Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kind words

It really is amazing what some kind words can do for your day. It's been a tough day...tough week so far. I've just been a little under the weather (thinking I've got a cold coming on), feeling blah, and also a little bummed since yesterday morning.
What happened yesterday morning?

I teach spin on Monday mornings. For the past 1 1/2 months, I've been informally extending class to an hour (instead of 45 minutes, though I cue people who have to leave after 45 on when to start cooling down, stretch, etc.). Why?

It was something that I did when I taught in SF. They couldn't formally extend it to an hour, but another instructor and I did it, and it was all fine and dandy with my supervisor. So, when I asked about extending class officially here in Santa Rosa, I was met with a "well, we can't officially right now, but let's talk about it down the road." Okay.

(On a side note, I like an hour-long class because I believe it allows for proper warm up and cool down on TOP of a nice 45 minute-long intense workout session)

I took a poll with my class, both as a group and on an individual basis and people were unanimously fine with it. So I did it.

Cut to Monday. Supervisor shows up to class. Dumb me is all like "oh, HI!!" and didn't even stop to THINK this might be really BAD to continue with my plan to make class an hour. Yeah, I know, dumb ME! HELLO SARAH, MC FLY, WAKE UP, ANYBODY HOME?

No. Apparently not.

SO anyway, basically I got called out for doing this because "the people who have to leave after 45 minutes don't get proper cool down and stretching cues, and that's not fair to them." (Even though they are all regular spin people and know how to do this.) Sigh.

But I am going to fight for this. I emailed a few of my students and asked their opinions about the length of class and said that if they REALLY cared about this, I will advocate for it and do my best to see if we can officially change it.

And you know what? I got some emails yesterday and today that REALLY brightened my day. I feel so motivated to get out there and DO this and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Two of my favorite snippets:

"Let me know what I/we can do. I/We LOVE your class and we'll take all the Sarah we can get!"

"I'm one of your "older" students on Monday. Not only are you a terrific teacher, you have inspired me to work harder, achieve more, and LOVE spin. We've had quite a variety of teachers since spin began at the Y. You rate as one of the top teachers."

Wow. That really brought a smile to my face! I teach spinning precisely for this very reason - to get people to work harder and know that they CAN enjoy it. Those words were so completely gratifying to me and I couldn't help but have my spirits lifted and feel more confident in my desire to push this issue.

So, onward!

And I think it's a great reminder to all of us what the power of some kind words can do for somebody's day. I know that's corny, but it's TRUE! So go out and make somebody's day!


Paul said...

It's always hard to forge you're own way. Good work and I'm glad you have the backing of your class!

Greg Remaly said...

a heartfelt compliment can make my day too! that's so great to get such nice words from your students - glad everything is going well!

triguyjt said...

you have inspired...and your students appreciate it....they will be heard from and i believe you will continue the method you have been doing..

good luck.

beth said...

that's awesome!!! i don't think many spin/gym instructors know how much they are appreciated by their followers.....i WISH i could go to your spin clas..

by the way- thanks for using the recipes....that's awesome!!! you are quite the chef, always have some good stuff going on...and that JP...awesome food, huh??

hope all is well!

rocketpants said...

A small kind word can go a long way. Try also polling the 45min people...i'm sure they don't care if they have to cool down on their own...maybe propose to move the class 15mins *earlier* to accommodate them...yikes that is early. But a thought.

Maggs said...

I hope you get to keep spinning. A 45 minute class would be really tough to get a good workout in!

And I'm not training for any long distance swims (yet), but I did two swim workouts that totaled 6K. I'm tapering and allowed to swim as much as I want so I am :-)

Cristi said...

Don't sweat the boss. I'm impressed that you've established such a good spin following at the Y and he should be too. I'm still teaching spin preggo!

Rainmaker said...

Bosses are meant to be a pain. But that's what you have awesome peoples instead. Your peoples sound great - I know some folks that have bad peoples they have to deal with, but your peoples apparently are of the good breed (btw, I almost spelled that bread - which would have been kinda odd).

Glad you had a turnabout in the day!

Mel said...

Hey Miss Sarah....I will be in San Fran Oct 10th thru the 13th short trip...but if I can I would LOVE to visit with you and E:) I will let you know which hotel I am staying at as soon as I find out myself:) I am so unorganized!!!!


BreeWee said...

Sarah! You have guts woman!
I used to teach a spin class on Monday's too... and we were only allowed 45 minutes! I thought it was so dorky, after a warm up, warm down and off bike stretch there was such a short "spin session".

LOVE that you played it risky and took out a full hour! I want to come to your class!!

AND your post (finally read it!) was perfect for the day, so needed the reminder to be kind and say a little something nice to someone...

happy Weekend!