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2012 Spinning® Instructor Manifesto

Folks, if there was ever a Scrooge of New Year’s resolutions, it might be me. I’ve never had a desire to have a membership in the “Resolutions Club” and have never submitted my goal setting to being compressed into a particular time of year. So, while the rest of the world proclaims lofty goals in January only to fall from grace by March, I approach January 1 the same way I approach every other day—as another brilliant opportunity to do good and to do right. The rewards from doing good and doing right cause me to become addicted to taking care of myself, so I can continue to be of service to those around me. I know that there are many of you out there like me, so when I was asked to write this article about tips for Spinning instructors to make 2012 fabulous, the outer edges of the box were compelling me to move beyond the world of nutrition, coaching, and profile tips. I could sit here and tell you to go to more continuing education, eat healthier, get more sleep, drink more water, cut down on alcohol and sugar, how to increase numbers in your classes, blah, blah, blah, but I’d be making the pretty nervy assumption that you haven’t already heard that a gazillion times.

Don’t get me wrong, group goal-setting is a profound motivator, and team support is a key factor in achievement, so I get why people want to jump on the “resolutions train” because it’s full of folks all heading in the same direction. The problem is that the train begins to slow down and we witness people jumping off at convenient stops and before you know it, you’ve stepped off, too.  But—there is hope. There’s a way your train can keep moving at a steady pace. I believe that true success is within reach when we, as individuals, begin to reshape how we see ourselves and the world.

A few weeks ago, one of my Spinning® students sent a video link to me which, through the music, the images, and the text, conveyed powerful messages of seeing life through a new lens. Briefly, this video presented what is known as the Holstee Manifesto, a compilation of thoughts and dreams put on paper by three fellas who decided to share with others what they wanted from life and how they might breathe passion into the world everyday. If you don’t already know about it, Google it. These are fine folks, and one day I predict they’ll have a Spinning studio at their company headquarters (one of my goals).

Everyday. That’s the word that stuck with me. These guys wanted to figure out how, through their company, to bring joy and happiness to all, everyday. So, if we want to create change, whether it’s weight loss or eating better, first we have to reshape how we see ourselves and the world, and then it has to be an everyday process, not just announced once a year. And then it dawned on me—hey, I could use a manifesto! My own company could use a manifesto! Heck, Spinning instructors everywhere could use a manifesto! A manifesto is defined as a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives. Not a whole heck of a lot different from the definition of resolution, right? It might come down to semantics, but to some a manifesto implies a broader, more comprehensive approach to something, whereas a resolution implies a singular, more finite direction.

So, I set out to put together my own ideas of a Spinning instructor manifesto, and chose the top 5 to share with you. I present to you the new way to achieve weight loss, healthier eating habits, improved sleep, better coaching skills, more solid profiles, and filling your classes:


SEEK RELEVANCE: The most influential teachers, no matter the topic or industry, are those willing to sacrifice short-term popularity for longer-term relevance. Listen to your students with empathy; as your relationships flourish so will the numbers in your classes. Once and for all, ditch any ridiculous contraindicated movements you’ve been doing in the name of satisfying your members and stop telling yourself they’ll hate your classes if you do. Balance intelligence with heart and intuition with values. Seek relevance.

GET YOUR HANDS IN THE MUD: Aggressive innovation takes hard work, I mean really hard work. Adopt an unbreakable conviction to integrity, truth and selflessness, which allows you to be a most excellent leader. To paraphrase a great quote, it is said that a leader is best when people barely know he exists; so that when his work is done and aim fulfilled they will say, “We did it ourselves.” Are you willing to be the type of leader that gets your hands dirty and then enjoys supreme satisfaction from a job well done rather than from praise and a name in lights? Hey, praise is nice and should be accepted gracefully, but you’re walking a dangerous line when it is the only thing that fills your tank. Get your hands in the mud.

GROW WITH DISCIPLINE: You are unique! Share your story with others, refusing to let anyone define you. You are the only one who has had your experiences—share, share, share with abundance—and recognize that everyone around you also has unique stories.  Find new ways to see and hear others and you will notice exponential growth in your spirit and heart. Understand it is easy to be kind when things are going well for you; it is much harder to be kind when you’re going through a rough patch. Are you up for the challenge? Find truth in trials and lessons in mistakes and your integrity will soar to new heights. Grow with discipline.

PROCLAIM YOUR PASSION: You can’t share your passion until you yourself first identify it then proclaim it! When was the last time you vocalized or wrote down the things that fill you up with joy? Scream, “I love you!” to your mate on a busy city street for the whole world to hear. Rip open the wrapping on the box your soul has been living in and share it with your beloved. Play that Bon Jovi song in class and talk about your big hair days! Believe that you must do the things that make you come alive, only then will the world feel the ripple that is you. Proclaim your passion.

BELIEVE IN THE MAGIC THAT IS THIS WORLD: Reshaping our view of the world begins with figuring out how we are a part of it. If everyone believed that their purpose in life was to simply lift someone else up, I believe we would become addicted to caring for ourselves to the best of our ability so that we may always be of service to others. I have heard it said that happiness is a choice; this I believe. Perhaps the mastery of this quality is the challenge we are all faced with everyday. This world constantly reminds me that we are a part of something mystical and much, much bigger than our perceived circle around us. Say hello to a stranger. Help someone with their groceries. Leave a bigger tip next time. Drive a neighbor to their doctor’s appointment. Give flowers to a student just because. Volunteer for a charity. Hold a child’s hand. Believe in magic, and those around you will, too. Believe in the magic that is this world.

So, while I’ve never bought a ticket on the “Resolutions Train,” I’m signed up for the daily pass on “Manifesto Rail.” Seeking truth, working hard, opening my mind and heart to growth, declaring my joys, and honoring the majesty of the world around me sounds like a good formula for change. Whether that change is weight loss, heart health, getting more people in my classes, telling my family more often that I love them, or putting together a rockin’ Spinning class profile, I know I’m so lucky to get 365 opportunities offered to me repeatedly year after year to do good and to do right.  Let’s reshape how we view ourselves and the world—maybe then we’ll cut down on sugar, fats and alcohol, sleep better, approach our education more passionately, eat more vegetables and fruits, and have healthier relationships. Get your ticket, today. See you on the journey…

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