I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
Bene Geserit litany against fear from Frank Herbert’s Dune
This is the story about how I faced my fear…sort of. It is also about what I learned from it. So Monday, the Spin instructor was a no show for class and I was asked to step in. I’ve never taught a spin class and to be honest I kind of hate them. In fact, the first real argument my girlfriend and I had was over the fact that I didn’t want to take a Spin Class with her. Something we laugh about now. Anywho, I agreed reluctantly and went downstairs to what was presumably my doom.
I was freaking out and with good reason. In the fitness world there is nothing harder than being a sub in a group fitness class. With spin classes being the most intimidating. People will follow a “good” spin instructor from gym to gym to ride a stationary bike nowhere…to techno music. My girlfriends personal favorites are Carl Hall and Ayanna Wiles-Bey. Carl likes to yell nonsensical stuff in class like referring to himself as Leoneidas and the class as his Spartans. Like I said before I felt like I was walking to my doom. I imagined everyone walking out and running up to the desk to tell them how horrible I was. That I smelled, and they hated my music. I never got on my bike because I was on drugs! Let’s not forget I deserve to be hung. Every complaint I have heard about subs as a membership person multiplied times a hundred. So I panicked, I said I didn’t have music. My boss (who I should mention didn’t volunteer to teach) sent me downstairs with his IPod loaded with Spin worthy techno to my painful end.
To make a long story short the teacher arrived 20 minutes into the class to save me. Only two people walked out and those who didn’t thanked me for stepping in. No one called for my head. I survived, I faced my fear, stepped up and at the same time I let it beat me. In the moments before the class instead of collecting my thoughts, I panicked. I wasn’t true to me and what I know. Which is how to work people out regardless of the equipment. I let my stereotypes about spin class dictate the time I had to connect with the people in the class. It dictated my music, the way I spoke to the class. Basically I was trying to speak a foreign language that I didn’t know. While they got it, I felt silly.
“I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
I want a do-over. After a night of thought I realized that I missed an opportunity to electrify and to show people what I am made of. I missed an opportunity to change myself into a more complete fitness professional. I was sad about it until my client and general* Geri came up with a solution. She suggested I host a spin class for all my clients to which I thought was an amazing idea. I’ll look up some spin programs online pick my playlist and run with it. Who knows but I might really like teaching spin classes. I might have my own nonsensical things to scream out in class and the music will be better.
*I call Geri the General because she is one of my oldest clients and she came up with the name Killercadoogan’s Army.