You may never know the impact you have on your students

By Jennifer Sage On April 8, 2012 Under motivation

What you say, what you do, what you are, may help those in ways you’ll never know. Your influence, like your shadow, extends where you may never be.

That is one of my favorite quotes (author unknown). And it’s true, you might never really know how you might have affected someone, and sometimes you’ve just got to accept that so you don’t fall into the trap of doubting that what you are doing is working. I’ve come to realize that not everyone tells you to your face – you often find out much later how you’ve helped or inspired someone. As a result, you’ve got to believe in your own heart that what you are doing is helping others.

But when you do here from them, it’s an amazing thing!

I’d like to share an email I received this week from a student at the Homestead Court Club in Edwards, Colorado. This email has made my day (week/month/year)! In winter, when I teach my cycling clinics (which is a 12-week fee-based periodized program) I give up my regular classes and go off the schedule. I cannot do them all, and I also don’t want to compete with myself with the clinic, which has become my most favorite and rewarding way of teaching indoor cycling. But when it’s over, I pick one regular class back up for the summer. At this club it’s not a problem doing so – not many people ride indoors in the summers anyway, and I’ve entrenched myself there pretty well over the past 7 years.

This is a student who did not take my clinic this year, but he is on my general mailing list on which I send out occasional updates. He’s a quiet guy, usually just walks out of class with a smile and a wave, not much else. Because of the clinic, he’s not ridden with me since January (and in the email, when he says “classes” he’s referring to the fee-based clinic). His email warms my heart! You never really do know how much of an impact you have. It is my belief that if you continue doing what you are doing, sticking to your conviction about teaching cycling-specific, educational and inspiring classes – you will get emails like this too some day.

Hi Jennifer,

One of your former spin class students here from Homestead. This morning I had a revelation… you are damn good at what you do. The class this morning just wasn’t the same. I miss the way you motivate and explain what’s happening with our bodies during the class.

I’m a mountain biker in only my second season in the sport and you taught me much about form and setting goals for myself. I still keep asking myself how big is my why!

I do hope the clinic is going well and I hope to see your name back on the schedule at Homestead soon 🙂 Please keep sending me emails as I just might be ready for one of your classes one day.

All the best to you and have a great sumer!

Brian (the bald guy in the back from the Thursday class)

Brian, thank you so very much. I am grateful for your kind words and that I have been able to inspire you! Keep your Why out there in front of you as you train, and enjoy your mountain biking. I’ll see you in the club when I pick my Wednesday morning class back up in June. 🙂

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Le
    April 11, 2012
    1:48 am #comment-1

    Hi Jennifer,
    I share your feeling 🙂 I do get similar comments either in person or by e-mails that I think they are the priceless rewards we deserved for being a dedicated instructor/coach. The pay rate and popularity don’t matter.
    Here is one I received:”…Thank you as well for the BEAUTIFUL yoga classes that have changed my life! I have found peace and strength there! ”
    Well, teaching cycling & yoga is truly my dharma
    (purpose in life)!
    I am glad we walk this path together 🙂
    Le xx

  2. Jennifer Sage
    April 11, 2012
    2:39 am #comment-2

    Me too Le. Thank you for your friendship!

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