That’s right. Every time I teach a class, I am nervous beforehand. There is nothing in particular that I am nervous about, though I should start paying more attention to where the nerves stem from, but I get anxious and worried. I often forget how much I love teaching and the great feeling I have once class is started and especially as it comes to a close.
I am learning to embrace the nerves though. I have realized that it is a natural part of doing something outside of my ordinary routine that challenges me. Yes, I absolutely feel prepared to teach a class but there are almost always hiccups. The first class I taught, the front desk at the gym allowed in way more people than the class was set up for. We quickly ran out of space at the barre and I began to panic as more and more people kept filing in. I ran up to the front desk and asked them to stop letting people sign up. There response was pretty comical as they explained their online booking system was down so they were registering people by hand and “had no way of keeping track of how many had signed up.” Isn’t that what a tally system is for? Oh well – I had to laugh.
Thankfully I had a fellow teacher in my class who quickly helped me brainstorm how to make my class suitable for “barre-less barre” which is just as challenging, if not more so, than class where you have space at the barre. It was a learning experience for sure and it made that class feel like a trial by fire scenario where ultimately I passed.
My recent classes have all had interruptions with people showing up late and delaying the start of class as they need props, instructions, and space at the barre. Slowly I am learning how to mitigate these situations and the progress feels slow but I do know I am improving. I think the nerves before class are heightened by the fact that it has been a while since I’ve pushed myself outside of my comfort zone. I have had the same job for over a year and I’ve been at the same company for almost five years. My days are set up around routines and habits. Barre teacher training was the first time in a long time I learned something new purely for enjoyment and teaching classes has been an adventure unlike anything I have done for years. Maybe the closest experience was learning to row in high school and feeling like a fish out of water (pun-intended) during those first few weeks in a boat.
All of this is to say I am learning to appreciate the nerves I have before class. I am making an effort to change my mindset and embrace them and honor them. They are the result of pushing myself in new ways and instead of feeling embarrassed about them, I am going to celebrate them and let myself feel proud for trying new things. If anything, it helps me relate to clients who are new to barre classes. It can be intimidating to try something new and my goal is to make anyone who comes to class feel welcome and comfortable. I think that’s exactly how I should aim to make myself feel too.
What have you tried lately that has brought feelings of nervousness as well as excitement?