November 16, 2013

For most, 11/16/2013 is not a special date. However, for me, I’m going to remember it as the day that I made the first step in changing my life. That was the day that I got certified to be a SPIN instructor. How all of this came about was months in the making, but certification day seems the right time to say it all changed.

How did it all begin? Well, I work out a lot as you probably know if you’ve read any past posts on here. And as part of that, I am always trying to find new ways to challenge myself. One of the things I do to cross-train is take Spinning® classes as my primary thing other than running. They both rank pretty high on my list of things to do.

Anyway, 2013 was the year that I was going to finish the marathon and as preparation for that, I decided I needed to start training to run 26.2 early so I decided to train for a spring half marathon. That meant running in the terrible winter months of February and March.

As I was doing that training, I was also attending a class by Les Mills called CXWORX, which is a 30-minute core class. It is a class that I find to be essential to being able to run well and I have to credit it with making me stronger.

One day about half-way through my spring half marathon training, I was talking to the instructor of CXWORX, Kimberly after class and she asked me when I was going to get certified to start teaching. I responded that it was funny she had mentioned that because I had thought about doing it just to have. And I even had started writing a story where the main character is a SPIN instructor in her spare time. Anyway, Kimberly said I should do it and explained a little bit about how she got started teaching Spinning® and the other classes she taught at the gym.

So the seed had been planted. During subsequent sessions with Stephanie (my trainer) as well as in various classes and in some of my online running groups, I started to do things instructors might do. Such as offering a suggestion to correct a problem someone was having. Fast forward a few months and I was again talking to Stephanie about my observations in helping others. She said to me that I should be some sort of running coach or something.

So, me being me, decided to go look into the SPIN Instructor certification. After I looked, I decided I was going to do it in September, a week before doing a 20-mile run. But things didn’t work out so I delayed it. I though, oh I will just do it after the marathon, but I had a race on the day that training was so November it was going to be. Initially I though I was going to have to wait until 2014, but when I saw the training for it was in Chicago and not a suburb, I had to do it in November.

It turned out to be one of the best days ever. The Master Instructor was so amazing. My other classmates were good people and I just had so much fun riding the bike, putting together a ride and learning more about Spinning. Before that certification class, I was already in love with Spinning and didn’t think it was possible to love it more. But I do love it more.

Right after that class the following Monday, I got “ballsy” and emailed the Group Fitness Director at my gym to see about getting a job teaching Spinning®. Because, why not use my new certification? She emailed me back that afternoon and I had an audition set up for the 22nd. Just five days (less really) away! I now needed to work on putting a ride profile together, practicing the section I was going to audition to and then do it! I had the ride profile to utilize from my certification class, but now I had to put music to it.

Putting music to things is easier said than done. How long do I want to do each movement? How long will a member want to ride to a particular song? Will they like the music I select? I can’t use the same artist every movement. AAAARRRGGGGHHHHH! Once I have all that, then I have to think about what I’m going to say to riders.

Enter the seed planter, Kimberly again. When I told her I was going to get certified, she offered to help me practice my audition so I took her up on that offer and two nights before, she practiced with me and gave me some great feedback to take into the audition. That helped tremendously because having a bit of a “practice” run through things helped me to work out further kinks.

Needless to say, the audition went so amazing. So amazing that I immediately got set up to do some team teaching because I was soon going to be on the subbing list for my gym for Spinning. And the week of National Stuff your face day in America saw me doing my first team teaching sessions that carried into the following week. After I did those sessions, it was going to be time to start building rides because soon I’d be subbing for people.

It was all a whirlwind. One day I got certified, then within two weeks of that, I was going to be working at the gym. Before it all happened, I had already signed up for another class to get certified to teach and was busy planning other classes I wanted to do. The second class happened on December 8th and next year the rest of the classes will happen. And exactly 32 days after I changed (December 18, 2013), I taught my first class.

Was that intimidating? Just a little bit and while one member looked as though I could go crawl under a rock as far as he was concerned, a couple of others were very nice and one complimented me on the music selection in class.

I still have my running goals for 2014, but adding in this new stuff of me being a group fitness instructor is pretty amazing. After doing the SPIN certification, I finally am doing something that I truly love and that makes me happy no matter what is happening. And I have to thank Kimberly for seeing something and prodding / planting the seed for me to do it as well as numerous others, including Stephanie, Julie, Brady and Patti for always encouraging me. And if you’re a member at my gym chain, hopefully I’ll see you in class 😀


4 thoughts on “November 16, 2013

    • Thanks! I didn’t think actually teaching would happen so fast. I thought I was going to be waiting until April for an audition but I’m pretty happy it all happened as quickly as it did.

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