During the last weekend in February, I took a weekend long course learning the in’s and out’s of teaching the Les Mills RPM Program, a first step in ultimately becoming an instructor. I was soooo excited for training, and since then I’ve spent two months team teaching awesome riders with two of (in my opinion) the best instructors in Toronto.
It’s actually A LOT harder than I ever thought. I knew it would be hard, but you can only mentally prepare yourself so much in something you didn’t really know. Lol. I love, love, love teaching the riders in class so so so so much. It’s actually such a rush getting up on stage and leading 50 people through a pretty tough workout!! It’s one thing to ride and be really great at RPM, it’s totally different getting up there and not only riding, but inspiring and motivating others to push themselves as hard as they can.
I’ve learned soooo many things in the past 2 months and now I’m at the stage of filming myself on stage, alone, teaching this class that I’ve taught a million times. My first big lesson? IT’S TERRIFYING BEING ON THE STAGE ALONE…. for the first song or two, and then it gets pretty awesome. I normally start the class a bit nervous, really wanting to do well and give these 50 people a great workout. Then once I get past the first couple of songs, it starts to get a little more fun and the nerves calm down.
Second lesson? Motivating people and talking to a room full of participants is a lot harder than it looks. I don’t know how my two mentors do it – they make it look SO EASY… I constantly catch myself saying the same words over and over and all I can do is laugh at myself haha, I need to seriously expand my “motivational vocabulary”… I’m hoping that comes with time.
Third lesson? Patience with myself. This role of becoming/being an instructor is one that is constantly evolving and you have to be willing to always be learning and growing as a person. Receiving feedback can be difficult but ultimately it’s for your own benefit, and I learned that REAL quick with this process. Feedback shouldn’t be meant to be negative… it should be a positive experience and something that just helps you get better. I’m lucky to have two great mentors that have been giving me different, but all constructive, feedback so I’m able to grow from different angles.
Fourth lesson? I need to take breaks too. Teaching and talking and yelling and motivating and pumping people up takes a lot more energy than just riding a class. I find that my body needs more rest after I teach a class than if I just ride as a rider so I need to learn to allow myself time to rest so I don’t go overboard. A small lesson, but one I need to keep in mind.
And the last lesson I’ve learned – what you put in your body makes A HUGE difference. When I was just a rider taking spin class, I didn’t really try to eat differently on spin class days because I was just taking the class. But I’ve quickly learned that what I put in my body the day I teach really does have a direct impact on my energy levels and how tired I am post-class. Honestly, it’s pretty crazy!!! So I make sure I eat a decent amount of healthy carbs and a lot of protein…. when I eat junk, I feel like junk and I don’t ever want my riders to think I don’t have a good attitude while I’m there riding with them.
I haven’t passed my video yet, I’ve filmed twice and I keep making small mistakes (hence, learning patience..) and I’ve already learned so many amazing lessons…. I have a really great feeling that becoming an RPM instructor is going to just be a really great thing for me in general and I’m excited to see where it takes me and what it teaches me!