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Friday, August 6, 2010

Ready, Set.....SPIN!

Good morning!  Happy FRIDAY!

I'm all confused about what day it is since I was away the past few days, which made today feel like a Monday.  Plus I was covering the 6a spin, which is normal for a Monday, not for a Friday.

But it's Friday, wooohoooo!

So today I thought I'd explain about getting my first spin class.  Whenever anyone asks me about one of my proudest accomplishments (usually in a job interview), this is what I tell them.

I went for my certification on August 1st.  So that part was done.  I had spoken with someone at the gym prior to my class so I knew I'd be able to get on to the sub list.  So I went in and had to do a little audition in order to officially be added to the sub list (and payroll).  Done.

I was so excited to be on the list and to start getting emails for subs.  I was on the NY and CT lists.  I'd get lots of emails but none of them were for CT, which was so frustrating.  Here I was, chomping at the bit, and NO ONE in CT seemed to need a sub.  Finally a desperate last minute plea came out for a class in White Plains, NY.  I emailed the woman and said that I could do it, but did tell her that it would be my first time teaching.  But she took a chance on me.  That gave me the courage that I needed to actively try to get my own class.

I learned that a Saturday 10a class was available at my home club, so I called the manager and told her I'd like to be considered.  She said she wasn't sure she wanted someone new, so she'd get back to me.  What she meant by that was that she'd call everyone possible to see if any of them wanted the class.  Apparently no one did, so she called me back to say the class was mine.  I could tell she wasn't thrilled, but I used this as ammo to fuel my fire.

Some background:  There's a 9a and a 10a on Saturday.  It used to be that the same guy taught both, and he ran straight from 9a until 10:45a, with no break.  The gym didn't like this because people felt weird walking in at 10a since he didn't break.  So they decided to put a new instructor in that second time slot.

My first class was interesting.  The guy before me shot daggers with his eyes.  He instantly hated me because I had taken his class away from him.  Similarly, his class felt loyal to him and didn't want to take my class.  I think my first few classes had maybe 3-4 people.  When I hit 8 people it was significant.

Teaching to an empty class sucks, but I knew I was good so I persevered.  And slowly those numbers started coming up.  I'd sub for the Sunday teachers and plug my Saturday class.  They'd enjoy me as a sub, so they'd come over to my class on Saturdays.  Slowly it started improving.

It's been tough, but it's been SO worth it.  I've even had a few people who have stopped taking his 9a and now take my 10a instead.  I have a loyal following and my class is usually pretty close to full.  It's truly invigorating to me to think about how things started and where they are now. 

It makes me proud and confident and reminds me that doing something you love really does show through.  You need to be passionate and when you are, your enthusiasm shines through, and that's what people want.

So there's my feel good story for a Friday.  Go enjoy your weekend!!


Wendy said...

That is truly wonderful, Jessica! And so encouraging. I got certified to teach group fitness classes last September and have had QUITE a time trying to get a decent-sized class going. It's a different kind of class and a unique situation but holy cow. Discouragement after discouragement after discouragement. I'm gonna keep trying, though. Thanks for sharing your story - I found it very interesting and it gave me hope! NO doubt you are a fantastic spin instructor!! Keep it up, girl!!

Jessica said...

Hi Wendy,
Thanks so much for the comment.
I totally understand what you're going through, it's hard.
Definitely stay positive and don't be afraid of being too enthusiastic.
You will definitely develop the following you deserve.
What are you teaching?

Jessica said...

So clearly I use the word "definitely" a bit too much.