For Instructors

The respirating class

I got a nice email yesterday that said, simply... "Thanks for giving me space. I needed it." It was following a class where, wow...I may have said ten lines in the entire 55 minutes after I introduced the class on my white board to the "topography" of the class. The instructions were simple. I said, that I promised not to speak unless people weren't adhering to my expectations. Very coach centered, and a little arrogant, don't you think? What were my explicit expectations? 1. form form form. I was going to be very nit-picky. They know the drill...and I demonstrated what I was specifically on guard against. 2. honest effort. You might think it is easy to "lie and cheat" in a Spinning® class, but to the astute eye, it's hard to pull one over for long. You know - the guys who strike a pose in a seated hill climb and then when you say to stand up, you can just see they had no gear. I sneak in a check on gear like that every once in a while. 3. whoops! only 2. form and effort, form and effort. I instructed them to, for this class, as I don't always say this, to let the class sort of happen to them. I was very deliberate with my music choice - strong and inspirational, but not very lyrical....and I let them go. The respirating class? Well, I noticed that there was this sort of phenomenon happening. No, the bikes didn't actually levitate...I'm good, but I'm not THAT good! But there was a real give and take between us and my check ins, few and far between seemed to offer permission to get back on focus. I don't know....maybe I'm getting loopy in my old age, but as you discover coaching - rather than "leading" and "barking orders...." and the like, I wonder if you feel more and more comfortable just not really saying anything...just being there - a set of eyes in a dim studio with energy revving and concentration almost palpable. It was a cool experience for me....and I want it again. Won't happen tonight, I fear....teaching a class at a gym - don't know the clients, do know they expect haughty dance music and the disco ball....respirating? hmmmm maybe cpr.
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