I’m convinced that New England germs are much more harsh than the happy, sunny viruses we carry down south. Perhaps it’s the long, cold winters they have to endure up here that make them more grizzly and vicious. Perhaps it’s the fact that we are all holed up indoors spreading germs as quickly as water cooler gossip. Whatever the case may be, the fact is I’ve been sick more times this winter than I have in the last decade combined.
For a lack of a more eloquent term: it sucks.
But in always trying to see the positive in everything, I’ll just focus on the fact that my immune system is undergoing some sort of boot camp training this year, and will hopefully be up to par for next year’s battle.
In the meantime, however…I’ve lost my voice.
Yes, a killer cold that seems to not improve as the days pass, just…change symptoms. Fever one day, body aches the next, a cough the third day, and today: no voice. This morning, I was subbing for another instructor for a beginner spinning class. And since it’s virtually impossible to find a sub for a sub with just a few hours notice, I went in regardless of the cold-voice-status. I filled in for this same class last week, and had 5 participants. So I figured, I’d go in, apologize for my croaky, raspy, barely understandable (and sometimes not even audible) voice, and we’d have a nice, small, beginner class.
Imagine my surprise when I walk into the room and the class is FULL. 13? 15? I can’t remember. And almost ALL of them were first timers. Let’s add to that we just moved into a brand new room. The speakers were tripping me out because the instructor bike sits BEHIND them….and I have a head cold. I couldn’t hear anything.
I stumbled, and I mean STUMBLED my way through class. I was sweating bullets…was it the lack of airflow, the smaller quarters, or the fever? Probably mostly the fever. And when it was all over, multiple people came up and thanked me , but I could not help but feel like an ass.
Yeah I said it, an ass.
There’s something sacred about teaching beginners in a fitness class. Go ahead and laugh at the seemingly ridiculousness of what I just said…but now listen. Those of us who absolutely LOVE to exercise all day, every day, start to fall apart if we miss a day, are very few and far between. The rest of the world, well they simply don’t love it. Heck, I’m pretty sure most don’t even like to exercise a little, and so they simply…don’t.
2 out of every 3 American adults are overweight.
1 in 3 are considered obese.
I know you hear the term “epidemic” thrown around but this is truly a sad, desperate situation.
Now, clearly I am not single handily battling the obesity epidemic in my beginner cycling class today, but the point is this: people are typically intimidated by gyms, intimidated at the thought of working out…and terrified of trying new things. I hate to think that someone finally gathered the courage to step outside of their comfort zone, try something new, and were met head on by Heather’s hot mess of a cycling class, only to swear it off for LIFE.
Which brings me to the point of this whole post (and it’s not that I feel like a jerk for ruining spin or the fact that I couldn’t read this post out loud right now if my life depended on it). The point is, we are all responsible for helping facilitate this change and get our society MOVING. I can’t tell you how many classes I’ve gone to, how many group runs or races I’ve shown up to, where an instructor or seasoned regular has turned their nose up at or seemed inconvenienced by a newbie. Come on you guys. You NEVER know whose life you may change in that very moment, by either taking a few moments to welcome and/or help out that new person. You also never know who you may send straight back to the couch, embarrassed or ashamed because they couldn’t figure out how to work the treadmill, and you huffed about “New Years resolutionists” (OK I’m a few months behind on this post, but you catch my drift, right?)
Make friends. Share the fitness love. Lead by example and inspire others everywhere you go. And that my friends, is your Heather PSA for the day. I’m off this soapbox, till next time…over and out.