Un-Spun - Just When I Thought I Was Getting The Hang Of It...

I am probably the last person on Planet Earth to actually take a Spin class. When my health club started offering the class about six weeks ago I was hesitant to sign up - I've seen spin classes on TV, on the movies. They all entail some insanely fit instructor with a bullwhip and a megaphone screaming at their students to push, dig deep, DON'T YOU GIVE UP ON ME NOW, etc., etc. It intimidated me! I have enough scary voices in my head without opening myself up to another "motivational" screamer.

One day, however, I showed up at the gym and my favorite machines were being utilized! People - from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., either of the two different cardio machines that I use should ALWAYS be available for me, okay? Clearly SOME people didn't get the message, and one of the trainers asked me if I was going to the spin class; in a moment of frustration and weakness, I said yes, grabbed myself an "entry card" and ventured into the unknown world of Spin.

Turns out - spinning is awesome! You control the amount of tension you have on your bike, you control your pace; as the instructors say "This is your ride, you control it." After realizing what a nice change of pace this was, how many calories you can burn, and how excellent it is for your body, I've made it part of my regular workout routine. I went from being a complete novice to feeling pretty comfortable in the class in just a few weeks.

And just when I thought I was getting good, just when I thought I was getting the hang of things, BAM. In comes Stacy. I'd taken classes from Stacy before - she was a somewhat "easy" instructor. Until today. Today was the day that she decided we should all ride "out of the saddle" - STANDING UP - with moderate tension/resistance on the bike - for THREE MINUTES. Three minutes people. Usually you are out of the saddle for 30 or 40 seconds at a time, recover for 30 or 40 seconds, then back out of the saddle for another 30 or so seconds. As the tune "Who Let The Dogs Out" pounded in the background, I determined that I was going to push myself and stay out of the saddle for the entire length of that three minute song. No way was I sitting down until Stacy told me three minutes were up. So I pushed... and I pushed... My thighs were screaming at me, "Sit down, you idiot, what's going on out there?" My brain was telling me, "Ow. This hurts - what's the point? Go ahead, sit down early, your thighs are not going to make it." But my little Fitness Voice was telling me to hang in there, push through this, of course you can make it, you're almost at the end, do not stop now. DO NOT STOP NOW.

I didn't stop. I focused. I focused on my RPM counter (tells you how fast you're going), I focused on the tempo of the song, the push and pull of my legs, the voice of the instructor encouraging us to hang in there. I determined that there was no way that I was going to stop going until the song was over. I knew that physically I could do it; this challenge would be won or lost in my brain.

I won. I stayed out of the saddle and, although winded, I actually felt pretty good afterward.

The recent downturn in the economy and the slowdown in jobs, hiring, feedback, along with the increasing phone calls from excellent people who've been laid off, reminds me of the mental determination that we need to get us through so many difficult patches in life. This one is no exception. As recruiters, we are in a unique position to help both businesses AND people to reach their goals. When businesses aren't hiring and candidates aren't working, it can be frustrating. This frustration can sap you of your motivation unless you are FOCUSED on your end goal. Clearly, your end goal is to keep your own job and to feed your own family. But part and parcel of that goal is to remain a vital link to your client companies in their search to build and grow their business. You cannot accomplish that without fostering your relationship with your candidates, keeping up with their work situation, understanding their strengths, their goals, and maintaining your integrity and honesty, treating your candidates with dignity, and staying on track even when times are tough.

Dig deep everyone. Research companies who may be struggling now but will have an upturn in a quarter or two. Stay current with your candidates - update your database, research new candidates, expand your network for recruiting partners, candidates, and clients.

Just when you think you have the hang of things, it gets tough. Really tough. While these circumstances are out of our control, it is up to us how we respond when confronted with these challenges. You can either focus and push through this, or you can decide that you can't continue. This battle will be won and lost in your head. Let's be on the winning side of this. DIG DEEP. Let's dig deep together. See you on the other side...

Views: 56

Comment by Maureen Sharib on November 14, 2008 at 11:11am
You are a VERY funny writer!
Comment by Tirtis on November 14, 2008 at 1:12pm
Excellent post and a talented blogger..

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