I'm led to be reflective in this blog because I received an email from a student, reminding me about how impactful instructors can be. Michelle was a student in one of my fitness classes in winter/spring, and after graduation, thought to send me this: "i just wanted to say a quick hello... i've been going to a few gym classes at home and they are just NOT the same as [yours]! i wanted to wish you a good summer and thank you for having such an impact on my [college] spring! yesterday morning just wasn't the same without being sore from your class from the night before!"
This was such a lovely email to receive from a student who I got to know only in a fitness class. Of course, in retrospect now, I regret not having gotten to know her better outside of a fitness context but remain glad we crossed paths regardless of what role I played in her life. And besides, I believe people's lives will always intersect later on, so I am not disheartened I only knew her in one context (for now!).
I have realized in life, one needs to be gracious and thankful to those around them. And, be it friends or colleagues, I like to take the time to thank them for being a part of my life, and allowing me the honor of sharing in theirs (I'm a fan of doing this in email, on facebook, and in random cards I might write to people when the mood strikes).This is the same way I feel about fellow instructors and instructors whose classes I take regularly, for they are an influence in my life for which I am grateful. Without having been encouraged when I first stepped into a Spinning class, who knows if: one, I would have done things safely/correctly and two, I would have stuck around to try a second class? And certainly, I think, without mentorship and guidance from fellow instructors, I would not be mindful of my own skill set, how I interact with others, and how I, now, can also serve to mentor and guide.
Long reflection short: take the time to be thankful to those around you. Fellow instructors, trainers, and even those you meet in classes--thank them for pushing you to work on your own health, and for stepping up the game for you on those days when you're just not "feeling it". The time you take to do this will not only give you a moment to appreciate the how fortunate you are in having wonderful people around you, but give you the chance to let them be reminded that their contribution to your life, however small, means something. Life's short. Appreciate.