Sometimes, life gives us challenging moments and we are left to decide how we want to handle them. Some challenges are larger than others. Some are just everyday things which happen, these things can throw off our day or make us upset. Today, at the gym during Zumba class the audio system was not working properly. Zumba is a cardio dance class with salsa influence. It is fast and the music is essential because the class involves lots of dancing and choreographies. Even though I really like this particular class and instructor, I hadn’t been to it in a while because it is held at a different gym, not the one I go to regularly. The members in the class attend the class regularly. I saw several familiar faces in the class and it was a packed room, as this class usually is.
Today’s class started out fine, then the audio system started to malfunction. The music would skip and repeat. It was hard to follow the choreography because the music was constantly off beat. It was visible that the instructor was getting annoyed, but she told us to keep on going and we did. After a few songs with bad audio she realized this just wasn’t going to work. She had a decision to make. Would she keep trying to teach the class with the audio issues, stop and cancel the class, teach the class without music, or find another source to play the music on. She spoke to one of the attendees and then led us through one choreography without music. I noticed the attendee left the class after their conversation. Everyone else stayed. The attendee returned with a small radio cd player. The instructor quickly put her cd in the radio. She told us the volume would be much lower and she wouldn’t be able to speed up the tempo on any songs, but she would do the best that she could to continue the class. She joked that we should all sing along. The class is so good, that none of the members left. We all stayed and waited it out. Some walked in place while others stood around or spoke to other class attendees. Once the music got going again, the volume was very low, but we all danced along. After the first few songs, the instructor stopped again and tried to look for a cable to connect the large audio system speakers to the little radio. At one point her hand got stuck in the audio system drawer as she was searching for a cable. With the help of one of the attendees, she managed to connect it and get the large speakers to work. The audio was back to normal volume levels. We continued the class. She gave us an additional ten minutes of class to make up for the time lost due to the interruptions in audio.
As all of this was happening, I offered to help, but was also observing how the instructor and attendees handled the situation. None of the attendees left the class nor did they complain. We all just did our best to try to be supportive and waited it out. The instructor tried to find a solution to the problem and even though I could tell she was getting uneasy, she kept a smile on her face and lead us though the choreographies. She also apologized to the class several times and tried to make up for it by offering a few extra minutes of class and stretching at the end. At the end of the class I went up to say hi and thank her. She told me there had been a leak in the roof recently and maybe that had also wet the audio system and caused an issue. I congratulated her on handling the situation well.
My take away from this is that we all have decisions to make every day, challenges to face, and may be faced with things that don’t go as planned. What matters is the way in which we handle the challenges. We can complain, let it ruin our day, or surrender. Or, we can try to find a solution or make the best of the situation – and move forward. This is what the instructor did today. She tried to work with the issue, when she realized it was getting worse, she found another option for audio, and she did it in a professional manner, without complaining about the gym or management. She kept the class going and at the end of the class we all got a good workout. Was this the best Zumba class I’ve been to, no, but I didn’t leave upset, I left thinking about how well the instructor handled the situation. I know this was a small issue compared to others we may face in life, but if we learn to handle small issues it may help us develop that skill and be more prepared for when life presents us with bigger challenges. Today’s example may seem small, but I will remember it. I will remember it as a positive experience.
How do you deal with every day challenges? How would you have handled this situation?
The bottom audio system is the one regularly used for group classes. The little radio placed on top was the cd player which the instructor ended up using to teach today’s Zumba class.