In January 2012 I sat through the 9-hour orientation to become a Spinning® instructor. I loved taking Spinning® classes, attending a minimum of two classes each week and using them as my sole form of cardio work to complement the strength training I did with Trainer J. I admired my instructors so much, I decided I wanted to be just like them and acquired my certification.
I taught my first class that May at the YMCA a few towns over. The class had one person, my boss. By mid-summer, I was consistently packing 6-7 people in each class. Mind you, the room only had 14 bikes, including the bike for the instructor. By the end of the summer, I had 12 people in the class. When I got to the Y each Saturday, I knew there would be no fewer than 8 people, all of whom would try to talk with me after class the same way I would talk to my instructors after class. I loved it! Looking back, there are times when I regret leaving.
I left in March 2013 because my boss was not supportive (she had no idea that my classes were packed and became jealous when I told her so) and I was offered a position of growth at a brand new gym. The new boss promised me supportive management, classes that would grow and additional bikes when the classes were overflowing, hours at the front desk in order to learn how gyms operate, and a management position when another franchise location opened.
I gave the Y 2 weeks’ notice based on the projected opening day of the new gym. One week went by without teaching; two weeks went by; finally, a month later, I had my first class. At the new gym, I was given three classes (Tuesday 8 am, Friday 6 pm, Saturday 8:30 am). Most of the time, I would show up just to leave or I would teach to one person. Thankfully, the gym paid me regardless of attendance.
By the end of the summer, I was teaching consistently to 6 riders and those promises went unfulfilled as my boss quit. A week later, the owner called me to tell me they were getting rid of the Tuesday morning and Friday evening classes (he didn’t know how to pronounce my name). When fall kicked in, my class size dropped: I had between 1 and 3 people showing up, sometimes no one. In December 2013, the group exercise scheduler changed. I told the old one twice I needed coverage the last weekend in January for the CrossFit competition with no reply. I replied to the introductory email from the new one telling her I needed coverage and she replied it wouldn’t be a problem. At the competition, they called to inquire what time I was coming in. That was when things really started going downhill.
In March I asked for coverage for a class as I wasn’t feeling well (I had the flu-like bug that was going around) and I wanted to sleep in and feel better. I loved sleeping in and spending the morning relaxing with my boyfriend and Finn. We took Finn to the dog park where she socialized with other dogs and we with other owners. We ate breakfast together and relished the stress-free Saturday morning.
This past Saturday put the final nail in the coffin, if you will. I was exhausted and waking up at 6:30 was no picnic. I knew after I taught I had to get to JFK airport by 11 for my known traveler interview. I had no time to nap before my session with Trainer J. I needed to nap afterwards to be awake for a family dinner with D and his family. I arrived at the gym at 8:29. No one was signed into the class. No one was in the room. I waited until 8:35 and left.
I don’t want to give up teaching Spinning® classes but my passion is dying. The gym sucks the energy out of me and I don’t want to teach there anymore. I do sub classes at another gym and will continue to do so.
Let me ask you, how do you know when it’s time to quit?
My answer: When you have to ask, deep down you know it’s time to go.
What’s your answer?