Friday, October 26, 2007

Handing out Pink Slips at the Gym

No, they are not firing people… they’re handing out evaluation forms that happen to be printed on pink paper. Management obviously has a twisted sense of humor. Evaluation time is our opportunity as members to critique the instructors anonymously. If we have anything to say, that is the time to say it. What I hate is that the forms are handed to us to fill out and return either before or after class – that’s really not much time to put your thoughts together if you want to say something substantial. More than just “I love/hate the instructor/class.”

I started at the gym early last summer when we moved back to Iowa. Out of shape from years of infertility treatments, stress, pregnancy, kids and life in general, I committed to a few days per week on the elliptical and some of the weight machines. After a few months, the only thing I noticed was that my pants were getting tighter. Translation, elliptical = bigger butt. At least for me, it did.

A friend talked me into taking the Cardio/Strength class and I swear I thought she was nuts. After one class, that was confirmed – anyone willing to endure that class was crazy. It was ridiculously difficult, overwhelming, exhausting… Guess I wasn't working as hard on that elliptical as I thought I was. Despite being in pain after just one class, I felt energized and hopeful. I returned for the next class and since then have only missed when I have to. The instructor is Leah, and she is why I keep coming back to the class. Leah instructs this particular class two days per week but she constantly changes the workout. In the year-plus that I have been attending her class, the most we have repeated the same workout is three or four times. I can’t speak for anyone else in my class, but she pushes me to do my best. She’s encouraging when I need it but tough when she knows I can handle it. I recall saying “can’t” once in her class and the whole group was instructed to do push ups as a result. It was good for a laugh, that’s for sure. Her class is as hard as I make it for myself and nobody criticizes me when I’m having an off day. We’re all there to better ourselves.

After a handful of Leah’s classes, I realized that I enjoyed the group fitness thing and started attending step classes the additional three days per week. Eventually, the schedule was changed and I ended up with Leah (Cardio/Strength) and Jayne for (Total Body/Toning) two days each per week and Stacia for step class. Between the three of them (and great encouragement from DH), I’m feeling much better about myself. For a recent baptism, I was able to fit into a dress that I haven’t worn in several years. I’m not one for tight fitting clothes, but I’m starting to see there’s a difference between “tight” and “fitted”; occasionally wearing a shirt that shows that I'm making headway.

For me, it has been a positive experience across the board. There is absolutely no way that I could have conveyed all that in the time allotted in class. Let alone give thought to areas for improvement. When the next wave of evaluations come around, I'm just going to put a note on the pink slip directing them here.


  • Simplistic Pam

    There's nothing more encouraging than noticing progress, is there? Congrats on finding an awesome class!

  • Simplistic Pam

    Haha! Those shirts are awesome - that really made me laugh. I love CafePress - especially their bumper stickers (which I would love to own, but would never have the guts to stick on my car for fear that someone would open their car door into mine because I've so openly announced my affiliations).

    Your daughters are bee-autiful! Does your oldest have red hair? I hated mine when I was her age but have come to like it. That's so great that they are so close in age - they'll always have each other and I bet they'll be the best of friends.

    And thanks for my very first blog comment!