Failing the Popularity Contest

Failing the Popularity Contest

Hello? Are you still out there? I realize that I hadn’t written in quite awhile. I’m actually afraid to see how long it’s been, but from the number of spam comments I had to delete, I know it’s been more than a hot minute.

Why the radio silence? Well, I don’t write for the sake of writing. I write when I feel inspired, when there is a topic I feel worthy fleshing out, or when something has occurred that I really want to share. I get several thoughts and ideas that come and go, but typically, I mull over ideas for a couple of days before I really sit down and write it all out.

I’m a rebel in that I write not for money, not for you, but in the end for me. There, I said it. You still going to keep reading? 🙂

So why break the silence now? I felt that I was at a crossroad. Life as a Jazzercise instructor and owner was in a settled groove. Life as a mom got more complicated. As my kids get older, their issues become less about physical interaction (training, disciplining safety) and more about emotional interaction (explaining social issues, body issues, handling puberty?!?!?! WHAT?). This stage in life is more exhausting! It has overtaken my brain.

But I finally hit a topic with my children that I’m now facing as an instructor. Ready for it? Here’s my grand revelation I had to share with my kids:a

Not everyone is going to like you. And that’s okay. No matter how kindly you treat others, they still may not like you. They may not like for no reason. And that’s still okay.

For my children, that’s a hard thing to grasp. Actually, as an adult, it’s still hard to grasp! We are social beings, and we want people to like us, friend us, interact with us. However, there’s also sin in this world that develops bias, prejudice, and pride that divides us.

One of the many things I have come to realize as an exercise instructor is that my style of teaching is not everyone’s cup of tea. Each instructor brings a flavor of music, teaching technique, and ability. When I create a set, I choose music that I like to listen to but also has movement that will push me. I want to be challenged. Growth comes from being challenged.

And some clients find my classes too difficult. Or not “dancey” enough. There will always be some kind of excuse. Yes, I notice when certain clients avoid my classes. Do I take it personally? I try not to. Try.

But then I come back to what I teach my children. I gotta live what I preach, right? It’s okay for people to not like you. If we are called to be light and salt of the world, then we are called to be different and unique. I can change my sets, but what for? To win a popularity contest?

Nah, I’d rather lose.

To have the best work out, you gotta keep moving even when you don’t want to. You dig deep for that motivation. You find joy in that movement wherever you can. I can’t do that if I’m not true to myself. In that hour when I’m on stage, I go on that journey with you. Together, we work, sweat, sing, and dance until it’s over. Then we start again the next day. I give it to you all: physically and mentally. I want you to love it and me for what it is.

In the end, I may fail the popularity contest. It is what it is. And so we keep dancing.

3 thoughts on “Failing the Popularity Contest

  1. But you are real and direct…that is difficult for a lot of people to deal with. Do you rather fallow your strengths or repair your weakness .

  2. All of the instructors at Tyrone Jazzercise are awesome! We are so blessed! I never even look at who is teaching the class. It’s more about my schedule as to when I can make class that day. I get something different out of each instructor and really enjoy the variety. Thank you Anita for being YOU!

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