Anyone who actually knows me, not the internet crap talking me, but the real me, knows that I’m a super nice guy. In real life, I treat people kindly, and I’m extremely passive and patient when it comes to things.
I’m big on respect. So there I was, leading a great cardio class, and this gentleman walks into the group exercise room. He grabs a ball, a step, and sets up shop very near to some of my participants. I’m very surprised at the pair of balls that this dude must have to think that this is okay.
I had this conversation with a group ex manager before, in regards to when we should ask someone to leave the group ex area. The consensus was, if they are not disturbing the class, and there is enough room, it’s okay, just leave the member be. However, this group ex room is rather small, and he was making himself mighty comfortable while my class was in session.
Again, being the patient individual that I am, I figured, I’ll just let him do his thing, and he’ll leave soon enough. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. The more time passed, the more disruptive this guy became. My participants were looking at me and him, trying to figure out what his deal was. Now I was starting to feel flustered, my teaching mojo was being disturbed.
He continued his training, and became louder, and extremely distracting to my class. My patience ran out, and I simply couldn’t tolerate this guy any longer. I called out to him, “My man, bro.” He didn’t hear me, I directed the class to start jumping jacks, and I ran over to him. “Sir, I’m sorry, you are welcome to join my class, but we are in session, and your extremely distracting to the classroom. You can join us, or I have to ask you to put everything back and leave the GX room until we are done with classes. I’m truly sorry, I don’t mean to be rude, nor is it my intent to embarrass you, but you are affecting our class.”
He seemed confused, and didn’t appear to get it. So I had to simplify it, “You gotta go my man, we have a class here, you can’t be in here if you are not in the class.” This time, he got me loud and clear. He nodded, hesitated for a few moments as if wondering what to do. Then he put everything back and left. As he walked out, I said “You can join us, I’m sorry to disrupt your workout man.” He nodded and kept walking.
Look folks, when there is a class, the room belongs to the instructor. Respect the class, respect the space. Most of us are very nice people, and we don’t mind sharing at all. But if the room is small, crowded, and busy, you can’t be in there doing your own thing. We don’t like to ask people to leave, I certainly didn’t enjoy that, but I can’t do my job effectively when you are throwing off my member’s count, and flow. It just doesn’t work, and frankly, I feel disrespected by your lack of care or concern for what I’m doing in the classroom.
Join the class, but do not disrupt the class, that’s what I’m saying. I’ve seen it way too many times, people getting into silly fights over space, or equipment, just dumb crap. Instructors are not their to break up fights, or to kick people out. But if need be, I suppose we can.
Growing Up Bronx
Please note the date on a post as it may be an old viewpoint. I keep old posts to show my evolution. The opinions and views expressed here are solely those of the author.