This morning I went to go spinning and I had something interesting happen to me. Well first off, my 10 month old is having a hard time going to the child care. She hasn’t been watched much at all by any one else besides me and my husband. I thought this class was early enough (8:30) that it wouldn’t interfere with her morning nap and so she would have a chance at not being as fussy. Well, I made it about 25 minutes into spin class when the child care person came and got me. I sat on the side of the room near the door, and near the back so I wouldn’t disrupt the class too much if I had to leave. I left to take care of my daughter and played with her a couple minutes in the day care before I picked her up to leave.
Once I was heading out, I realized I left my water bottle in the class. I really didn’t want to go back and get it, but I didn’t want to lose it either. I decided to slip back into the class quickly and grab it (I had a friend hold my daughter outside of class) and the instructor said to me “I thought I had lost you”, and then once she saw me grab my bottle and go, she said ‘Oh I guess we did”. I wanted to explain to her that it wasn’t my choice to leave, it was my baby girl, but the music was really loud and I didn’t want to take up any more time so I quickly slipped out. I was hoping she had seen the day care employee come get me, or that she saw my little girl out the window, but she hadn’t. Now there was not a mean tone to her voice, but I had felt that she was upset at me for leaving. I know several of the other instructors well, but this was the first time I had ever seen or had this one. She didn’t know my situation, but I felt that she thought I was giving up on the class because it was hard.
I found myself almost starting to get angry with her a little. I respect all of the fitness instructors very much and hate to have to leave their classes in the middle, but I am a mom first and I needed to tend to my daughter. Then I started to think of what motivates people to exercise and what demotivates them. As a fitness instructor myself, it is part of my job to motivate others and while I love helping people get healthy and see positive changes, but it can be very draining to try to motivate some people. I find myself trying different strategies with different types of people. Some people need more encouragement than others, and some need to know the hard facts, but what is the correct way to motivate someone to work out?
There is not a one size fits all to this question, but I will say that most everyone does need positive reinforcement. There is so much negativity anyway in our daily lives, and most of the time people already feel bad about themselves and about not exercising and eating unhealthy foods, and so I don’t feel that most people need more negative motivation. Yes sometimes people need to know reality and that if they continue their lifestyle, it does not have a good outcome, but that can be done in a positive way.
As an instructor I try hard to do this, but I get frustrated too when I feel like I have to pull teeth to get someone to the gym regularly. I know a person has it in them to make progress, but they aren’t putting in the effort it takes, and so I get a bit sad and upset for them. It was good to have this reminder this morning, so I can continue to help people in a more positive way.
Question of the day:
How are you motivated?
Are you self motivated? Do you need someone to encourage you? Do you prefer a different type of motivation?