Monday, April 12, 2010

Self medication

Last week I visited my doctor. I went in there seeking immediate medication for what I thought was surely pre-menopause because of inexplicable mood swings and insomnia. He said it was depression-which took me by complete surprise as I have been a pretty good mood for a very long time until just this last few weeks. I thought it was just my job wearing on me (I still think it may be the root). I did not have a lot of the common symptoms like not being able to get out of bed or sleeping all the time; or going on shopping sprees (that' s just because Paul would kill me). He concluded that I have been self medicating with all my gym jobs-which is why I have energy. As far as self medicating, it's not a bad one (better than smoking, drinking, drugs, etc) but it was only masking the fact that I need to try and regulate my serotonin levels. That being said, I don't' really have to give up my gym obsession as long as I can keep it in check.....
As a new instructor (relatively new); the way to get your own classes is to sub for other instructors. I don't mind being a sub in general but it does get old. Oh, it has its perks-like you can do it on your own terms, you can pick and chose times and places; you are helping someone out and he/she is always very grateful, and I have always won the crowd over by the end of class. But what I hate most is that first few minutes when people make the connection that you are the teacher-and not whomever it is they expected. It can be rather awkward. Now, as I have gotten more experienced, and sub'd for the same people over and over, it has gotten easier, but it is still much nicer to be the regular girl.

I teach now at 4 different gyms:

Highlands Ranch Rec Center-the first place I got hired. I feel so beholden to this place-even though it is not the best place to teach. This is not the same as a gym that people join voluntarily like the other places I teach. As a resident of Highlands Ranch, you have to pay dues, and as a dues paying resident, you are able to use the rec centers. The other places I teach-people are choosing to come and be members. Also, they pay the least (by a lot) per hour, the bikes are old, (although well maintained) the residents have to pay extra to take group x classes, and the classes are not well communicated. Lots of people I talk to don't even know where the spin room is (I was one of them before I started working there). It's hard to get a following at a place like this. It would cost someone about the same amount to get a pass for group x as it would to join a gym like 24 hour fitness. Still, though, there about a good 20 or so people I have seen over and over again-which makes me feel very good. My boss wrote in my review that she had gotten tons of great comment cards filled out about me. So, overall, I love teaching here.

Village Fitness-the second place I got hired. I love the social interaction with the members here and the other instructors (one of which is a very good friend of mine). But it is not a well run group x department-or gym for that matter. A new girl just took over the group x dept so maybe it will improve. I don't really think it will because it comes from the top. I doubt Teia (the previous group x manager) could have done much more. The owner is really only concerned with making money-which is fine; I realize he needs to make money, but it is to the detriment of the club. The equipment is in terrible condition-getting things maintained or even repaired is an act of congress; the group x program is more of an afterthought to him. He just cut the pay of all the instructors across the board. If he had a choice, I think he would axe it all and just have personal trainers charging $300 an hour. My class there got cancelled after 2 weeks of no one coming-largely because the time was 6:30 pm in a community of families and stay at home moms. The 5:30 classes do just fine. I tried to get them to move it since there isn't one that night but they just said wait until Jan-and now it's April and the summer schedule is going to be even leaner. So, now I just sub there, and that has been great because I love the other instructors and I generally sub for the same people so I have gotten to know them. I like the location too-it's about 9 or 10 minutes from my front door.

Colorado Athletic Club-Inverness-the third place I got hired. This is my favorite of the places I teach-although I have a terrible time slot-Thursdays at noon. The lunch crowd is very hit or miss-especially when the club is full of very affluent people-most of the women are trophy wives and the men don't do a ton of group x (cycle being the exception as most of my classes are about 50/50 men and women) I think the most I have had is 8, and I typically get between 2 and 4 participants. I wonder why they even offer a noon class. To make matters worse, the most popular instructor, Dawn, whom I often sub for, teaches right before me. Ugh! It is not easy to follow her. Her time slot and popularity just fill the room. However, I figure I just need to pay my dues at a place like this and get established. One of these days (probably a long time from now), I will get my own class and following there but in the meantime, I just take what I can get. This is a very well run gym-and I LOVE working here. They actually pay 75% of your continuing ed class expenses, support you in learning new formats, encourage you to participate in each others classes and training, and going ons at the club. It's just a very put together place. The location I teach at is one of the older ones, but I still love it. There is a brand new one downtown (Tabor Center)-where I am allowed to sub as well but I haven't been able to yet. That's another one I would like to work for-the people who run the group x depts are the best at this company. I just wish I could get a better time slot-and I suppose that will come in time.

24 Hour Fitness: the most recent place I was hired. I just got hired here a few weeks ago-and it is like working for a website. I don't know wth I am doing-everything is done on a website. I sent my manager (of which there are about 100) a note when I got my paperwork turned in to which she responded: "read your manual and pick up shifts!" You have to sub there for a long time before you can get your own class apparently. So, I read the manual-which is basically a step by step instruction guide on how to use the website. I picked up a couple of shifts. All this without speaking to a soul. I guess I will figure out the sound system and keys to the room,etc. when I get there? Who knows? I am just glad I survived the auditions for this damned gym. It was so gruelling. On my first audition, I basically got cut off-and Laura (the area manager) told me I had terrible technique-24 hour required a totally different format/training that I have not completed-Schwin's training. So, that didn't feel too good. But then, she called me the next week for some reason requesting a second audition. Hmm, interesting? But, naturally, when someone tells me I am not good enough, I just want to prove them wrong, so I went for a second one. Again, I was wondering to myself why I go through this scrutiny for a job that pays $20 an hour and gets me in trouble at work and sometimes at home. I don't even like 24 hour that much. Not surprisingly, Laura was very critical, and told me all the stuff I did wrong-albeit much improved from last time. She talked to me for a long time and told me she was torn with me because I am so green at teaching. But she said she really liked me and saw a lot of potential. In the end, she hired me. And now, I am just glad it's over with.

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