Something amazing happened to me after class this week. Somebody came up and said "thank you for the motivational story you told during class. I came in here down in the dumps, but I'm leaving in a much better mood and feeling grateful for what I have instead of what I don't. Thank you." I have no doubt that every instructor reading this right now has experienced this at least once, but probably hundreds of times. And when I think back on the 20 years I've been doing this, I can say that it happened more than a couple and I've always appreciated. But there was something about it this time that made a bigger impact on me. It actually stuck with me all day. Let me see if I can better understand why myself by writing to you. Sometimes that's the best way for me to figure out things is to write it down =)

I have said this before, but I feel so lucky to teach in what I believe is one of the best clubs in the country. Having traveled to every state in the US when I worked for Corporate America (yuck), I can say that I've seen hundreds of gyms without any exaggeration. Where I teach now, we have a slogan.........although slogan is probably the wrong word. The point is, our "slogan" is (Insert Club name) "the best part of your day." (As I don't know the rules of the site, I won't say the name) Call it a slogan, call it a motto, call it a cliche, or call it a tag line, it doesn't really matter because the question is, do we mean it ? And I don't mean in the sense of "we have a very cool slogan" but I mean are we really trying to make an impact on these peoples lives each and every day. Because when I look back on my last 20 years, I can honestly say there have been people who have made me feel like the simple act of telling them a story in the middle of our workout has affected them deeply. I have had people tell me they "cried" in my class and although I acknowledged it then, now as i sit here I am floored that I didn't give this person a huge hug and REALLY thank them for taking the time to tell me that. There have been people who have taken my class, moved away, and returned for a weekend and made sure to come take my class. Everyone of us has had this happen I'm sure, but for some reason in my life right now, it seems so much more significant. I would be interested to know how many of you have stopped to think about what a gift this is that we have, being able to impact somebodies health, mindset, vitality, mood, and so on and so on and so on. Because right now I can't think of a better reward for giving one hour of my day.

But back to digging deeper into "why now,"  I ask myself why the type of comment that I've heard several times over 20 years, seems to mean so much more to me now than in the past ? Is it that I just turned 45 and getting soft ? Is it that it just took longer to sink in ? Is it that being newly divorced I am grasping for any recognition that I have done something right ? I venture to say all the above. For me the best part about being married was that I had a purpose every single day and that was to do my best to make her life better. Granted, I was not perfect, but I will put my stats up against 90% of the husbands out there and stand tall that I did a pretty damn good job. And as a father, my role is the same. Putting their needs in front of my own every day. I enjoy having that responsibility and probably do it to the extreme with my kids. A parent would understand what I mean. When you have a child, there doesn't ever have to be any thought or consideration on whether you would step in front of a train to save them, it's instinctual!! And as an instructor (sorry for the dramatic metaphor about the train LOL) although I am working out when I teach, it has NEVER been about my workout, it's always about theirs. And I think after 20 years I am finally learning that I love knowing I am able to impact someone's day. That something I do or say CAN make a difference.

When I started writing for the site I said that I'm not the guy to come to for the technical aspects of cycling. It's not now, nor has it ever been my strength or focus. I'm a story teller who enjoys using stories and metaphors to motivate my class. And this week I think it finally hit me that I may actually be hitting the mark with a few people. We all need a mission or strength as an instructor so that the people who resonate with US will gravitate to our class. It's not about one instructor being better than another, it's about realizing our strength and being consistent to that strength until the numbers find us. And if my foo foo style is too spiritual or earthy for the more traditional cyclist spin instructor than I am okwith that. BUT don't ever forget that even the members in your class, even though they may not say it, ARE being effected in a positive way by you in more ways than you/we think. You can't always gauge how you changed someone'sday/week/year or life by how much weight they lost or how now they can maintain a lower heart rate on a sprint. Sometimes it's deeper than that. Sometimes you made the type of difference that spreads like wild fire through their entire circle. And if that isn't a gift than I don't know what is. I don't miss my ex wife at all, but I miss TERRIBLY being a husband. I miss the responsibilities that came with being the person who could make her day better. And maybe this is why now hearing that I played a part in a members day is hitting so close to home for me. It doesn't really matter why, and you certainly don't need the same reasons I have, but let me just say this and let it sit. You are often "the best part of their day" and that my friends is worth more than any paycheck you make or whatever brand bike you're riding. So if you're taking those compliments for granted than stop, acknowledge it, hear it, and give yourself a big hug because you earned it.

I hope I am resonating with some of you and that my style is uncovering aspects of your teaching that you may not have been using enough of. Enjoy your gifts !!


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