I started taking a Pilates class recently at my gym. I’ve only really done Pilates by DVD, but I was excited to get into a live class. The room was packed, my daughter had finally started doing well at the gym day care, and I had high hopes for the class.
The instructor asked if there was anyone new to the class and because it was my first time, I raised my hand. I thought that the instructor knowing it was my first time was a good idea. I thought that maybe she’d check my form as she walked around the classroom. Which she did. But she also cleared a spot for me in the front row of the class and made me plop down there.
These types of scenarios are why people are afraid to join gyms and take group exercise classes, am I right? But I survived. Even though I’m a back-of-the-classroom, under-the-radar kind of girl, I survived it. And I did get some one-on-one attention from the instructor, which was helpful. Because Pilates? So challenging if you do it right and really focus.
Speaking of focus, this instructor who called me up to front and center? She turned out to be…very demanding. I’ll just say that if she ever wants to be a boot camp instructor (in the military, not just the gym class), she would get hired immediately. When I think of Pilates, I think of a very calm, soothing, he-he-hoo-hoo-breathing type of instructor. Not this one. She isn’t afraid to stop the music and yell at us when she feels like we’re not performing up to snuff. She will clap her hands and scold, and basically scare the yoga pants right off of you.
Even though the instructor isn’t the cuddliest bear, I keep going back. She knows what she’s talking about, and I like the challenge—even if it comes with some attitude. And her bad cop stopping of the music to point out our poor form is pretty helpful. We actually had a substitute instructor last week and I kept thinking, “Oh, we are being so sloppy! We should so be getting yelled at right now!” I was a little relieved she wasn’t there and yet…I kind of missed her.
Have you ever had a demanding group exercise instructor? Did it turn you off or keep you coming back? —Erin