Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Fitness Failure

So what does it mean to be a fitness instructor? I used to believe it was about changing lives. I mean, that was even the tagline that is being used to encourage people to participate. It certainly changed mine. So it must be about helping others to become something better, right?

Wrong.

Either I am terribly naive or maybe it is just the fitness industry in particular. I won't say all, but I would say most instructors are just plain narcissists, nepotists, hypocrites and superficial. The higher they go, the less they uphold their original charter. This may seem like a blunt attack, and I will probably risk reprisals should any of my fitness colleagues read this. Then again, if none of them are what I described, they won't feel affected. Just to be fair, I am not naming an parties.

Everyday when each of us step on the stage, supposedly to lead a group of people to better fitness, I wonder how many of us are really up there for self-glorification or to share an experience. When we step off the stage, we don't talk about the lives we change, we talk about class numbers, we laugh about some poor fellow who had difficulty following the class, we demean and backstab others to make ourselves look good. We would go through any lengths, abuse our positions if necessary just to make sure those we do not like stay where they are. We flaunt the very rules we made while using them to control others. We glorify our achievements and think little of those who helped us earn it. We think of ourselves as 'something else', higher than the rest. We forget, once upon a time, we were just as pathetic as any other fitness fledglings who come to our classes everyday, adoring us, wanting to become just like us.

Well don't worship us for we are nothing. I am ashamed to be what I am. Most of all I feel I have not only fundamentally failed to uphold the responsibility of being an instructor, but I have also become a dirty politician having to wipe my hands clean in order to avoid being victimised. I have tried to help others the way I was helped before, but I find now it may very well be my undoing. From what I can see, fitness is now nothing more than a temple to our vanity. I look at it now with utter disgust and I cannot do my classes without feeling the shame.

Full transition to fitness industry? I take it back. If this is what it takes to be a "good instructor", I rather be nobody.

4 comments:

jen said...

hey sweetheart :) you do help people, no mattter what it is, and whether you intend to or not. you're STUCK helping people! haha...i personally wouldn't care if a fitness instructor laughed at me for not following the class. I take the class, and if people laugh at me, then so what? i've expected it and if people think I care about their opinions then then can go to hell.

Elaine said...

Cynical streak again!! *wags finger* If you're not like that, then try taking pride in acting out the better example instead of wanting to quit just because some of your colleagues are like that.

As for the fitness instructors letting all the attention get to their heads--it's only human. Plus remember: ppl will be competitive in the gym just as ppl can be competitive in the office... and just because they're lifting weights and doing jumping jacks doesn't mean they're any smarter or their tricks will be any cleaner.

Elliot T. McBeal said...

elaine: I didn't say I was quitting and you seem to not get the point of my entry.

jen: great attitude there love!

Ethan said...

Dear, then get back to why you want to be there in the first place. Stay clear of the politics and just be there to help the poor people out there. Get back to what makes you happy.

Sometimes I think why it has to be so difficult to help the people out there. On one hand there's the management who wants to make big money and on the other there's those folks who really needed help but can't afford it (and there are those who can afford it without a problem but not willing to pay for it). Of course, I'm not talking about Group X per se.

So I just do what I can now to help out. And pursuing my Yoga dream someday.