I like spin class. Like a lot. I used to be really into running and now I’m really into not running. I actually run away from the ideas of 5ks and marathons. Now I’m more of a spin class kinda gal. But not all spin classes are made equal. The person leading the class makes a HUGE difference! They directly affect my calorie burn and the overall likability of the experience. The music makes a HUGE difference too. When classic 80’s comes through the speakers I bike slower. When Nickelback is played it makes me want to jump off my bike. But if you turn on a little Shakira, Pitbull, or Avicci. Watch out! My watts are going to go through the roof! The general mood of the class makes a HUGE difference as well. Spin classes at local gyms are great and I have lots of nice things to say about the YMCA, but when it comes to my favorite experience, I’ve got 2 words for you: SOUL CYCLE.
Soul Cycle is a high energy, ultra-motivational, ridiculously challenging, sweat producing cardio and resistance spin class that has become a game changer for my life. And that is why Professional Development is like exercise class. Because that is exactly how PD should be described. Except maybe for the sweating part…. That could get weird. But not all PD is made equal either….
Have you ever been to a lack luster session where the speaker is boring, the topic is dry and poorly presented and you leave wildly underwhelmed? You go to an exercise class to see change in your body and health and you go to a PD session to be the change for your students and school.
Here are 3 reasons why great PD is like a great exercise class at Soul Cycle.
1.) HIGH ENERGY
I walk into a cycling studio in any major Soul Cycle city and right out the gate I notice ridiculously contagious energy. Everybody is smiling, helpful, and ready to win the day! There is amazing, loud music pumping through the speakers and the clicking of spin shoes adds a sound that is unlike any other. The well lit welcoming area has bright white and yellow tones and the energy of riders spills through the locker room. People are ready to ride their bikes like they ride their life. I’m excited to pay good money for a good experience, because you get what you pay for when it comes to fitness and PD. This energy is similar to great professional development. Teachers and educational leaders are eager to be part of a learning opportunity. They great each other with smiles and high-fives, open up their laptops or journals and are ready to learn something great and have fun in the process! Note… they have FUN in the process. Fun is important while learning!
2.) ULTRA MOTIVATIONAL
Now it’s time to ride. The people leading these classes are trained in a way that is different. They don’t just sit on the bike and yell out instructions. They motivate. They inspire. They push. They make you better. They throw out challenges. They make you dig deep. They make you question. They don’t tell you what to do, they show you how to do it. They aren’t instructors. They are coaches guiding you through an incredible cardiovascular journey. At Soul Cycle I laugh, I cry, and I leave so refreshed. And guess what? The best professional development sessions I have ever been to do the EXACT same thing. Presenters should be engaging. They should challenge your thinking. They should ask questions that cause you to reflect. You should laugh. You should cry. You should be sad when it’s finished.
Now the ride is over. I hop off the bike stronger than I was before. I know that is true by the immediate soreness of both my quads and my biceps. I’m dripping wet. The sweat is coming off of me in buckets. My 1,000+ calorie burn caused me to perspire like never before. Some people claim they don’t sweat, they “glisten.” Whatever you want to call it, it’s happening. Speaking of glistening faces, this is the same thing that happens as people walk away from great PD. By glistening, now I mean smiling. (Except when I’m presenting my face is glistening in a few ways. I present so hard I sometimes perspire, honestly.) They have a grin from ear to ear because they are ready to tackle their classroom or staff with a new mindset and ideas.
And there you have it, friends. Great professional development and great exercise classes are basically the same thing! Wouldn’t it be awesome if all cardio and learning opportunities had these three pillars: fun, motivation, and great effects. I know where you can get both.
Go out and make your day AWESOME!