Get ready for a fun post. Izzy is appalled by some of these stories, hence her snotty face in the above pic. No, really, she was at the vet for her second round of shots and was furious at me. Anyway, happy belated 4th of July! I hope you all ate BBQ, played in the sun (sorry, beach-goers), and watched fireworks. Philip and I got invited to a huge firework show and it seriously had some of the coolest fireworks I’ve ever seen. It went on for a solid 30 minutes and was captivating. Yes…I sat still and watched fireworks for 3o min! 😉
I spent the first half of the day teaching group ex classes (shocker) while watching a large 4th of July party. That particular club has windows that overlook their pool and golf course, so I was able to view the golf tourney, BBQ, band at the pool, massive slip-n-slide for kids, etc. during class.
Anyway, when my first class ended a member mentioned that he was heading directly outside to “cannonball into the pool and join the party”. He asked if I was joining them and looked stunned when I had to decline because I had to teach another class. He said, “tell them you can’t”. Yes, he was serious.
During that next hour it occurred to me that 100% of my participants probably don’t consider my class to be my job. While I absolutely love it and some of my closest friends are members and other instructors, I will admit that it is hard!!! It’s not a job you can slack on (members will call you out if you do and someone may get hurt if you aren’t paying attention), you have to continue learning/changing your class (which takes a longggg time and a lot of certifications/classes), you have to be super peppy and energetic ALL.THE.TIME (I need to be paid in K-cups), and you actually have to deal with a lot of crap (examples to follow). All of this to say, all jobs have their “secrets” and I thought it would be fun to share with you
three readers some of the confessions, thoughts, and stories from me as well as 13 of my aerobic instructor friends (some from out of state). The * denotes my stories/confessions. Sit back and enjoy!
Before Class Confessions
1. I am not a doctor. While I appreciate you asking me for modifications due to an injury, please do not ask me to fully diagnose your injury. On that note, please do not ask me to diagnose your rash. *
2. I spend a lot of time designing my workouts, but have discovered that some of my best classes are the ones I create during class. *
3. Oh, you want to know how to lose ten-pounds by this weekend? Try cutting off your head!
4. Yes, please continue telling me about your struggling losing your baby weight–I love hearing all about it. (All while you are holding the hand of your 8-year old “baby”…)
5. I really don’t care how bad you ate today. It took me a long time to plan this workout and I’m not changing it. Also, lease don’t talk about food during class. It makes me either nauseous or insanely hungry (depends on the time of day). Either way…the class is about to tank.
6. Please don’t whine about how tired you are and how badly you don’t want to be at the gym. I’m usually feeling the same way (on cold, rainy days) and want to yell, “Well, go home! It’s your choice to be here. I’m the one that’s stuck here for three more hours”.
7. When I was going through my divorce I would sit in the parking lot bawling. Somehow, I could put on a smile when I walked in the gym’s doors and fake happiness for multiple classes. I still think I deserve an Oscar. Also, I have cried my way through a spin class on more than one occasion. Thank goodness ruined make up is a common appearance at a gym.
8. If you inform me that you need modifications during class and I spend time showing you those changes, please use them! This one woman didn’t use any of the modifications and then blamed me for her aches and pains for two weeks!?
9. If only one person shows up for class I begin praying 1) that they will opt to leave or 2) five more members walk in immediately. Small classes are the hardest to teach. (YESSSS give me 30 people over 3 people ANY DAY).
10. I am not a morning person and value my sleep; however, I sometimes have to sub a 5 or 6 am class. On those nights I sleep in my workout clothes–really, everything except my shoes. (I know two people in my 5am class that do that. HOW!? I would not be comfortable!)
During Class Confessions
1. If you are younger than me, I am competing with you.
2. If I lose count during a move, we are always going to do 8 more reps. Lets be honest…I rarely know what count we are on and make up the number depending on how tired I am of doing the move.
3. It really makes me mad when you don’t try. This one young girl moves at the pace of a turtle and will not try anything new–even when I provide modifications. She simply takes up valuable oxygen in the room.
