Label it plainly. Tell it like it is. Put it out there. We are Spinning® Instructors and we are teaching Spinning® classes. This business of making the distinction between the verb spinning and what we do under the heading of Spinning® class, Spinning® training ? well, this is getting old. But, what is NOT getting old is the broadening scope of what this discipline can and is doing. Spinning® training is growing in popularity, participation and effectiveness; and is universally respected by both cyclists and fitness enthusiasts. Mad Dogg Athletics has a winner; and we Instructors are part of the winning game.
As Instructors we have criteria to meet. We are expected to be current in our certification as well as CPR and meet whatever requirements our employer mandates. We are expected to participate in continuing education and continue to develop our expertise. We owe it to ourselves and to our students to attend to our own fitness and skills and to demonstrate good technique. We need to plan our classes well, select appropriate and motivating music, and attend to the details of leading a class professionally. It also really helps if we genuinely love what we are doing ? are, in fact, passionate about the Spinning® program ? and share our enthusiasm (no cheerleading, please) with the wonderful students who have actually paid the price and spent their time and energy in our class.
There?s one more thing ? the, for lack of a better word, label. What do you wear when you are teaching? Do you have something on that announces ?Spinning®?? I?m not saying we need to spend our entire Instructor?s pay (probably not that big anyway) on a circus wardrobe of ?everything-Spinning®?. What I do suggest, however, is that we wear the shirt, or the socks, or the cap; that we put the water bottle on our bike and perhaps throw the Spinning® towel behind the seat. We don?t need it all, but we DO need some of it.
By displaying the Spinning® name we identify ourselves to newcomers and we make it clear to all that we are teaching something far greater than our own individual notions.
I carry a big black gear bag with Spinning® clearly marked on it ? purchased from www.spinning.com, of course. I have been told that participants hurrying in to get ready for class see my bag in the locker room and know that I am already here and preparing for class. It is a signal for them to do the same and to begin to focus on what will lie ahead.
I guess I always took it for granted that anyone associated with Mad Dogg Athletics and the Spinning® program would wear the gear. I have a few shirts and automatically wear one of them for each class. It?s what I see on Instructors most places I go. I was reminded recently that the Spinning® logo actually does say something about us.
I was participating in a Spinning® fund-raising event. My daughter and her husband brought my 3 grandchildren (ages 2, 4 and 6) to the event to stop by for a few minutes to say hello, to cheer me on, and to offer me as an example to the kids of what their grandmom does and believes to be important as well as possible. (no pressure here ? oh dear)
Well, sounded good, but they were unimpressed with my performance or even the fact that by the time they saw me I had been on a Spinner® for over 5 hours. Yes, they were wide-eyed about the setting ? LOUD music, dark, cavernous hall, etc., but what impressed them most was my attire. I had on plain black bike shorts, bike shoes, a black Spinning® baseball cap and a sort of old green, white and black striped sleeveless cycling shirt ? again sold on our website. They couldn?t get over it. Did I look ludicrous? No. To them I looked like someone on a mission and dressed like I meant it. They stood there staring at me and finally got brave enough to reach up and touch my shirt. (ok, so they?re deprived ? but you get the idea) The clincher came from my daughter: ?Wow Mom you look awesome ? so official!? And, she meant it.
I vowed to remember that moment and to continue to dress the role. Yes, this is only the most superficial aspect of our role as Instructors, but I intend to wear the label and then try always to live up to what it represents. What about you?
Blog posted at www.spinning.com, 4/16/2011 by Linda Freeman
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