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The Gym

For some people, working out comes easy.
They decide on a time in the day that they're going to exercise.
They decide how many days a week they're going to go running, jogging, swimming or to the gym.
And, they pretty much stick to their schedule.
They don't let excuses get in the way.
They jump in without looking back.
And they follow the same routine, or close to it, several times a week.

I'm not that organized. And, maybe you aren't either.

First, I need to find the right gym.
That may take up to a year or more.
(Well, that's how long it took me after moving from Canada to Ecuador.)
Then, I have to psyche myself up to go to the gym.
I can't just walk in anywhere and start exercising.
There have to be classes set up and hours that work for me.
But, once I make up my mind, pay my gym membership, and go to the first class, I'm off and running.
Of course, some of you are thinking that you don't need a gym to exercise.
You can just walk out the door and start walking. That is good exercise, after all.

But, I do need a gym.

I need the social aspect of it and someone to keep me accountable during the class. Otherwise, I have a hard time knowing how hard to work myself. I haven't developed that sense yet despite years of joining gyms in the various places I've lived. And, that may be because I haven't been consistent in my participation. Nevertheless, I need to ease myself in.

Oh, and the instructor needs to be kind and helpful. Not overbearing and intolerant.

How many of you are like that?
How many of you know students in your classes that are like that?
They need to feel their way around before they trust you.
They need to make sure that they're going to be moderately successful before they start taking risks.
They need to push your button once, maybe twice or more.
They need to make sure that the investment is worth the gain. In my case with working out, it's about the losses. But, you understand what I'm talking about. Right?

How easy do we make it for those students who just need time?
Are we patient? Or do we try to rush them into being full-fledged members of our class, whatever that means? Do we give them space and reassurance? Do we teach them and have faith in them that they'll come around, so to speak?

Ultimately, it comes to this: how safe are our classrooms? Can we make them safer places? Havens, almost, for those students who need to know that such a place exists? Until they're ready to venture out??

What do you think?

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