My title should really be “Don’t be a Dick!!” but I thought it might be a little inappropriate for a headline.
I’ve been teaching my boot camps for almost a year now and, I’ll be honest, I have had such incredible luck having such sprite, positive, wonderful participants in all of my sessions.
…Except for that one person.
You know who I’m talking about, that person who doesn’t really seem like she wants to be there, who stands – purposefully – away from the other participant, who just brings so much negativity to the class.
I’ve had one of those. Just one, thankfully, but one is enough.
Starting off, she is an acquaintance. She’d heard about my classes through someone else and contacted me to register. She turned down my offer to send her registration forms (medical background info, waiver, etc.) as she said she didn’t have access to a printer. I told her to arrive to the class a few minutes early and to bring a yoga mat or a thick towel (so she won’t have to work off the dirty floor). The first night of the new session she arrived to the class late and when I gave her the forms she said she didn’t have her glasses and would have to take them home with her to complete. Uh…yeah, that’s really not how this works, lady.
Because we were about to get started I had a quick private conversation with her asking if there are any health issues I need to know about (heart, lungs, joint, etc.) or if she had any limitations with her exercising. All answers were no.
She also didn’t bring a yoga mat or a thick towel.
Part way through the class I announced that we would be doing squats next. “Uh, no we won’t!” She said. I looked at her and said “What?” She replied “I am not doing squats! I have bad knees!”
Ohhh…okay, so when I asked you if you had any joint or health problems or any limitations with your exercising you thought I was joking? (This is the part where I want to call her an asshole!)
I’m sure you can imagine how the rest of that class went.
The next class, when I arrived at the venue she was outside waiting. I said hello to her and she ignored me. When we got inside she shoved her partially-completed forms at me without saying a word. While everyone else was arriving I went over to speak with her in private, asking her how she felt after the last class (I had also emailed her a day or two after the first class). “Fine.” was her reply and she turned her head away from me. I said or asked something about her knees and she looked at me and announced “I know what to do!!”
She also (still) did not bring a yoga mat or a thick towel.
That’s when I sort of lost it. In a calm-yet-nearly-condescending tone I shot back to her: “I understand that you say you know what to do but as your trainer AND as a fitness professional I need to be aware of your issues and limitations so that I can work with you and so that I am not responsible for your injuries!”
I am usually quite tame. My classes are meant to be fun but this person is so damn negative I want to throat punch her. In all honesty, I really wouldn’t have hurt feelings if she decided not to continue with my classes.
So, for all of you fitness (or any type of) class participants, please don’t be that person. Go to your class, participate, mingle, have fun, and don’t act like you know it all when someone else is (technically) responsible for you for that time. Just have fun. And if you’re determined to be a downer, do everyone else a favor and maybe just stay home.