Monday, June 27, 2016

Confessions of a Group Fitness Instructor

"Please don't let them smell me. Please, God, don't let them smell me," I thought as I stood at the front of the studio.

Of course, I could smell me as I stared in the front mirror with my participants behind me. And, let me tell you, it was not good. Not even close to it. It was kind of like a sweaty gym bag that was left in a hot car for weeks.

Oh wait. it's because I was wearing clothes from a sweaty gym bag that had been in a hot car for weeks.

The Oiselle orange-striped tank and black VSX knockout capris made for a perfectly nice outfit – from 100 yards away – but it was not what I had selected earlier that Thursday morning – a pair of plum capris and a hooded gray tank. It was not the outfit that I had brought downstairs and left on the couch.

Oh, no. It was an old, sweaty set of workout clothes that I found in my Apera bag in the trunk of my car. It was my only outfit option, one which I was forced to wear when I realized that I had not packed my clothes as I had thought. It was one that I decided to wear out of desperation as I stood in the parking lot of the gym, in a dress and sandals, 10 minutes before my class was to begin.

But, I decided, it was better to smell like old sweat than to try to teach boxing in a dress. And so I did.

My faux pax in the gym on Thursday was not the first time I've embarrassed myself as a group fitness instructor.

A photo posted by Kimberly (@foot.notes) on

Among my crimes:

• Natural gas emissions. Sometimes silent, sometimes not, but almost always detectable. Sure, everyone farts, but I prefer to do it when people aren't paying attention to my every move.

• Wet spots. You know, there's a reason that people don't wear solid, non-black capris. It's because if you sweat more than two minutes, it looks like you peed your pants. It's such a great look, a great way to present yourself to a class that you've spent 45 minutes farting in front of because you decided white chicken chili for lunch was a good idea.

• Can you hear me now? Music can make or break a class, and the point has been emphasized in every training I've ever taken. Relying on my phone can cause problems, though. The auxiliary cord can be missing or broken, my POS Galaxy might decide to turn off for fun or, you know, there was that time my father-in-law called in the middle of class to ask a question. Nothing like telling a class full of sweaty women to keep doing jumping jacks while you try to get your verbose, story-telling FIL to STFU.

• Naughty words. In the event that my planned music isn't working, I try to keep a CD for back-up. Plus, there's always a stash at the Y. One day, I grabbed a disc, put it in the stereo and began my class. The "slow jams" were fine until it got to a song that used words I will not repeat here, or anywhere. It was further embarrassing because I was, let's be frank, a white instructor in front of an ethnically diverse group. Talk about awkward.

Of course, there are minor things, too. Shoes that come untied, ill-fitting shirts that dip to low or trying a move that just doesn't work.

Anyone want to do tricep extensions while standing on a cycling bike? I promise to wear my pink heathered capris.


  1. You know I love all the unladylike-ness in this post! I'd take a class with you in your stinky clothes anytime, and you can curse all you want. LOL! xo