A most unusual resignation letter

Today I quit my job.

Well, I haven’t told anyone yet, so: Today I decided to quit my job.

And it isn’t my real job, not the one that supports my family. It’s my hobby-job. My fun job. My job as a spin instructor. The joy is gone.

Tonight was the second week in a row that no one came. I waited until the time for class to start, and then a little more. And then I packed up and left. I was praying that no one would come.

Well, I don’t pray, so I guess I was hoping strongly that no one would come.

The second most embarrassing thing that happens in my life is when no one comes to a spin class. I walk out of the room ten minutes past the start time. The gym patrons all look at me with a knowing smirk: “That guy got shut-out.” (This doesn’t really happen, except in my mind, in which it happens every time). The only thing worse than being shut out is when only one person comes. There I am at the front of the class, music pounding, covered in sweat, in an almost empty room. Shouting out my drills at one person. I want to hide behind my bike.

Someone actually came both weeks. The guy who comes to every class ten-minutes late showed up last week and tonight. How do I know this? I saw him in the locker room this evening as I changed my clothes to go for a run. He was already ten minutes late, and he was still getting dressed. I could have gone back and taught the class. I could tell he wanted me to, but you know, most embarrassing thing in the world. Plus, I’d already quit… in my mind.

I’m not sure how I ever got mixed in as a spin instructor. I hate standing before a group. Public speaking makes me ill. I have anxiety. And social anxiety. Before I started taking Risperidone for my Tourettes, I would have these attacks. I’d double over in the spin room, retching. Not throwing up, just retching. Reacting to stress.

And it’s always stressful. Is anyone going to show up? Are too many people going to show up? Is the class going to be any good? Too hard? Too easy? It’s all too much.

Now it’s over. For the past six years, the anxiety before the class was barely offset by the rush of actually instructing the class. But I’ve stopped having fun. Now I just have stress. I’d rather go for a run.

32 thoughts on “A most unusual resignation letter

  1. I quite like the idea of the one person in the class ‘just doing it’ like kids do when they’re alone – having the most fun of anyone because no one is there to see. It’s just me being me. I’d like that; who else?


  2. J… what can I tell you? It was very stressful just reading about how stressed you were. That’s how enthralled I was as you recounted the gut wrenching experience. The fact that you even attempted to do something out of your comfort zone – AMAZING! That run after must have been a great run.

    You know who this reminds me of? Charlie Brown. Remember? Is he going to kick it this time or is Lucy going to do it again and pull that ball away just as… Ugh! The stress of it all.

    Well… life goes on. On to the next challenge. Even rock stars have to. 😉


  3. I admire you for doing something that you were clearly never comfortable with , just for the rush of the spin! Stop you spin class, but keep being that man!!


  4. That’s why I have missed running every f******ing day since I had to quit because of injury. I used to go run 6 miles by myself, and I loved it. Now I work out in the gym — maybe on the bike, some days with weights, occasionally on that boring elliptical machine. And there are always awkward social interactions and non-interactions. Give me three wishes and one would be to be able to run again.


  5. You took on a role outside your comfort zone – that’s a hard thing to do and I admire that greatly.
    Now’s the time to do something that makes you feel good – so lace up, get out there and enjoy your run – I hope it’s a great one!
    Life’s for enjoying…so lace up, get out there & have a great run!


  6. Reading that you gave up on your class was painful, more so because your class attendees discouraged you.

    Am also silently proud of you, because you tried something, and held on to it until it could no longer serve your need for it – attendees.

    As a spin class teacher, yes you had influence over your students, just like any other mentor, teacher or coach. Your enthusiasm, love, purpose, and belief in what you did can be seen in the post. However, I felt you were more sensitive to the unfavorable outcomes of your spin classes than your passion for it.

    How does your consistently ten-minute late student feel, now that you let go of the class? Did you get to bond and interact with this student?


    • What, talk with someone? I try not to do that. I have a very hard time having discussions with the people who come to my class. I’m sure that my poor attendance has a lot to do with my anti-social nature.


  7. Damnit..I feel bad…I was a sucky attendee…but when I did attend faithfully, no other instructor could compare to your class…I enjoyed your music and your pushing us (ok..me, you were pushing me…never out loud, but I always felt it..maybe it was internally because I was a slacker!)…. I always liked how you would play normal music, then when heavy metal came on, I knew you were going to kick our ass!
    Thanks for the drive, and the encouragement… Spin will miss you!


    • I became an instructor because whenever I went to a class the instructor didn’t show up. I figured the only way I’d get my workout is if I did it myself. Plus I like music, just not the sort of music other people like.


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