I tried to resign after I taught my first indoor cycling class.

I had just achieved my Spinning® certification a few days before. Then, on a Friday, my group exercise director called and proclaimed a “DEFCON 5” emergency. The Saturday morning class at our largest gym needed a sub and she was out of other options. This class was known to be the toughest and most demanding one on the schedule. I was new and eager to prove myself. I said yes.

Hours were spent that night preparing just the right profile and music and reviewing all my certification materials. I went to the class and gave it my all. After class, I reviewed the sign-in sheet and someone had written on it, “You talk too much!” I was devastated. Almost immediately I called my boss and asked to resign. (Clearly, I had too much ego invested in this.)

My boss was amazing. To this day, I thank her for talking me down from the ledge. She said all of the right things to prop me back up and give me the courage to try again.

Now I train new instructors and I try to be as encouraging to them as she was to me. I often tell new instructors this story and, from it, I try to draw three lessons:

  1. Don’t worry too much about your first class. Just get through it.
  2. Remember that no matter what you do, someone won’t like it.
  3. Don’t be afraid of some silence.

It is that third piece of advice I want to discuss today. Following are six tips to use silence effectively in your indoor cycling class.

What we say in class is important. Sometimes it is equally important to know when to say nothing.


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