I remember being in middle school and then highschool and wanting to be like everyone else- to join the right clubs, wear the right clothes. listen to the same music and like the same things. Actually it goes back goes back earlier than that…in kindergarten I was jealous of the Kims, Jennifers, and Michelles – because they had common names. Nobody I knew was named Lucie. And they certainly didn’t spell it that way!
Some of you will remember the Forenza sweaters from the Limited, pegged jeans, and Tretorns. Some of you are probably wondering what the heck I am talking about. That’s ok- trust me – it was cool and I wore it along with everyone else!
I can’t tell you exactly when but at some point I realized being individual was better. I realized having my own opinion and my own style made me special and different… in a good way. It takes courage to be yourself and to choose to act, do and wear what may not be the trend or popular or the norm. I find people are ultimately attracted to what is different and what’s unique.. not the fact I can mimic everyone else. While I may still like some of the trends, I am free to add my own twist or try something different. I’m free to embrace my sense of humor, my style and my approach.
Occasionally when I am teaching I find myself wondering if I should be more like other instructors? Should I mirror their style, routine and demeanor? It takes courage to embrace my own style and to shamelessly say- this is how I am going to teach.
The truth is not everyone is going to love me. I don’t love every instructor I’ve tried. People are attracted to different things. Even some classes that everyone else loves may not be my favorite. While I hope the majority of folks that train or take a class with me do love it – it’s unrealistic to believe I will convert everyone. If I focus on what I know is right and I do the best job I can and I am true to myself that’s the best I can do.
Tonight I found myself questioning if I should try a new approach. While I have had success and found loyal students in the classes that are mine, I am having trouble filling classes that I teach for another instructor. It bothers me that I can’t get a consistent following there. The feedback I receive is always positive from the students who do come but it does not seem to be a class they just can’t miss. The timing is not the best- later in the evening. The students are bootcamp and heavy weight enthusiasts. Pilates is a bit of a stretch for them. While I know they will benefit – I may not be able to make someone love a diffferent kind of workout if they are adrenaline junkies.
Just as I was questioning myself and wondering if I should change and conform – I taught one of my own students. A new student who ‘got it’. She could feel how pilates was working all of her muscles and challenging her in a new ways without needing to use heavy weights or springs. By the end of the class she was asking when she could come back. Moments like this are what I need to remind me to be myself, teach my class, do what I believe is right and not conform!
I can’t please everybody but if I can help, inspire and transform the majority – that’s pretty good!