“Almost done. Now give me 22 more!”
“Just one more. I mean 8 more.”
“Go super, super slow…” says the instructor as the weight feels heavier and heavier.
“That’s just blood flowing into your arm. That’s not hurting,” explained the instructor cheekily after a particularly difficult arm set.
Do you sometimes not know whether to jump for joy or cry after a fitness class? We all feel that way sometimes. I find myself thankful later for the toughest instructors who just would not let me give up. Not tough as in drill sergeant mean, but just tough enough to motivate me.
Have you ever concentrated so hard in a fitness class that you forgot to breathe properly? I have. I’ve been thankful many times when the instructors simply interject with “breathe…don’t forget to breathe.” I am particularly fond of yoga classes where we get to practice breathing and focusing on that in particular. Even in the context of yoga, all that relaxing can be hard work.
Are you motivated by the clever things instructors say to impress you, like telling you that now we’re all proceeding to integrated core work or a full-body workout? Sometimes I’m impressed. Other times, I try to resist the urge to groan in frustration.
Then there’s the instructor who makes an extra effort to make sure everyone in the class feels confident and sexy. I know better than to think I’m looking sexy when the strain of lifting the weight or doing another kick or dance move is so much that I can barely hold my back straight and keep my stretched out yoga pants from falling down. I do appreciate the instructor’s effort to give us positive reinforcement, though.
How I appreciate the camaraderie of other folks I can relate to, of all shapes, sizes and ages, who are moving the best they can along with me, despite my having two left feet, or despite all of us getting to that point where we can barely feel our legs. If you have to modify a move, no one is judging you. It’s comforting to feel like I won’t be shamed out of class because I’ve sunk in exhaustion into child’s pose when I simply can’t move anymore.
I was inspired to write this post because every time I step foot in NFC, I am inspired by the drive, determination and positive personalities of the instructors and trainers. They each, in their own way, want all of us to succeed. Whatever approach they use to motivate me, I appreciate it. I am often not the student in class who can manage to smile all the way through the 22+ reps or 40 pushups or gazillion squats with a barbell on my back — but I do appreciate those smiling instructors even when I’m grimacing at them.
If you’re in East Tennessee and decide to visit one of the many NFC locations, please tell them Anne sent you…yes, the one who whines and complains in class but then is so glad she came.