As instructors, we have all had one of these classes.
New England has been hit with multiple snowstorms, resulting in 96 inches of whiteout. Driving in downtown Boston is reminiscent of the maze scene from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, except the 8- to 10-foot walls are not green shrubbery. On a clear day, it usually takes me 30 minutes to drive to the club. On this day, I left an additional hour buffer in hopes of getting there early. I promised my class a video ride, which requires me to bring and set up the screen, cables, and laptop, plus shift the bikes in the front row to accommodate the projector and tripod. It takes me less than 10 minutes to set everything up, but I like to arrive early enough so I can finish before riders start coming in.
Because of the weather conditions, the city is gridlocked. I’m not sure who is worse, the pedestrians or the drivers. Each is trying to take advantage of the other, leaving an unmovable mob of angriness in their wake. I arrive at the club at 6:22 pm for a 6:30 pm class. Dang! I’m a stubborn…guy, plus I like a challenge. I planned on giving my class a virtual ride and that is what I’m going to do.
The riders helped by shifting the bikes in the front row as I hung the screen and ran cables. I was ready to go at exactly 6:30 pm, but…my laptop froze. I generally do not respond appropriately to tech glitches, but with 30+ people in the room, I’m using every bit of the force to keep my frustration restrained. Nothing. The laptop will not respond. In masked anger, I reboot the computer and go to plan B: ditch the video and just teach from my iPad.
It is now 6:35 pm. I quickly select a profile from my Class Builder library and start my pre-flight speech as I set up my bike and strip out of my outer clothing and put on my cycling shoes. We had a few chuckles and some banter about technology and the weather, but everyone appeared to be happy to just ride. While I’m teaching (from the side of the room because I moved my bike for the screen), I notice that the laptop finished rebooting. Everything is still set up and I’m still determined to stick to plan A, which has now morphed into plan C. I jump off the bike and announce to the class that I’m going to give this video thing one more go. People walked through 10-foot snow drifts and –15 degree city wind tunnels to get to class; I want to transport them to the beautiful roads and weather of Hawaii.
YES! The video fires up! I quickly swap the audio cable from my iPad to my MacBook and presto-chango, we are on the Big Island. I dragged the video slider to skip the first 10 minutes of the movie (since it is now 6:40 pm). The rest of the class is business as usual.
When class was over, people were so excited. They said things like “That was a great workout,” “I love that ride,” and “Can we do another video soon?” I dismissed the thought that the last comment came from a sadist who enjoyed the pre-show. As it turns out, I had nine new riders who could not wait to come back next week. I did quickly inform them that I only use video once every four to five weeks, but their exuberance appeared unshaken. People thanked me for the time it took to bring and set up the equipment and for constantly giving my all to their class.
In the end, all the trials and tribulations were forgotten. I was severely tempted numerous times to give in to the negativity. I was tempted to grumble and complain. I’m so glad I didn’t and instead accomplished what I came to do—give my class a great experience and a great workout. The show must go on.
as someone who performs for a living (when I’m not teaching indoor cycling), I totally get it. And I also have been having fun driving in Boston and the surrounding towns this past month. Aaaaargh!
The show must go on. Ain’t that the truth.
Way to go! I think I would have given up!