WOW it’s been a while. Things got busy. Nashville adventures. Moving back with my kitty. Starting school. Then, when I finally got settled, I sprained my wrist pretty badly (I jammed a 125# barbell into it doing cleans.) It was bad enough to merit a thankfully negative x-ray, but writing and typing were a struggle so I was not going to use my limited typing ability to write a blog post. In the meantime, I learned about the kidney. My wrist is healing. Last week I could hold things for the first time and pulled a 205# deadlift (heaviest since my back issues of the spring). Today I put a (light) barbell overhead for the first time. The body and its ability to heal really is an amazing thing.Despite not being able to do Crossfit much, I got some good workouts in. I thought my hiatus from blogging would end with a workout post. Or a post about all the new ideas I have for zucchini (stay tuned). But instead, I have some things I’ve been thinking about the past couple of days that I figured are worth sharing.I’m going to intersperse some fun pictures from the last few months while I type this up.

Chloe has been staying with me this week. It’s been a blast. I feel like I’m honestly the best version of myself with her, forcibly. I studied on the first day of the block because I needed to bring her to school to give my roommate’s dog some peace last night. I try to socialize with other people and dogs with her (we organized a friend walk today). I can’t just sit around and waste time on my computer because she will whine and bark. When she does sleep, I feel a lot of pressure/motivation to get work done because I know it is transient. I spend minimal time on my phone because she likes to bark when I’m on my phone.

I have to use my time wisely so I have enough free time to walk her. 2 hours a day. So I’m more active. But those walks. They’re some of my favorite things. I put in a podcast and we go. There are a couple of podcasts I listen to that used to be fitness based and now they’re fitness/social media business/personal development based. They are both inspiring and cause me to think deeply. The things on my mind this week are how to be the best version of myself, and my message and platform. There’s a lot of focus on social media influencers and building their platforms. How to do it. What they want to do with their platform and following. Don’t get me wrong; I have no intention of being a social media influencer or even presence. But I realized, I do have a platform.

And no, I actually don’t mean this blog. My dreams of being a star blogger are far behind me. Honestly most of the time I feel like this blog is a journal for myself (and a medium for cute pet photos). My platform is Cycling Instructor. After taking last year off of teaching spin, I was really missing it and managed to get a job teaching spin at the rec center at my school. Honestly, the university environment is my favorite setting to teach in. You get a huge variety in students.I love seeing their transformations; and I don’t mean physical transformations. Mental transformations. Confidence transformations.

I was thinking really hard about my message. First and foremost, I want my classes to always be a positive environment. I will never, EVER say “Do this to burn XYZ ‘unhealthy food.'” No. Nonono. That’s not why we’re there. I was thinking about my own story. What sports and fitness did for me. Sure, being active and healthy is important. But you know what fitness and sports taught me? Strength. Hard work. Discipline. Power. You put in the work, you feel changes. You push yourself past what you thought you could do, and then learn what you’re capable of.

I truly believed I gained so much confidence from this. And I’ve seen it happen in my students. I remember one older gentleman specifically. His first class, he tentatively came up to me for help with bike setup, in the back of the class. By the end of the quarter, he was crushing it at the front of the class. His whole demeanor was different. It is my job to push people to their limits, past what they believe they’re capable of. That being said, it’s a fine line. I want my students to learn to respect their bodies and listen to their bodies. If something is off on that day, do what you can. But know when that’s really the case and not when it’s an excuse. That room is their space. Their space to work through their sh** and grow. I remember the summer before I started vet school, I went to IDEA World in Vegas and was cycling 3 hours a day, taught by the best instructors out there. At the time, I was really nervous about what vet school would bring. And as I was biking my little heart out, I realized this: “I can do hard things.” And I knew I would be okay in school.

And that’s my message. I really think now that I have a truly defined message, it will make me a better instructor because I have an added purpose. It’s kind of like I’m using the same principles that social media influencers do to grow a following, but for me to “grow a following” and hopefully a community in my class. I’ve said it before, but I truly believe that humans connect best through stories (why else would we read blogs about a random person’s life) and that’s an element I want to bring to my classes. Personal connection. Sharing my message and my heart through stories. Getting the most out of my students and getting the most out of myself. Because we can all do hard things.