I am still loving my membership to the YMCA. I typically participate in 5 group exercise classes per week, including Cardio Barre, Zumba, and Core. In April, the Y introduced a new class called Strength Train Together, a group class using free weights. I absolutely love this class and am seeing great results!
Strength Train Together is taught approximately six times a week due to its popularity. Every class follows the same routine, so it really does not matter which certified instructor teaches the class. Those of us who have been in the class since April know the routine and what is coming next. However, last week, we had a visiting instructor. As you would expect, we were initially wary of this new person because we were accustomed to our usual instructors. This instructor still followed the routine, but she occasionally offered up little improvements to our techniques. Hmmm...so had we been taught wrong all this time??? By the end of the class, I was a fan. She had a direct, no nonsense style and was clearly knowledgeable about weight training.
At the end of the class, it was time for the cool down and stretch. She said "I know you all are used to the usual stretch format, but I'm going to change it. I like to make it my own." In that moment, everyone paused. Instead of the typical activity of some folks putting weights away and some stretching, everybody responded to the instructor by participating in her "new and unexpected" stretch and cool down. What just happened? She broke the routine. She interrupted the norm. In that moment, she made me realize that just because there is a standard way of doing something, does not mean you can't find ways to make it your own. She brought her own unique style and experiences to a common experience and made it fresh again.