Group Exercise has played a big role in my fitness life for about 14 years. I remember fondly my free access to the state-of-the-art “Strom” center as a student at USC. And, my goodness, I took advantage. That’s where I attend my first GX class – probably pilates. Then I was hooked forever.
All these years, I have participated like mad. There were times when I needed that setting and instructor to motivate me or I was just not going to exercise. As a seeker of variety, I’ve sampled almost every class type. Been ground up and spit out by the bootcamp instructors. Been soothed and flexed by the yoga instructors. Been thoroughly impressed with senior citizens that could outdo me.
I have been a personal trainer for about 4 years. It was not until my latest job that I ventured into group exercise instruction. Exhilarated with the new challenge, I still had to pace myself. I taught 1 class a week from August to December 2017. I taught 3 classes a week January to March 2018. Classes were Plyoga, Total Body and Pep Step.
The participants were my boos. I loved them all, grooving to my playlists, pushing to the max. I did it for them, right. They needed me, and the inspiration flowed both ways. But after only 3 months, I realized GX may not be my perpetual calling…
For one, I was having terrible body issues flare up. I did have a serious car accident last August that contributed. I was still not over some shoulder, back, hip ailments.
For two, I didn’t really get to baby my body in the process. Sure, I shared my journey with classes, but once adrenaline pumped I wasn’t so limited and aggravated things without knowing.
For three, it wasn’t about me. I was performing. I was on. I had to lead these eager folks in high kicks, lunges, planks and downward dogs. I could not be overly concerned with myself.
For four, the schedule was ambitious and demanding for me when I got up to teaching 3 days per week, back-to-back. The show must go on whether I was sore or sick or whatever. People relied on me, and my facility did not have a substitute. Eek!
For five, I realized how much time and care went into class preparation. I spent countless hours pooling music, writing routines, practicing and setting up the room.
For six, I spent many more hours promoting offerings, fulfilling registration and communicating with participants. Each class required tender attention. And, yes, I did want my boos to have access to me.
All this is to say… OMG, I DID NOT REALIZE WHAT GROUP EXERCISE INSTRUCTORS WERE CONTRIBUTING. I did not realize intimately before how much heart they all must have. To hustle through and through. To walk everything off. To keep a smile on their faces. To do all of this for the betterment of others.
I just needed to put it out there. Thank you, fabulous Group Exercise Instructors of the world! You have given so much. And you have shaped me personally and professionally.
Oh, by the way, ACSM’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018 has Group Training listed at #2. The article states that although GX has been a long-time potential trend, it did not make the Top 20 until 2017.