You know what drives me totally crazy? Gym members who love to complain about every little thing.
It’s not that they have a concern that I’m not willing to hear. I love solving people’s problems and making members feel more comfortable. Especially in a class that I am teaching, that is my #1 goal! What makes me crazy is when they consider themselves to be more important than all other members and their request should take precedence over the greater consensus.
Like the member who complains bitterly that it’s 5 degrees too warm in the room. Everyone else might be slightly more uncomfortable than usual, but they’re getting an amazing sweat happening (and I daresay that they secretly love it- at the end of those workouts I get lots of compliments about how amazing class was. It wasn’t me, people! It was the sweat! I digress…) So the crazy person complains and complains until management has no choice but to overcorrect and make the entire place freezing. So Cold that no one will ever get warm and have a good workout again. Thanks a lot, crazy person! There are thermostats that do their jobs pretty well 95% of the time- exceptions might be when the seasons change and the temps and humidity outside are volatile. Leave it alone! It will work itself out!
So this past year, I have been battling The Sound Nazi. This lady will come to my class, knowing that the music will be at my preferred and very consistent loud volume, and put her hands over her ears and make all kinds of dramatic arm gestures so that she can signal her arrival and dissatisfaction. The first time it happened I was really concerned about my music volume so I asked members in my class if it was too loud and they all said that that’s why they love my class- they can connect with the music and have a rockin’ good time. The music is a huge motivator in my classes not only for myself, but for my members as well.
The Sound Nazi confronted me at the end of a class one day, long after I had resigned myself to just ignoring her arm gestures and teaching around her. She asked if we could have a conversation about the music volume. Of course I said. She explained that her ears are super sensitive and it is really painful when the music goes above a certain volume. I suggested she get ear plugs (this sounds mean, but there are plenty of older members who do this already without prompting so that my generation can rock out and everyone can get a good workout). She said that she has tried that and it is still too loud. I told her that music volume is one of the major driving motivators in my class, and without it, the rest of my members will not experience the same level of energy and exertion. She said that she would have to stop coming to my classes then. I said OK I completely understand.
I was thrilled. THRILLED. She would not be coming to my classes anymore!!! Hooray!
Except, she still came. And still made crazy arm gestures. And even went so far as to complain to management and have them mark the stereo where the “max volume” should be in class. I have never once taken a class in that room (that I would go to again) that played the music at that volume or lower. It just doesn’t work. I tried to play the music in my own class at that volume. I received confused stares and even some urgent hand gestures to please turn the music UP. UP Please!!!
Guess what, Sound Nazi… even if I take my own personal preference out of the equation (which I cannot do, because if I’m not motivated to deliver a good workout, no one is going to get one regardless of the environment) Your preference for soft music in class does not trump 30+ other members’ desire for loud music. You are not more important than everyone else. This may be shocking news to you. If you don’t feel like you are being accommodated in my class, then find another one. There are a lot to choose from. There are plenty of classes I’ve been to before that the music volume is so low I would rather beat myself over the head with my pump bar than actually lift it over my head. But do I complain?? NO. I take the class, take note that it’s not a class in which I can get the workout that I want and I find another one.
Now go away you crazy lady and let us rock out in peace and loudness.