Back in December I was working longer hours in preparation for our new system going live, so my trips to the gym were taking a bit of a hit. I usually make it a point to try and get to one spin class a week if I can. It wasn’t happening very often. One evening I made it a point to leave work in time to make it to at least part of the class. I walked in about 10 minutes late but I wasn’t the last one to join.
About 15 minutes later, in the middle of class, the male instructor made a comment about people showing up late to class and went on to say that if you couldn’t show up on time and stay for most of the class he didn’t want you there.
I’ll admit, I was a little shocked and upset. I’ve never had an instructor say something like that. But most of the group fitness instructors I’ve taken classes from have been women. Maybe it’s a case where women are more understanding of how busy people’s lives are. In an ideal world people would have time to take the entire one-hour class. I usually only stay for a half hour of a class because I like to also do weight training. I imagine there are multiple reasons people don’t stay for an entire class: they may be new to it and can’t handle the full class, they may have an injury that prevents them from enduring the full class or they have an appointment before or after class.
I realize that it is somewhat rude to enter a class late or leave early, but if fitness professionals want to encourage people to try new and different activities then they need to be more open minded. My Saturday morning spin class instructor, Charlene, waves to people with a smile when people join late or leave a bit early. She realizes we lead busy lives and are making an effort to get there, even if we don’t stay for the entire class. If I’m not going to stay then I try to find a spot in the back or off to the side so as to distract the fewest people.
I’m interested to see how other people feel.