On Instructing Well

It turns out that I have been teaching a good cycling class for a long time. I haven’t really been sure if I’ll be able to do it in the hours leading up to the start of class, but each week the right words seem to flow out of me; and for this I am grateful. I have taught for more than 5 years and been on stage for 500 or 600 times, spend 1000’s of hours practicing and am moving towards being an expert.

Something odd was happening though, I was getting better and better, participants were saying that they really enjoyed my classes, but it was never clear to me why they were. I always thought it was because I would work hard and deliver a high energy performance. This is part of it, but it isn’t the entire thing – and I’m not sure it is very much of it now. I posted the following to facebook this morning:

If you anchor the feelings of athletic performance, accomplishment, fun and success to your class participants they will fall in love with your classes, your performance and their Group Exercise enrollment. Get them to feel their heart beating faster, the pain in their muscles as they grow stronger. Have them hear their quickened breath and the sound of the room gasping for air. Ask them to look are their hands, arms, legs and the other members of the class to see the sweat and glow of extraordinary effort. Coach them to notice what their highest moment looks, sounds and feels like and start being their most powerful inner voice.

THAT is why I am getting better. My classes remind people of just how great their bodies can make them feel when they are training. I take them on a physical journey that connects many of the things that are what it means to be truly alive – hard work, passion, intensity, fun, crushing limitations, creating and being new possibilities, love of life and existence in the moment – and anchor these to the room, the bikes, and the experience that is a class.

Life gets clearer, a little bit each day!