This post is a follow up to the one I did a while back on 10 Reasons I Love Blogging. I like to think of it as a little gratitude check and reminder that I’m one lucky sonofab to love what I do for work as much as I do.
One year ago today, I taught my first class at Btone and officially added Group Fitness Instructor to the ol’ job title. It’s funny because growing up, I was always told that I should be a teacher (school teacher), and I rolled my eyes at the thought of it. Granted, they’re extremely different, but now I couldn’t imagine not teaching (group fitness). I know a large part of why I love it so much is simply because Btone is a wonderful place to work, but we’ll stick to the more general aspects of instructing group fitness for today’s post.
1 | Teaching has made me a better student.
Want to learn something inside and out? Teach it. I pay so much more attention to what I’m doing now when I take classes. I notice little changes in body position and how they affect the difficulty of a move; I notice the ways my body naturally wants to “cheat” when it starts getting fatigued in certain exercises; I keep in mind common form errors I see in students and self-adjust if I find myself making them, too—the list goes on.
To a certain extent, I also now push myself just a little harder in class because of that added pressure of the other students knowing I’m an instructor—makes you think twice before slacking off during a workout. 🙂
2 | It feels good to be a (small) part of such a positive component of people’s day.
For the most part, people want to be in class. Or, if they don’t exactly “want” to workout, they at least want to do something good for their body and they know that this is it. Either way, taking class is a positive part of someone’s day, and it feels good to be involved in that. It’s like the complete opposite of working at the DMV.
3 | It balances out the solitary aspect of blogging.
I’ve always really enjoyed and valued alone time, so I love being able to work from home independently on the blog—but I also need human interaction to stay sane. When I started working on my blog full-time and left the 9-5 world, I noticed that every evening when I met up with my boyfriend, I could Not. Stop. Talking. And about nothing! After a whole day alone at my computer, all the silly thoughts that had entered my head just came pouring out…for hours. I guess I never appreciated the presence of co-workers until I suddenly didn’t have anyone with whom to talk about the weather or what I’m having for lunch.
Teaching creates a perfect balance for me. I get to spend a couple hours in the morning at the studio working with people before cozying up alone with my computer for the rest of the workday. I love it!
4 | In addition to balancing my blogging career, it builds it.
It doesn’t take a great stretch of the imagination to see how teaching group fitness and blogging about fitness would support each other. Readers learn about my class and come in (I LOVE having you guys in class!) and clients learn about my blog and check it out. It’s amazing being able to reach people in all nooks and crannies of the globe through blogging, but I also think it’s important (professionally and personally) to have an “in-person” presence in the fitness industry.
5 | It’s been the missing “hands-on” piece to my personal training certification.
You might remember back when I got my personal training certification and reviewed it on the blog, that I passed my test feeling pretty unprepared to actually train someone. You just simply can’t compare reading how to do something to practicing how to do it in real life. While taking on private clients still isn’t in the cards for me because of my schedule, if I did want to do personal training, I would be 100% confident with my ability now, having the knowledge learned during my NASM course and, way more importantly, the hands on experience from teaching group fitness.
6 | It’s rewarding seeing clients accomplish new things.
To clarify, I don’t mean rewarding in the sense that I think I’m responsible any time a student reaches a new goal or holds a plank those extra 30 seconds. Group fitness isn’t like personal training—your students are going to lots of different instructors, working out on their own, and the credit for progress goes totally to them. I just think that witnessing progress in itself is rewarding—every time I see someone accomplish something they couldn’t do the month before, it’s confirmation that I’m in the right industry.
7 | I may be in the minority here, but I LOVE the early hours.
I’ve always been a morning person, and I love being able to teach three classes before 9AM and then have the whole day ahead of me. I also teach some evening and mid-morning classes and sub all over the place, but those early ones will always be my favorite.
8 | It’s fun being able to share a workout I’m passionate about with others.
When I’m planning a class, I always aim to put together a workout that I’d want to do myself. It keeps me excited about teaching, and almost feels like I’m sharing a bunch of my favorite things or a list of recommendations with the class. If, for example, I’m feeling the burn from a particular exercise I did the other day, it’s weirdly exciting being able to then “share” that with my students by putting them through it in class.
Reading that last sentence back—could I be a bigger fitness dweeb?? Woof. 😉
9 | Teaching group fitness brings me back to my dance days.
I was never one of those hardcore dance company girls, but I tap danced from a very young age all the way into college and really loved it. While it varies by type of class, music is an integral part of group fitness, and that’s so fun for me! Counting down to the beat, “choreographing” classes, syncing up a spin class to the rhythm of my playlist, the performance aspect of teaching in front of a group—I can’t get enough.
10 | It has forced me to FINALLY learn my left from right.
Laugh away. Most people have an innate sense of left from right—not this girl. Up until LITERALLY last year (age twenty-freaking-five, people), I was making “L” shapes with my fingers to figure out which way was left. Welp, instruct enough people to cross their right foot in front of their left and even a hopeless fool like me can learn.
BONUS | When your friends come to class, you get to torture them.
Kidding. Kind of …
… I don’t know, man. After scrolling back through this post, it seems like my real favorite thing about teaching group fitness is taking selfies after the class. I’m embarrassing.
Group fitness instructors—what’s your favorite thing about teaching?