So I was at what was supposed to be a Zumba class recently. It may have even been the one that Jenn’s good influence got me to attend even though I had just decided I would not be hitting the gym that day. Once I got there, I was in the mood. A hip-swiveling kind of mood.
Then the instructor said that she was substituting and that while it wouldn’t exactly be Zumba, it would be dance, just more hip-hop and still a lot of fun. Seeing that I was already there, I was totally down for the new experience, even if I was slightly disappointed. Not everyone felt the same as me though, and a couple of people bounced right out of class immediately.
But then it got worse. As the class went on — 10, 15 and even more than half an hour in — we lost more people who just walked out of class. Probably roughly a third of the class. The instructor was noticeably flustered, which only made it worse. And I felt so bad for her that when I had to pee halfway through class (seriously, thanks pregnancy bladder for striking at the worst time); I was afraid she would think I was ditching class, too, so I hustled to get back to class as fast as I could to show my support.
In some ways, I understand wanting to leave. When you walk into a class, you expect it to be the class posted for the day. It can be disappointing when it’s not — and even throw off your workout schedule if you’re looking for a cardio-based class and it turns out to be something like strength training. And I guess if you’re feeling lost in the moves, you might be too embarrassed to continue and might want to give up altogether. But I just felt so bad that so many people ditched — especially when it turned out to be such a fun class. I guess I’m just the type that will stick it out even if I’m totally lost, which has happened to a hilarious degree. I’m of the opinion that you just keep moving and working to your level — and that’s better than nothing (and will push me harder than hopping on an elliptical instead)!
It got me thinking about the reasons I’d leave a class before completion. Child care calling, feeling ill or injured, or feeling like the instructor is putting people in danger would be the only reasons I’d leave.
How about you: Is it bad gym etiquette to ditch a class before completion? What do you feel are valid reasons for doing so? —Erin