Writing is my passion. But I don’t currently get paid to do it. So in order to contribute to our household finances, I have a side hustle. Or maybe writing is my side hustle since I get paid for the other. Whatever. Since it takes me away from writing, it helps that I’m also passionate about my job. I teach group fitness classes and have for 17+ years. At one time or another over that period, I taught water aerobics, kickboxing, indoor cycling, strength training, Gravity, Zumba, hi-lo, step, boot camp, tabata, Body Pump, and yoga. Whatever the latest and greatest craze, I wanted to learn it. As I’ve aged and suffered injuries and surgeries, I have narrowed my expertise to yoga and indoor cycling -my long range plan to stay in the industry.
Even though I no longer teach Body Pump, it remains one of my favorites. It’s the most popular strength training program on the planet, and I liked it as an instructor because Les Mills mailed me pre-choreographed routines. Every three months I received the music, notes and videos to learn. When I earned the certification to teach Body Pump, I signed an agreement that I would teach the classes as choreographed and not deviate from the program. I spent hours watching video of master instructors teaching the format so I could regurgitate their scientifically designed routine. I never spent this much time on any other format. I watched and listened and memorized and reviewed – time I was not compensated for. But it was worth it. Going over and over the routines left little room for error. Knowing the music and exercise sequences, I never had to worry about what to do with the participants next. In essence, I could almost instruct on auto pilot. With sequencing and mechanics flowing effortlessly, Body Pump allowed me to shine!
My strongest asset as a teacher is the ability to connect with my students on a personal level. Other instructors have enviable physiques, inspiring personal stories, impeccable form, and dynamic presentations to help drive traffic into their studios. Me? I’m an encourager. When someone walks into my class, I like to know their name, their motivation for coming, and what they are struggling with. This lets me know how best to support them and supply them with a workout that is both beneficial and enjoyable. With my Body Pump routines completely memorized, I could focus on the people and not (as much) the program. I sang to the music, inserted jokes to lighten the mood, made corrections when necessary and interjected with personalized encouragement and motivation to keep everyone engaged. My time spent in tedious preparation of routine allowed me to better minister to the needs of all those who walked into the gym.
As a wife and mom, my days often flow together in one long repetitive routine. Let’s pretend for a moment that there is a job description for an American adult female. Without fail, the laundry has to be done every week. I’ve got that down to a science. The kids need rides to and from school – and eight thousand other places. Work, grocery shopping, cleaning, home maintenance, homework, signing forms, and managing a million little details would round out the list. And these people I live with want to eat dinner EVERY NIGHT. Often the monotony of my daily routine could drive me to drink. But…in a way, the boring routines set me and the ones I love up for SO MUCH MORE.
I admit, I get tired of managing all the things. I long for BIG things, not daily routines. But in caring for my family, I pour into them so they can do big things. When the clothes are clean and ironed and nutritious meals are served (not always with a smile – don’t judge), my people can learn, and improve, and earn, and minister, and just generally kick butt. And I can too. Through tried and tested routines, we eliminate distractions to hearing God’s voice. We stay ready to follow His plans. And that’s pretty BIG.
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'” Matthew 25:21