4. I teach so many classes at so many gyms that if I zone out I have found myself forgetting what move we are doing, what class, I am teaching, and what gym I am at. *
5. Do not stand in the front of my class, but not take my class. There are a few members who will ALWAYS do the exact opposite of what I say to do (ex: my squat = their bicep curls. My dead row = their crunches).
6. If you are talking (to a person or on the phone) during my class you better bet that I am about to turn up the music’s volume and increase the intensity of the workout. If you can talk/breath, then I am not doing my job. Also, don’t text continuously during a spin class. There is no way you are working hard and the screen’s light is distracting in a dark spin room.*
7. Please don’t walk into class (on your phone) 20 minutes late and ask what equipment you need. Look around and see what all the sweaty, hard-working members are using. Also, don’t ask someone to move because they are in “your spot”.
8. Do not touch my iPhone/ipad during class because you “weren’t feeling a song”. This is why I take song suggestions! (Even better…make a playlist for me/your instructor. (Yes!!!)
9. If you think I am talking to you, I am. Listen to my cues, correct your form, and /or work harder. I know when you are cheating and I certainly know when you are risking an injury due to bad form.
10. Please be enthusiastic and talk/interact (even moan/groan) with me during class. Silence is an energy zapper and it makes me insecure.
Personal Training Confessions
1. Please shave your legs, use deodorant, and wear underwear.
2. I am usually eating candy before you come into my office to review your food journal.
3. I will never tack on the minutes to the end of your workout if you are late, so don’t ask. Shocker…I actually have more clients than you and I won’t allow their session to start late.
4. I usually tack on additional seconds to all of your moves (planks, etc) and tell you afterwards. *
5. I know that I have a degree in anatomy and nutrtion, but I never realized that I also have a therapist license. *
6. I am completely non-judgemental when I first start training you, but when you don’t change your ways and begin wasting my time my perception changes.
7. Look, you fart every time you do leg/back work. Something has got to change!
8. Do not tell me what you want to work that day. I am the boss and I have the knowledge to help you reach your goals.
9. I have one client that is beyond needy. She won’t walk on the treadmill unless I am walking beside her. She won’t tie her shoe laces unless I remind her to do so. Seriously, she asks me to call and wake her up–everyday, not just training days.
10. I always know when you are lying about what you ate that day based on your energy level.
Daily Life Confessions
1. Please do not follow me in the grocery store and certainly do not dig through my grocery cart. Yes, there are pop tarts in there—I have kids! Also, please don’t walk by my table multiple times in a restaurant to view my order.
2. Do not lie about how much you eat when I can count your vertebras through your tank top and you can’t complete a single workout due to your non-existing energy level.
3. My three best friends do not work out and we never discuss working out. It’s such a refreshing break when I am with them. Just because this is my job, I do not want to do it/talk about it 24/7. Do you want to talk about your job 24/7? *
4. I am a smoker. That is why I will not teach bootcamp classes–my lungs can’t handle it. (Just to finish the text message….Colleen, if you tell anyone that I admitted that I will sneak into your house at night and chop off your long, blonde ponytail.)
5. I have to sell diet products to work at my particular gym, but i would NEVER use them. I also laugh at those people that take a simple sculpt class and drink a protein shake afterwards.
6. If I had a bad day, my class is about to get the full brunt of it with a killer workout. I am also more likely to harp on their form when I am in a bad mood.
7. Yes, I take other instructor’s classes. It’s called continuing education and my own workout! *
8. I come up with new moves in the oddest places and have no issue “trying them out” at that very moment–on a public road during a run, in my classroom’s storage closet, in med bed in the middle of the night, in the car when driving. etc,. *
9. My pre workout fuel is usually an order off the McDonald’s snack menu or a Gigi’s cupcake. I’ll burn it off in class.
10. I take it as a huge compliment that so many people take time out of their day to take my class. If I’m not “feeling it”, I better fake it ’til I make it. I can always smile as I wait for the endorphins to work on my energy level/mood. *
“Some of you need help” Stories
1. This male member has such eating issues. This guy will text me at night when at a restaurant asking what the workout plan is for the morning. That response will determine what he orders off the menu. The truth: I never do the workout I text him. He continues to text me, though!!
