Monday, June 18, 2012

An Alternate View: Inspiration Rather than Failure

The other day, I wrote about my frustrations with myself and not being able to be proud of something I had accomplished. As I was perusing my morning reads, I happened upon a post from the instructor, Chris, who had actually posted the day after the class took place; however, I didn't see it until this morning. His take on the events that evening are printed below.
Image from Pinterest
" THIS Is What It's All About

When I teach both a morning and a night kickboxing class on the same day, I tend to reuse some of the same sets at night that seemed to work in the morning. Of course, if anyone comes to both classes, I try to vary it up enough to keep it interesting for the “two-a-day”ers. G has only been kickboxing with FCF for a little over two months, but she regularly attends both morning and evening classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. Tonight was no exception.

When I told everyone to get out their bags tonight except G, she laughed and just said “uh oh”. (If you know G, you know she smiles and laughs through the most intense sets she does. She definitely brings a positive vibe to every class). I brought over a white board and a marker, hung a rope just a few inches above her reach, took her to the back of the studio floor and told her that her entire workout tonight would consist of 100 burpees. Now I don’t know many people who “like” burpees, and G is certainly no exception, though she smiles and pushes through the short sets we do in warmup and during class sometimes. But I’ve always gotten the sense that G REALLY doesn’t like burpees. Like, at all. But I knew if I asked her to do 100, it was a good bet that she would do her best to do 100 burpees. Plus, she’d smile while doing them. After all, I wouldn’t want to bore her with a repeat of her morning workout. 

G did her 100 burpees. She finished with about 20 minutes left in class, so I figured I’d let her cool down a bit while I continued to teach. Next thing I know, she’s doing….more burpees. “I thought I’d do some extra credit” she said, smiling of course, when I asked her what was going on. Who was I to stop her? “Go for it!” I said, and she did. 110. 120. 150. 180. She didn’t think she was going to finish in time, but she was close enough to our regular ending time that I assured her we would stick around if she wanted to get to 200. When she got to 190, the rest of the class finished up doing continuous burpees with G, cheering her on, until she finished her last 10. No pressure, right? And she did them. 200 burpees total tonight. Has she ever done 200 burpees before? “I don’t think I’ve done 200 total in my life” she told me.

This is what it is all about. G is consistenly one of hardest workers in our classes. She FIGHTS through every single set, every single exercise, every single rep when most people would just give up and say it isn’t worth it. I knew if I asked her to do 100 burpees, she would struggle mightily but she would do them. What I did not anticipate was that she would take a set that I figured would be a major accomplishment for her, and she would double it. It was definitely one of the most inspirational moments I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing in quite awhile.

I promise that if anyone wants to attend two classes in a day, I won’t make you do 100 burpees as a “reward”.   Everyone is motivated by something different, and I had hoped this set would help show G what I knew she was capable of doing. What she ended up doing was showing me something that, just an hour prior, I would not have thought possible. G…mighty impressive job tonight. Thanks for the shot of motivation."

When I read this, I have to admit I cried. It never ceases to amaze me that even though I was unable to see the good in my performance, someone else was ready to offer up praise. I am also fascinated that while our recollections of the evening are quite similar, I could do nothing but beat myself up, while Chris found inspiration in my completion of the task. I hope that I can be that inspiration and stop doubting my own capabilities. To Chris, I say thanks for the alternate viewpoint.

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