So at the gym there are a few instructors that I love to follow. Their classes are always good, always packed, and you have to get their early for a good spot. There is Lisa P. who is sort of a drill sergeant with a British accent. She teaches kick box, strike, all kinds of cardio, even spin! Whatever it is, you know it will be a great work out.
Then there is Kari,
who I think just teaches spin, not sure. But her spin class is the bomb and her classes are always packed. Her music is always Christian or at least positive. During Christmas she did a whole ride with songs about hope and clips of the life of Jesus. She can be very motivating from the instructors bike! Her class is like a spiritual experience I tell you!! Chad and I really like her Wednesday 5:30 am class. For us, it is whoever hears their alarm, gets up and dressed… gets to go. This morning I won!
I arrived at the gym at 5:25am, found a spin bike, changed my shoes,( because all serious spinners have spin shoes!) and started to warm up. The room started to fill up, as half asleep Kari followers meandered in and did the same. At 5:35am I looked around and the room was almost full but no Kari? The meanderers became grumblers when a man from the front desk came in and said that Kari would be 10 minutes late. He then went to the front of the room and fiddled futilely with the high tech sound system. He pushed and pulled and tapped on things, doing all he could think to do but kick it. He then turned to us and said,”Well, hang tight, she’ll be here.” and he left. I started to mentally explore my options. Because 10 minutes really means 15. I could go run on the tread mill, or go lift weights…. I had already changed my shoes and clipped in so I felt kinda committed to spin.
just then something wonderful happened, it was wonderful and inspiring and made me laugh out loud. A man from the very back row ( here on referred to as Back Row Bob) brought his iPhone to the front of class, plugged into the sound system, mounted the instructor bike and began to lead class. He put his arms over his head and humbly said, ” Well, I suppose we should stretch first,” The room burst out into relieved laughter! Back Row Bob apologized for his poor choice of music and began to lead us in a strong warm up and some intervals that got our heart rate pumpin. The music was not bad at all. My mind was racing with analogies and revelation. But mostly I was happy to have a leader and thinking how proud Kari would be.
Turns out Kari overslept. I know she is as devoted to her class as we are to her and that she was probably really frazzled. Kari burst into the spin room at almost 5:50. The frazzled look on her face turned to confusion which soon turned to glee when she heard the music and saw Back Row Bob workin us out. She made her way to the front and settled herself while Bob continued. Kari took over at around 6:00am. We all applauded Bob and his leadership and were thankful for 1/2 an hour with Kari. which, I will add, included 3 different versions of “I wanna know what love is!” in honor of Valentines Day.Love that girl!!!!
Back Row Bob did not show up today thinking he would lead. But he saw a need and met it. For most of us, he made our day. I have been in a class where no instructor shows up…. it puts the participants in a bad mood… a very bad mood if it is a 5:30 am class!!! you begin thinking.. ” I got my butt up… she could certainly get hers up… blah blah blah!!” and soon you have a mob mentality on your hands. Bob diffused all of that. He is a die hard Kari follower who knew what to do because he has seen her do it day in and day out. He has seen her work the sound system, stretch, warm up, and do intervals. Bob is also more than a gym member, The 5:30am class is full of regular Kari followers, devoted, committed, dare I say a little family? Why didn’t the guy from the front desk ( a paid employee,) know how to work the sound system? Why didn’t he jump on the bike and take over until Kari got there? That would have really impressed me. Or is he only trained to man the front desk? Don’t know. But what I do know is that, we were not his family. We were Kari’s family and she had trained us right. We knew what to do in her absence. A less cohesive class would have perhaps just walked out disgruntled. A class less devoted. Do your employees know what to do in your absence? Your family? Your church. If the pastor fell ill 5 minutes before service would someone know what to do…. have a message ready…. a back up plan. A good leader will reproduce leaders. That is what I witnessed today. Back Row Bobs real name is Charlie. I learned that today. And today I am thankful for Kari and Charlie. Good leaders.