like to dance in your underwear to Depeche Mode? Do. It. Do it again and again. Hell, open a ‘Dance In Your Underwear’ fitness studio and make a million dollars.

Bodies want to move. Move how it feels good. If you haven’t stumbled on a ’thing’ yet, keep looking, because: I was the second-to-last kid picked in gym class and the last kid was missing 1/2 a leg. If *I* can find something, you can find something.

Lesson 2: Like your first jean jacket: make it your own.


When you find a 'something' you like? PLEASE understand: you have a right to make that your own thing. You don’t have to do it like anyone else.  It’s in the making that you will find your way. I teach indoor cycling classes. I love the dimmed lighting. I love climbing hills and pushing through flats while moving with and to inspirational music. I love creating an experience for my students that changes over time. But that's what makes me happy. You do what makes *you* happy. Go ahead. Sweat buckets or don't. Close your eyes or keep ‘em open. Sing along to the ones you know or stay tight-lipped. I don't care how "hard" or "little" you work. I'm happy to have you. And whatever choices you make in my class, you're still lapping everyone on the couch. When you find something you like a little, don't be afraid to do it how it makes you happy.

Lesson 3: Please for the love of holy stuff.

Feed your physical body the food and movement you would lovingly serve to a person you care about. Every scurrilous glance in the mirror takes days off your life. Every anxiety-filled face-stuff trip to the cupboard makes the angels cry. Every inch of lost flexibility kills a kitten. Life is so fucking short. So please just love yourself. Please. For the love of whatever is holy to you.