Friday, 26 October 2012

Failure isn't an option

I'm feeling challenged.

As part of my HND I'm studying for a CYQ certificate in instructing gym-based exercise. A big part of it is showing people how to safely and effectively use gym equipment - essentially teaching. And it's my worst class.

So far in the rest of my course - anatomy, nutrition, first aid, health screening - is going fine. Passing assessments and handing in assignments is good for me, I've had a couple of corrections to make but I'm passing.  But this class - sheesh. It's been a loooong time since I've felt this inadequate.

What adds to my insecurity is that a lot of the others on the course are really well-versed in teaching gym equipment. Some have teaching qualifications already, or have worked in a gym, or studied the same things in previous courses. But me - I'm used to working out at home. Most of what I've learned I've learned from DVDs, none of it with big weights or barbells or gym machines, and although I'm quite confident in my technique, I've never had it scrutinised.

And in class, we're having to demonstrate to each other - which is even more nerve-wracking, because I'm having to pretend to teach a deadlift to somebody who's done more deadlifts than I've ever done, who's taught deadlifts, who probably eats deadlifts for dinner and then dreams about them. There's nothing like knowing somebody knows more than you do to wobble your confidence!

And I'm not used to practical assessments. I like books and essays, writing things down and having people read them. I don't like having to be judged on what I say out loud! I've been teaching dance regularly for eight years now, and it's only recently that I've felt really confident in what I'm doing. Will it seriously take me that long to feel happy teaching in the gym?!

Another compounding factor is that the class takes place on a Friday, so even though I'm motivated by my own inadequacies during and after the class, I have managed quite successfully to go home afterwards and forget all about it!

I hate being bad at things. I hate walking out of that class knowing I was in the bottom 20%. I hate the insecurity of thinking that I might fail. I hate feeling inadequate.

So it just can't be an option. I've got to pass this unit. I've got to be bloody awesome in the gym. Failure isn't an option. Adequacy isn't either. I have got to NAIL THIS THING!

Forget everybody else in the class and don't think about how much they know. I have got to focus on what I do. Being that best me that me can be, as Cookie Monster says. I know what's required in teaching - being confident, knowledgeable, having stock phrases to rely on so you don't always have to think about what you're explaining. Being comfortable and focusing on your student. I can do this!!

My assessment is in FOUR WEEKS, when I'll be assessed on my ability to teach 8 exercises - although there are like, 35 to chose from? If I can perfect a few every week - using books, YouTube and some practical gym experience to work from - I'll have plenty to get me through.

Life often feels better with a plan. Hope I can action this one - time management's going to be the struggle, with a couple of deadlines every week for the next few weeks. But since there's no way I'm going to flunk this class, I'd better get the hell on with it.