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Deflated (sorry this is so long)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

OK, gotta start with yesterday, which was AWESOME.

Hiked 7.3 miles. Came home for three hours then went to Women Run Arkansas. Did another 3.5 miles which included 3-minute running intervals.

Over 30,000 steps yesterday! GREAT DAY! Felt strong, fit and accomplished!! Ate within my calorie range.

This morning we went to our usual PowerPump class. The instructor was a 22-ish-year-old recent college graduate with a degree in exercise physiology.

And she was kicking butt and taking names! And not in a good way.

We've been in this class for over a year. The former instructor, the one I dubbed "fitness nazi" became less so as I became more fit. AND, her exercises were adaptable by ANYONE -- just change the weights. I was proud that over the course of the year the 3-pound weights became 4, 5, 6 and even 7 pound weights depending on the exercise.

This new instructor has us doing things that MANY of us regulars can't even BEGIN to do. I can't even explain the moves, many of which couldn't even be adapted. I found myself just doing NOTHING because the exercise wasn't possible for me to do after 1-2 reps (when she was asking for 32) and there wasn't an adaptation. It was so awful I finally put away all of my equipment and left the class. I was NOT the only one.

Here's the thing that sticks in my craw: it doesn't take ANY TALENT to to be better than your students. I was a teacher for 25+ years. It doesn't take ANY TALENT to create an assignment, test, or exercise that will make every student FAIL. "Let's start the semester with chapter 15!" "Let's start our grammar class with gerunds instead of nouns!" Yes, it's easy to make people FAIL.

But of course, GOOD teaching is NOT about making people fail. It's about making them SUCCESSFUL! Good teaching is always about making people do more and better than they did before. You take them from where they are -- and move them forward in a measured, attainable way.

I digress. Back to the workout. TC stayed -- he always does. He was modifying like crazy, to the point he wasn't getting much of a workout, but he told me later, "I won't let her run me out of the class." My feeling is, I'm not going to stay in a class where I'm obviously NOT welcome and not the intended audience. As far as I could see, there were only two people (both in their 20s) who completed the workout withh NO modifications.

So I'm in a funk. Do you think I should contact the person in charge? If nothing changes, I am either (a) not going back or (b) going to TOTALLY modify. If she does something I can't even begin to do, I'll just ignore her instructions and do bicep curls.

I know I'm just mad. But I've been in the class WAY longer than she and I'm SOOOOOOOOOO not impressed that she's impressed with herself. I'm 58, she's 21. The vast majority of the class is 30+. Lots of us are 50+>


I bought my reward today, and I'm happy about it, but I just can't get out of my funk about the workout today. Witness: the class was over at 9:45 this morning and I'm blogging about it at 5:35 pm.

I need to move on!

I'll tell you about my reward tomorrow~!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Doesn't sound like she will last long.

    2763 days ago
    You certainly got a lot of response on this one. The new teacher apparently has an ego problem. I'm late in my response so I'm just going on to your next blog to see how it all turns out.

    Sorry for my lack of attention, I once again became unsubscribed.
    2770 days ago
    Don't let ANYONE dull Your SPARKLE!!

    Just do for YOU and what you can do to make yourself continue to feel good about your workouts. If you are up and moving....you are doing more than most.

    'Spark On'!
    2770 days ago
  • NANCY-
    I'd say something to her first... she has to learn too and take into consideration her audience. Everyone is NOT at the same level. So put the funk away and say something.
    I cannot wait to hear about your reward.
    2770 days ago
    Don't let the rookie get you down.
    She'll either adjust or she'll be gone soon. Gyms don't like it when members walk out of their classes in droves :)

    Hang in there.
    2771 days ago
    I would first speak to the instructor. If she did not change her style and make the class more in line with the fitness level of the participants, I would talk to the manager. emoticon
    2771 days ago
    Yes! Talk to her directly or contact the people in charge! That "instructor" is not doing her job! (unless the policy of the gym has drastically changed) On the other hand, sometimes you get what you get -- and have to adjust -- hopefully everyone can give a little, and things will work out.

    2771 days ago
    I think you should talk to her first but if that gets you nowhere get a couple of other students and talk to someone else in charge. emoticon
    2771 days ago
    I hate it that someone takes away your feeling of achievement. You have earned the right to feel strong and successful!
    2771 days ago
    You are so right about what good teaching is. Good teaching is providing not only instruction, but also seeing what steps your students need to achieve success and tailoring your program to help each student reach their goals. This is NOT a good teacher.

    I would talk to her about it first. Since I have some physical issues due to some severe injuries in my past, I always talk to my fitness instructors about the fact that I will modify any exercise that might compromise my hips or back. And I do. What often happens after I start modifying, is that the teacher starts giving instructions for modifying exercises.

    Good luck. I hope this works out for you and you don't feel like you have to quit.
    2771 days ago
    You're totally justified in being upset. A good teacher begins by figuring out where the class is at: and then moves on from there in incremental steps. Grrrrr.

    You'll know if you can speak to her directly or instead to her supervisor . . . and whether there are others who would join you.

    But: I certainly would not let it go.

    What a show off!!
    2771 days ago
    Could you talk to her BEFORE the next class and ask whether there will be modifications for those who no longer have 22 year old bodies? Tell her how unwelcome you felt and how long you've been in that class and the progress you've made. Ask if there is a place for someone like you in the class. If you don't get the answer you want, then talk to someone in authority about the number of people who left the class, your conversation with the instructor, and the decisions you are wrestling with. Perhaps they will observe the class and see what you meant.
    YOU AREN'T A FAILURE! Let the problem be hers (since it really is). Decide on your behavior and don't keep stewing about it. I hope it all works out well for you!
    2771 days ago
    I think this is a really tough one. if you have paid for the class, then you have a right to expect that the class will be similar (maybe not identical) but similar to what you have had in the past. So it seems appropriate to ask for a refund. But if your gym is like our Y (where you take any class that you want - no extra cost) that's a tougher problem, because the payment isn't linked to the class.
    As a teacher you know that novice teachers often can't modify their plans on the fly - they often know that they should but they aren't experienced enough to differentiate. So perhaps she will change things for the next class. But I am guessing from the level of frustration that you are feeling that your instructor is not likely to do that...because she made you feel so unwelcome. And that attitude alone is enough to make it reasonable to talk with the administration about it. It seems like she shouldn't be teaching it if she can't provide differentiation for varying levels of skill and fitness. But if you don't want the confrontation with the administrator, I hope that you can let it go and find a different class - so that it doesn't destroy the inner peace you should feel from good fitness sessions. Goodluck with this!!!

    2771 days ago
    Sounds like little 22ish instructor is trying to prove something! It doesn't sound like she is there for her "students," but to build her own ego. Maybe I'm being harsh, but I'm in my mid 40's and finally coming to terms with what that means for me and my body.

    You know you are more fit than most people....heck, I couldn't keep up with you on a run!! Maybe go to the 22ish instructor first and let her know what would work better for many of those in the class. If she doesn't "get it" and things don't improve, then go to a higher up.

    Don't let it get you down!! You are emoticon ! Just don't forget it!!!
    2771 days ago
    Hope you can get past this foolish instructor. Speaking to her and/or the person in charge may be helpful. Hope you don't have to change gyms, but that might be what is needed. It is no reflection on you or your fitness level that that instructor can demonstrate exercises that are not right for you. Don't get discouraged! Keep Sparking!! -Marsha
    2771 days ago
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