53 Thoughts Your Group Fitness Instructor is Thinking as Told by SpongeBob

By: Foluke Tuakli ’17, University Recreation & Wellness group fitness instructor

It may be easy to think of fitness instructors as “fitness gods,” but the truth is we’re human, too! We experience the excitement, anxiety, and self-doubt of group fitness classes just like our participants.

Don’t believe me? I talked to my fellow group fitness instructors and here’s a sampling of what’s going through our heads at any given moment during class. Let SpongeBob help paint you a picture …

  1. I hope I remember what I’m doing.
  2. Wow, I do not know how I’m going to get through this class after the day I had.
  3. Can’t forget to put on my RecWell shirt and name badge and look professional.
  4. I wonder if they can tell I haven’t washed this shirt in a week.
  5. Please, nobody die. I’m CPR trained and certified, but …
  6. Alright, smile for the participants.
  7. No need to hover near the door. Come on in!
  8. Shout out to the regulars holding the class down.
  9. Wow, there are male participants today!
  10. This mic is so loud.
  11. Does my voice really sound like this?
  12. It’s only the warm-up and I’m sweating already.
  13. I should have worn different underwear.
  14. Are they bored or slowly dying?
  15. I should ask a question.
  16. I should tell a joke.
  17. No answer? OK, I’ll just yell excitedly.
  18. Did that just come out of my mouth?
  19. Why are they looking at my so closely?
  20. Is it too soon for another joke?
  21. Should I push them harder or let them live?
  22. Eh, they’ll thank me later.
  23. LEVEL UP!
  24. Oops. LOL, it’s okay. No one saw that.
  25. Just [insert any word]-it-out.
  26. I wonder if that improv was convincing.
  27. I’m going to need you to believe in yourself as much as I believe in you.
  28. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t worry about everyone else.
  29. Don’t give up.
  30. They know I can see them, right?
  31. Keep that butt down. Tighten up.
  32. Do you even squat?
  33. Less talking – more sweating.
  34. I am getting such a good workout.
  35. Seriously, who needs drugs when you have ENDORPHINS? #wellness
  36. Don’t forget to check on the participants. This is for them, remember.
  37. Ah, I want to turn back to face the mirror. What is left? Where is right?
  38. Someone is making a request? They know my stuff?
  39. Am I famous?
  40. It takes a lot of energy to be this entertaining, funny, and fit.
  41. Can I make it to the end?
  42. WATER! WATER! I neeeed it …
  43. The amplification of my breathing in this microphone is terrifying.
    unnamed (1)
  44. I feel good because they feel good. It’s so rewarding to see participants accomplish new things.
  45. Cool down already? Let’s do more!
  46. Are they applauding or is it in my head?
  47. Please clean up. No one wants to frolic in your bacteria.
  48. Give me feedback. COME TALK TO ME.
    im ready
  49. Stay. Read the board. Let’s chat. Let’s stay forever.
  50. Get out. GET OUT! Another class is coming!
  51. I hope they come back next week.
  52. I love my job.
  53. What now?

So just remember, next time you’re in a group fitness class, your instructor is likely having just as many distracting and self-doubting thoughts as you are – but the important thing is that you and your instructor are both there being active and living well!

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