The strangest thing happened last night. In all the years I have been going to the gym and taking part in a variety of studio classes I have never once found myself so entranced by an instructor, to the point where I actually found myself queuing to thank him after a gruelling double session of Body Pump and Spin. Queuing for criven’s sake. So not my style. I don’t even chant or hi-five or speak to anyone usually in the sessions, let alone become so enamoured I actually have to shake someone by the hand and gaze lovingly at him, in a religious trance-like haze, for putting me through a gruelling 120 minutes of physical exertion.
This particular instructor is unique in many ways – not only is he a fox (I don’t usually like dreads but he totally styles it out), but he dresses exceptionally well in layers of black Nike clobber and is the most entertaining human being I think I’ve ever come across. Not just in the gym context but in the broader world-at-large. Never have I encountered someone who sings during classes. Right in the middle of Body Pump, during a testing lift and press when your arms shake and wobble like a building that’s about to collapse, he suddenly breaks into a freestyle song for a boost: “You can do it, yeah, I’m saying it. You can do it, you deserve it, show me, show me, show me what you got, uh huh”. Making you want to burst out laughing just at the moment you think you might sob pathetically is an intriguing technique. But it seems that I am the only one who finds it hysterically amusing. Last night when he did this several times I searched around the room looking for similar reactions, but no, serious expressions prevailed unanimously. Even he, the black jesus of the fitness world, had a sober expression that would have made Maggie look like lady Diana.
But all this foolishness aside, this unusual style appears to work. Through his left-field motivational crooning and the way he weaved and worked his way around the room – communicating with every single person present – he made me work harder than I have done in any other Body Pump class. I may be the only person giggling like an idiot but who cares if there are results.
And it gets better. Not only does he sing, but he dances too! The following session in this entertainment double was Spin, and once again, in all the Spin classes I have ever done, I’ve never seen an instructor sing and dance throughout. Not only did I have sweat dripping down my body, but I had tears of laughter again too.
What amazes me is the fact that he doesn’t/didn’t consider his class delivery as hilarious as me. There really is nothing quite like this type of entertainment to make those heart-exploding difficult moments of physical exertion pass by with greater ease. But more than this, through his jiggy moves and dodgy rapping he actually made everyone get through a tough Spin session without giving up or slowing down. At one point, when I was visibly struggling midst a standing sprint, he came over and held my hand until I finished the set. I was already feeling dizzy as it was but this move really did make me fall in love with him.
So yes, now I hope you can see why I was there, at the end, queuing to give him a back-slap. Anything, to be frank, to get him to remember me. Until next week.