I was telling my class yesterday morning that I was celebrating eight years as an instructor this month. I said that, other than my marriage, instructing Spin was the longest I have ever stuck with anything. They laughed. Yes, I’m the funny wise-cracking Spin instructor. I really don’t talk that often because I know it’s annoying and they’re not there to hear me talk. But I HAVE to say something now and again. And I usually get a chuckle.

After class, an older man who is a regular asked me if I had ever been in the military. I thought maybe I looked familiar so I said no, but have you? He said no, he just thought I must have been because of the way I instruct the class with such authority.

This was the first time I’d heard this, and I’m still not really sure how to take it. I said it was because I am the youngest of seven. But it really made me think that if that was true, then I’ve come a long way.

I started taking Spin in 2000. I was living on my own in a scary, four-studio apartment complex working a shitty magazine job for pennies and waiting tables at night at LaRosa’s. Jay was still at OU and I pretty much hated life. I had worked out frequently at school and had pretty much given it up because I was working so much. I decided to give Spin a try because I heard it was hard but it wasn’t aerobics. I have very little coordination so I thought stationary biking would be right up my alley. It was really hard and I hated it but I persevered because I didn’t want it to beat me. I took it for a couple of years a few different gyms. I was a regular at Delta 1018 in Mt. Lookout when one of the instructors told me I should instruct. I had never really thought about it because I didn’t like getting up in front of people. It made me nervous to have to be serious and have to sound like I knew what I was talking about.

Yet the idea appealed to me because I could get paid to workout, get a free gym membership, and maybe overcome my fear of talking in front of people. So I became certified and started teaching in a  tiny little Spin room. Though I was nervous as hell the first few months, I was eventually able to put my nerves aside and get up in front of a room full of strangers and tell them what to do.

The first couple of years I was teaching three to four nights a week. My legs were like jello. I cut back to a couple of nights a week and taught through two pregnancies. I wanted to quit quite a lot when the kids were really little but am so glad I never did. I look forward to my Saturday morning class all week. I really enjoy seeing the same faces and knowing they count on me as much as I count on them.

And the military comment? I prefer to think that’s just a fluke.