When we launched the Greatness Is campaign last year, we wanted to celebrate you, our amazing Instructor tribe, raise your profile, and highlight the amazing work you do. We hoped this in turn would help spread the word and fill your classes.
Well, we learned something about “greatness” along the way. Many of you felt too humble to talk about your own greatness, and many of you pointed out that true “greatness” often faces you from the floor in every class you teach.
So we’ve shifted the focus to life-changing fitness experiences, to help share your amazing stories. In the meantime, we wanted to share one Instructor’s view of what greatness means to him. We think it captures perfectly what being an Instructor is all about.
It is those who are brave enough and enter a group exercise class for the first time, and not only stay for the whole class, but return and make it a lifestyle… making a real change for the better in their lives.
It is those who come to a 6:00am class not necessarily because they want to, but because it is the only time they may have in the day that is their own, and it is often a sacrifice of sleep or personal time.
It is those who are retired and still come in for a 6:00am class because they want to.
It is those driven by a desire to improve their health, fitness and wellbeing in mind, body and soul.
It is those who fight through pain and injuries, who layer on more weights when they realize they have plateaued, and yet smile when an Instructor such as me asks them to do even more.
It is those who help others set up, give encouragement, and instruction… finding out a new member’s name, providing a smile, and saying a few good words.
It is those who, when confronted with animosity and arrogance, perhaps return kindness instead.
It is those who inspire others. Who laugh and talk in the wee hours of the morning. It is those who give up their spot for others. Help others with weights. Pick up the room. Share stories. Help those who may be ill or injured.
It is those who would do almost anything for fellow man or woman, accepting all, giving much more energy than they receive in return… but by doing so make a much better world.
And when they leave… and the room is quiet… I know that they have shared with all of us a part of their life. In doing so they have made our day far better, and will continue to bring this radiance, this positivity, into every element of their day, and those they may encounter will be gifted by their presence.
It is my members such as:
The schoolteacher, who always arrives early to set up spots for others unless she is otherwise tutoring one of her students, giving our youth opportunities they would otherwise not have, and leaving early to be available for her students.
An athlete, quirky, who bikes in for class, setting his alarm only one time a week but more often coming twice a week, welcoming others and most humbly performing his workout.
A woman, from her Japanese heritage striving towards perfection in every movement, and who pushes the extreme in weights and workouts, finding moments to work out in between raising her toddler daughter, caring for her mother and family, and working a full-time job.
The several members who have been there from nearly the beginning – one now a retired schoolteacher, another a French teacher, always humorous, friendly, encouraging.
A woman who is involved and fully devoted to her nearly grown children and their activities – always putting family first, child in college, working full time, never has a full night’s sleep, works through injuries, supports charitable causes, pursues her own athletic events.
A man who always wears a cap (maybe it’s the same cap), who also has a joke or comment.
A woman taking care of her aging parents and in-laws, children, organizing our class structure, handling all the music, and providing humor and wit throughout, along with biting sarcasm.
A woman, always arriving late (because she wants to), who will then go next door and do her own indoor cycling.
A woman who keeps track of nearly everyone’s name (often for me).
A woman accomplishing a miraculous transformation of her body, providing charm, humor, and balance for all of us. A role model for all new members to look up to and aspire to follow.
A woman who was with us till the end of her life, fighting the most extreme form of cancer, adding a year to her life, pushing herself until her body gave out. I miss her a great deal – she gave so much to all of us.
Greatness is those we have followed through their first appearance, their marriages, pregnancies, births of their children, and sometimes till their death.
If you’ve got another perspective on what greatness is (or isn’t), please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you want to share your own story or article please get in touch.