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So the coolest thing just happened to me this evening.
I had the amazing pleasure of being entrusted with teaching not one, not two, not even three but FOUR Hoboken Boot Camp classes.
FOUR CLASSES!!! David the owner's wife was there with me (and she decided to even take the 7pm class) but I was the one doing all the barking.
When David and Jesse asked me I was insanely flattered and excited. What an opportunity for me and how bad ass is it that they think enough of me to entrust me with their clients?!
I wasn't at all concerned about the taking charge part.
I am not shy and tend to be loud and talkative and friendly.
I've done my fair share of theater and musicals and improv work.
Combine all that with the fact that I'm the mother of two little boys who often go stone cold deaf and need me to speak to them in my outside voice while they are indoors and standing directly in front of me.
Raising my voice, being assertive and telling folks what to do is nothing new or scary to me.
What was scary to me was that for the past 2 years I've been the one being taught and I've never had to direct folks in this sort of a venue.
Also remember that 2 years ago I was the sedentary slug who weighed over 200 pounds and got winded walking from my couch to the fridge.
Going from that gal to the one standing in front of these folks explaining exercises to them was mind blowing to me.
My beloved Mistress Jesse wrote out all the exercises on the white board wall at the studio. Nothing complicated or difficult to teach.
David is always fond of saying "Simple and Effective" I always say "Simple but NOT easy!" Fancy schmancy isn't part of the plan there.(Part of the reason I love them so damn much!)
Tonight we used the deck of cards which we haven't done in a really really long time and I was glad to see it on the wall. I'd done it lots of times myself and immediately was at ease knowing I could teach it and actually know what the hell I was explaining.
4 exercises each coordinating to a card suit.
Hearts = Burpees
Diamonds = Star Jumps
Clubs = Trunk Twists
Spades = ?????????? (Drawing a total blank)
Pull a card out of the deck and whatever the number on the card is that's the number of reps you do.
Face Cards are 10 reps and Aces are 11 reps.
Pull a Joker and everyone has to double up on the reps till another Joker is pulled.
Easy and requires minimal effort on the part of the person coaching the class. The first class had only two women it in. One I know and love.
She's a Boot Camp rock star and is almost completely self sufficient. The other woman I didn't know but she didn't need any instruction or guidance beyond my explaining how the whole thing worked.
Despite my dramatic ways and always loud mouth I felt slightly stupid playing motivational cheerleader to these two clearly driven capable women and told them as much. I asked if they wanted to hear my positive chatter and they both declined so I left them alone for the most part.
At the tail end of class, the last 5 mins Maria and I decided to switch it up a tiny bit and we had them run two laps and come back in and do some leg work.
Our second class had 7 people in it including the only other student who has been there longer than I have. She's been with HBC since day one and she's one hell of a badass mofo.
Same workout with this class only this time I had to demonstrate what a Star Jump is and the alternate "lower impact" Burpee.
I also got to try out my positive banter on them. I don't really think they gave a rats ass if I never said a single word. This class was focused and driven and started strong, and never stopped.
They were all self motivated to the highest power.
I'd give them small "Hooray! You guys are doing great" shoutouts but it felt stupid and forced and I felt like they didn't really want to hear it so I kept it to a minimum.
However I also felt like I wasn't doing anything if I just stood there.
Don't talk too much but don't be a mannequin either. Tough to find a good balance tonight. It will come with time and practice I suppose.
I encouraged them to all take their time, to tell me if they couldn't do something, if they had a question, needed something changed and I watched them all closely as they worked with the Kettlebells.
I quietly had to suggest to one gentleman that perhaps the weight he'd picked was a bit much for him and he might want to try one round with a lighter weight and see how it felt. He did so and seemed pleased with the change.
(Lesson learned in that moment for me is when suggesting that a student, especially a man, use a lighter weight, tact and discretion are important. It also helps if you can blame the obvious struggle and fatigue on something other than their strength and ability like say...the humidity and the heat. Ego stays in tact and no one gets hurt. Total win win.)
After watching this class blow through the exercises I realized they were all strong and in the last 5 mins had the run two laps, come back in do 100 trunk twists and go back out for one more lap.
(Lesson learned in that moment is to be crystal clear that the 100 is done as a straight count. More than one student did 200 twists because I assumed they knew what I wanted and they assumed that I wanted left right one, left right two, left right three...)
Class three was similar to class two and I had them do the same routine. They were also total rock stars and aced the whole thing.
Class four and the last class of the night was just one lone gentleman who I felt awful having him do the entire deck of cards all by himself so I had him do cards, go for a lap come back in do more cards and then when I determined he was in good shape and not going to crash and burn on me I had him do a walking overhead press with the 8kg Kettlebell two laps on the dock. 100 trunk twists one more lap and he was finished and so was I!
4 classes, everyone did an amazing job, no one laughed at me or asked who the hell I was or why was this fat chick teaching class.
(Don't laugh. David and I have had a conversation about it. Folks come to class and see me and assume I'll never be able to keep up. They usually change their minds when I'm the only one in class doing single handed swings with the 27 pound Kettlebell or doing one handed overhead walking presses with the 35 pound gal.)
I had a lot of fun teaching and it was really weird being on the other side of the clock. When I take class I have no concept of time at all. Today I had my phone in my hand and the timer counting down for each class. I also realized that doing and being able to explain how to do are worlds apart. Sure, I can do a Burpee or a Trunk Twist but can I put how to do it into a quick, concise explanation? Discovered it's easier to show than to explain. Even easier to do both at the same time.
Hoboken Boot Camps is so special and important to me and such a part of my life that I really want everyone that attends a class (or classes) to realize and experience how different and unique and one of a kind it is. I took the time to chat with three of the female students from the second class I taught and it turns out that most of them are rather new to the classes. They agreed that it's a great place and told me they are hooked.
Hopefully the feedback is good and David and Jesse will allow me to coach again. (Hell, even if the feedback isn't good. I hope they will let me hear it, learn from it and coach again!)
As a small aside, the folks at Hoboken Boot Camps are truly my second family and often the only thing that pushes me to class is to see all their happy shining smiling faces.
When I put up on Facebook that I had had a really good time teaching Jessie posted a comment that simply said "Welcome...".
I immediately thought of this scene in one of my favorite movies "Freaks"
"We accept her, we accept her, one of us, one of us, gooble gobble, gooble gobble, we accept her, one of us, one of us"
Hopefully my fate is a little better than that of the beautiful Cleopatra they are accepting. The freaks attack her at the end and disfigure her so she too becomes a member of the side show as "The Human Duck"