Directionally Challenged

Generally, I have a really good sense of direction. When I am places, I can figure out where I am going with ease. However, there is one place where I find myself directionally challenged at times and this is when I am taking certain group fitness classes. In particular, the classes where you are following what the instructor is doing and the instructor is facing you.

The thing about those classes is that when you look at the instructor, that person is acting like a mirror so that when you do an exercise, if you are watching and following along with the instructor, you feel like you are looking in a mirror.

However, in my case, I cannot do this. Well, I should say, I can’t do it all the time. Instead, I am doing the opposite side of whatever the exercise is. At times, this isn’t that big of a deal because as participants we aren’t moving but are instead stationary while doing the exercise. However, it is a big problem if we are supposed to be moving.

When that happens, I have to think seriously hard about what I am doing and where I am going. But a big question for me is wondering why and how on earth did I end up doing this? You’d think that I would easily follow along and have trouble now that I am an instructor in doing things the opposite of what the class is doing so that the participants can mirror me.

However, doing the opposite of what I want participants to do is so super easy for me. So easy that if I try to not mirror, I throw myself off. So when I have to mirror in class, it is fine. However, taking class just messes me up.

This happened last week when I was taking a Bodycombat class. The first half of the class was ok and I was able to go the way of the instructor for the most part. There were a few times when I wanted to do the opposite, but it was ok. In the second half of class, well that is when things got to be messed up. So often I had to think, no don’t do the opposite of what he is doing. Do what he is doing so you look like a mirror. Needless to say, things almost started to get really bad with me kicking people instead of not.

After the class, I was talking to a few other instructors about how I am really good at mirroring, but terrible at it as a participant in class. And that is when I heard about wearing something on my “instructor” right so I can tell right from left and then when I am a participant to switch it to my “real” right and left so that I don’t get messed up in class. This actually ended up being the first time I have ever thought, hmmm, maybe I should get a tattoo on my wrist.

In any event, I have started to wear my watch again and when I am a participant putting it on my right wrist so that I will think more about actually using the “right” side of my body for whatever the exercise is in class. So far, it has helped a tiny bit. Hopefully it will help more as I keep doing it and will stop being directionally challenged in class. Because an instructor who is directionally challenged is probably quite the comical site for a class participant. Not to mention it would drive them batty because they are unable to follow along.


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