If you teach a regular class you will have several regular participants—your groupies, so to say. They are the ones who get you. They respond to what you say and do, and they smile and interact during and after class.
You are also likely to get the “other” kind of regulars. The ones who are always there but rarely make eye contact and just seem to be doing their own thing. They usually ignore your attempts at corrections, and often come late and leave early, so you don’t get a chance to chat with them. And they just look miserable.
Questions flood your brain… Do they just not like you? Is it your music? Your style? Do you smell? Or are they just unfriendly people? You feel frustration building, not sure if it’s them or you.
This is a common scenario in indoor cycling classes around the globe. Let me tell you my story of a rider who I swore did not like me, but I discovered that I had prejudged her.
The other day I was teaching a busy Coach By Color* class on Matrix IC7 bikes. The participants in this club are still finding their feet after years of using old Spinner bikes with no data, so it is a work in process to educate them. Some had done their threshold test, others were just using the bike-predictive formula for their recommended power output.
A woman who has been attending my classes for over a year arrives to class. She must be in her 50s. She always sits on the same bike looking miserable, never makes eye contact, and in the past has always ignored my advice and recommendations. For example, she most often rides a heavy hill regardless of what we are doing in the profile.
What has gone through my head? I’ve just always assumed she doesn’t like me or my class but this is the only time slot she can make.
Until that day, that is.