2. The same male member….he sent me a pic of his “lunch” one day: a single fruit cup from Chick-Fil-A. The text said “thanks for the low-burn workout this morning. This is all I can eat for lunch, thanks to you”. (Really?! Really!? I have no words…well, I do have some words, but I won’t type them for
my mother all to read).
3. Please don’t buy your workout clothes at the same store where you buy your toddler’s clothes. Face it…you aren’t a 2T anymore.
4. Sure, answer your phone during my class and ask me to turn off my music. I know that your decorator is waiting for the crucial decision as to which shade of green to paint your guest bathroom. The other 15 people in class won’t mind, either.
5. Hello…your new boobs are providing you with a chin rest, so don’t tell me that you have “pulled your back” and can’t do any upper body work for the next month.
6. Thank you for informing me and the rest of the class that you cannot perform any jumps because you will pee in your pants since you had a “natural birth”. That fact hasn’t changed in years and none of us have amnesia; however, you must since you tell me this every Tues/Thurs.
7. I really don’t care what is in your grocery cart and I’m certainly not going to search it; therefore, you don’t have to panic and run from me in the store or throw your coat on top of your purchases.
8. No, I will not take pictures of everything I eat in a day and text it to you. My diet is none of your business and my diet will not work for you.
9. If you bring your kid to class and say that they will sit in the corner of the room, make them sit in the corner of the room!! They cannot run around jumping on/moving member’s equipments! Also, if they start to misbehave discipline them!
10. If we happen to be traveling to the same spot to vacation I will not hold a special workout session for you and your friends/family. Seriously. It is my vacation and I do not think about work on vacation.
(treated like) Crap Stories
1. I’ve been asked to babysit a member’s kids in the aerobic room after class while she goes and showers, etc prior to a “hot date”. A nanny was running late to pick up the kids.
2. I have another job. I have a college degree–several to be exact. I also have a lot of certifications and training experience to safely train you. I’m not a “grown-up cheerleader”, so please don’t introduce me with that title to your friends in public.
3. No, I will not hold a special class just for you on Christmas morning. No, I will not ask the gym’s owner to open the gym that day, either. (This is the same male from the above stories and she says he does it every single year……..)
4. My body is not perfect. Just because I teach group ex classes does not mean I should look like a super model. You don’t have to use my flaws as your excuse not to take my class. I may have big legs, but that’s because I can squat and run a hell of a lot more than you. It’s also because I am active all day doing this job.
5. Yes, I may be your personal trainer, but I am not your personal assistant. I have a client that gave me her to-do list at our first session honestly thinking that I was going to run those errands for her. I don’t know what gave her that idea, but she never tried it again.
6. Some days I can’t do the entire workout with the class because I am injured, sick, or on my 6th class of the day, that is not a reason to call me lazy and to request another instructor teach that class.
7. A woman was late to my class (30 min!!) and informed me that I “owe” her that extra time. She truly wanted me to keep teaching for another 30 minutes. I told her no because another class was immediately starting in that room. That was not a good enough reason, so she asked me to train her in the hallway. I told her no and she reported me to my boss saying I cut the class short by 30 min. I got called into management for a meeting and had to have other members as witnesses to keep my job.
8. I’ll occasionally take my classes outside for workout. I had three women in a class drape their towels over my neck and shove their water bottles and equipment at me for me to carry for them.
9. I’ve been asked to take the light bulb out of the canned light in the ceiling 15 feet above a women in spin class. I told her to get up and move her stationary bike two inches to the right. *
10. I’ve been called “the help”. This convo took place between two members in the parking lot directly in front of me. Member A realized that I had the same car as member B, so member A yelled across the parking lot to member B “tell John you have to get a new car now since you are driving the same car as the help”. *
I would love to hear some more confessions from my virtual group ex instructor friends! It would also be fun to hear some confessions from group ex participants. Go ahead and leave some comments!