Three days post-vacation and it’s like I never took a break. Actually it was like that right from Monday morning. I guess that’s true for most everyone, especially these days when work and play are endlessly intertwined. Any muscles I started to relax are back to their bunched, clenched norm, and my jaw is again set.
You can imagine, then, how I felt to arrive at Jazzercise of Southwestern Connecticut last night to find Quality Control lying in wait for me. Don’t get me wrong: I wasn’t upset — just nervous.
Of course my mind ran to a million places, many of them ridiculous: Was my set both legal and interesting? Would I remember the moves to the new songs I added this week? Is my technique up to par? Do I teach a class that’s both challenging and fun? Had I taken the time between work tasks to fully hydrate? (The last thing I needed to was to get light-headed on stage.) Was my outfit OK? I knew I should have cut my hair.
Did I need a breath mint?
Should I use the bathroom ONE MORE time?
I know a lot of people would react negatively to being monitored, on stage or behind a desk, but I figure it’s a positive thing for me and our customers. If I’m teaching a kick-ass class the proper way, then my customers are going to achieve results AND have fun.
Jazzercise takes quality control seriously — it’s one of the reasons I got certified. I know that people in my class will get a terrific workout and stay safe in the process. So the monitoring sessions are win-win for everyone.
Still, I had to get up on stage while the QC and the person she was training watched, took notes and discussed my technique, how well I matched the choreography and cued the moves, plus whether I was able to motivate my class.
I got a passing score, some kind words of praise and punch list of things that need attention, plus the happy news that I had improved since I was monitored in the fall.
As with so many things that happen in our little studio, I left with a big grin on my face, high on endorphins and giddy with pride. Me, 46 and counting, and I might still have it (if I ever did).
I know from Jazzercising for almost seven years and teaching class for 16 months that the program and the camaraderie it fosters make a profound difference in many people’s lives.
Even so, driving home, I had an epiphany that gave me pause: That stage is nearly the only place I never second-guess myself, even when I flub a routine (it happens!).
Now how the hell do I apply that mindset to everything else I do?