Thursday, November 15, 2012
My 5:30am Conversation
I really enjoy teaching cycling.
I should just leave it at that but certain conversations mixed with some strong personalities are on my mind.
It's 5:30am. I'm going to clock in before class and this man (we shall call him "dude") comes up to a worker wondering where the teacher was. I was then pointed at. Here is how the conversation went.
Dude: Your'e the cycling teacher? (said with a little bit of curiosity and major doubt)
Dude: You're not Melissa. (my thoughts were...Really? in a very sarcastic tone...but only in my mind)
(a person in class walks by and says "Melissa just had a baby")
Dude: Well, I am here for Melissa's class. I am a bike racer all over Europe, Japan (other places too I'm sure but I started to zone out) and I am here for a challenge. I am here for Melissa's class. Is this going to be a challenge for me? I woke up at 4am for this.
Hmm. My response to that should be what?
First of all...it is 5:30am. There is no way that you woke up at 4am for this class. I've been at the gym since it opened at 5am and you were not out there on the floor working out. (not said...of course)
I did tell this dude that he would have fun and that the class was very similar to what Melissa's class is like. I don't have the same personality as Melissa but I can provide the same type of routine.
The reality is though that the challenge with the class really depends on the person...and I should have told him that. If he wanted to work harder all you have to do is turn up the resistance or go faster with your pedal strokes. I can tell you what to do but how hard you work is really up to you...and that isn't just in cycling class, that is in everything that you do in life.
The conversation didn't stop there. He basically followed me into the class and wanted to continue telling me all about his racing career and how he needed to quit spending thousands of dollars on getting his bike faster and instead he should focus on just getting rid of the last 15 pounds that is slowing him down.
I had to finish up the conversation so I could actually teach the class but he asked me "What's your story?". It's 5:45am, class is supposed to start and you want me to sum up in a few seconds how I got in the front seat in this class? Here is what I told him:
"Well, I've been on a journey for over 2 years to get to this point. I've lost about 70 pounds and am working really hard to get healthier and stronger. Right now this is where I am at and I am having a great time and enjoy this."
As we were going through the class I expected that since this person was an avid biker and just a huge fan of himself that he would do a really good job in the class. Worst form on the bike out of everyone there. No matter what I said to him he was doing his own thing and determined to do so. I'm glad that he was part of the class and I learned a little bit more about who he is, obviously, as well as myself as a cycling teacher. It also reminded me of the kind of person that I strive to be. The way he greeted me and his attitude at me is a way that I never want to portray to others as I meet them or talk with them.
Our gym is going through a lot of changes at the moment and things are just basically "crazy". Members don't know what is going on. Management is trying to figure things out but it is going to take time to figure out. To sum up what happened...the gym was bought out by one company just as I started working there. I had a boss that I communicated with via e-mail. She quit. She came back the next day. She quit again a few weeks later and then I had no contact with any management after that until Tuesday night. I still kept teaching although I hadn't been paid at all for over a month. I knew there was a lot going on and I would figure it out eventually but since I had no manager at the moment there really was no point trying to deal with it in all of the confusion.
With the confusion comes changes. I now have a new manager and there are also new policies in effect at the gym. Some of them are just crazy and you can tell were made by someone who doesn't work out at all in a gym and others aren't such a big deal but people are making them a big deal. One of the changes that is more on the ridiculous side is that the gym removed all of the dumbbells that weight 80 lbs or more.
Which leads to the second conversation which happened today. I had a lot of info that I had to tell the cycling class members and before I started class I just listened to their conversations in the background as I set things up in the room. The conversation was basically that they couldn't believe that the weights were taken out of the room for people to use.
I had to stop their conversation after it was just whine, whine, whine. First of all, the person complaining and the rest of the people in the room don't lift those weights. Ever. I'm not saying that they never will be able to lift that heavy because everyone has the potential but at the moment they don't lift weights so I'm pretty sure that they won't be going to grab the 100 lb dumbbell anytime soon. So, why complain about something that has no relevance or impact to you? (Yes, I did tell them that.) I also let them know that if this is a big concern or if any of the other changes going on in the gym are a big concern for them that they can go talk to one of the managers right now because he was actually in the building at 5am today.
There were no more complaints after that.
Complaining about something without stepping up and taking action to change something or at least complain to the right person is one of my biggest pet peeves. If you want to complain (especially at 5:30am) about something as silly as a dumbbell that you don't even use then I am just going to guess...and this is just a guess...that there are some other hidden issues that are actually making you upset and cranky. The manager was about 40 feet away and you could have gone to have a civil conversation with him about your thoughts of the weights. When given that option you just stayed where you were, which just shows me that your complaint was really just a chance to whine to someone about something.
On a side note, I have had other conversations with this person...all ranging from the thoughts on plus size kids clothing, politics (that was election day), the city and their choices of different things, job problems and how other people in the class exercise. That last one was a fun one...let me tell ya. :)
Maybe I am supposed to be teaching this class so I can help this person figure out where the inner anger is coming from? Or...maybe I am just being told that I'm not drinking enough coffee in the morning before class and I should get a little bit more in me before these conversations. :)