Outside of your comfort zone that is. I’ve heard it a million times but never really believed it… until now.
Every Monday night I head to the gym after work for spin class with my favorite instructor/mentor. Even though yesterday was Monday, I just wasn’t feeling it. I was in a weird mood and honestly just wanted to go home and be lazy, even though I knew I would regret it later. I came up with every single excuse to try to convince myself it was okay to just stay home.
I ended up making it home with a few extra minutes than normal in between work and spin class so I was faced with a choice. I could either go inside and put on my pjs and snuggle up with my dog or I could make a snack, suck it up and go to the gym. I chose option number two, so I made an English muffin with peanut butter and headed to class.
I realized half way there that I forgot my towel so it threw me off and I took a wrong turn and ended up having to go the long way. It seemed like everything was against me. I made it to the gym about 7 minutes before class to find out that a pipe burst at my instructors’ house and she had to leave unexpectedly to go take care of things at home.
Now since this is the instructor I have been talking about wanting to possibly become a spin instructor with, she suggested I teach the class in her absence. WHAT?!? Me teach a class? I couldn’t possibly do that! I didn’t have music and I hadn’t even completed a training course since the one I signed up for a few months ago was cancelled. My friends in the class were encouraging me to give it a try so after the instructor got permission from her manager, she left me with the code to unlock the stereo, handed me a cd and headed home. There was no turning back now. This was my test. Either this is something I’m meant to do or not and I was about to find out right then and there.
I mean how bad could it be? I’ve taken tons of spin classes before, I’ve been practicing my cues to the music during my solo rides and these people were my friends so they’d go easy on me, right? Time to put on a brave face and put my knowledge to the test. At first I couldn’t even figure out how to turn on the stereo so someone had to help me and I didn’t have a mic pack belt, so I just had to speak up so everyone could hear me. I popped in the cd, set up the instructors bike to my settings and hopped on.
I honestly didn’t even have a chance to really get nervous since it all happened so fast. Since I didn’t know what was on the cd, I had to just take each song as it came and wing a routine by listening to the changes in pace in the music. Some of my friends were even giving me some cues for ideas of things to do and I was extremely grateful because my mind went blank a couple of times.
After about 30 minutes of class, I started to get a little freaked out that we still had 30 more minutes to go. Then I looked down and remembered that I put on my “Be the best version of YOU” bracelet right before I left work and it calmed my nerves. I started to somewhat get the hang of it after awhile and the time seemed to fly by. Everyone was following along, smiling at me and dripping in sweat, so I thought I must be doing something right.
Before I knew it, class was over and we were stretching out and wiping down our bikes. Some of the people in the class came up to tell me thank you for stepping up and not letting them down since they came all the way there planning on taking class. Sweet right? One guy came up and gave me a sweaty hug and told me “if our class was a baseball game, it would have been an out of the park home run.” Then one girl came up and told me she hadn’t been to the gym in months and this was her first day back so she wanted to thank me for being there for her. I honestly almost started crying right then and there.
Just a short hour before this, I was contemplating whether or not I even wanted to even go to class and an hour later I ended up teaching it. People were thanking ME for being there for them and not letting them down? Wow. What a turn of events.
I can honestly tell you that if I had known about this well in advance, I probably would have turned down the opportunity to teach since I hadn’t been “properly trained” yet and didn’t feel like I knew enough of what I was supposed to do to teach class “properly.” Teaching an impromptu class definitely required me to step outside of my comfort zone and you know what happened when I did, magic.
Now I’m going to look back on this moment whenever I’m thinking of taking the easy way out and remember the awesome things that happened when I stepped outside of my comfort zone. I hope you do the same.