I could make this a drawn-out post about the ups and downs of the fitness world, how class numbers ebb and flow like the changing of seasons, blah blah blah. But this is about me. Me and my frustration with working at one particular facility. This is about my annoyances, grievances, whatever you call them. And yes, it is about race.
It’s about race because I have had a member tell me first hand that she wasn’t going to give me a chance–that basically because I’m just a little white girl she wasn’t even going to try my class. Then she attended an event, saw me teach, and changed her mind. So does this mean I need to prove myself within the urban demographic to be taken seriously as a Zumba instructor? Is the mindset around there such that in order to teach a particular fitness class you need to be just a little bit ethnic? It’s how it feels to me.
After only teaching for a year, I’m about ready to give up on this location. I’ve tried several time slots with the hopes of maintaining a decent class size. The latest mistake was switching nights with another instructor. I should have just let my Friday night class die like the other ones and quit teaching down there. It would certainly make facing an empty lobby that used to be packed to overflowing whenever I visited a Thursday night class a little more tolerable. No matter what anyone says, it is me. It isn’t the time of year, the fact that it’s almost summer, or whatever bandaid excuses I’ve been offered. I’ll put money on the color of my skin.
Oh, I’ve been there. I used to have my favorite instructors and was disappointed whenever there was a sub or a change in the schedule. So I know. I empathize with the people who see that I’m going to be stepping in for someone else and decide they would rather just stay home. That’s fine. I’d rather have a half-empty class than a class full of people who check out mentally the minute they see me coming. Believe me–it happens every time.
I don’t expect gain anything by writing this other than a little catharsis since it’s been weighing on my mind for months. All I can really say is that I may not return to that class after this baby is born. I’ll keep my other location since I have a better reception/following over there. I just don’t know how much longer I can put up with this foolishness.