Not that guys normally take pilates, but you do get a few once in a while.
The possibility exists for one of them to "fall" for you or worse yet, you for them. Thankfully, my husband is such a wonderful guy that the latter has not happened. And if my flesh fails me, the Lord picks me up and reminds me who I am and my purpose for being there in the first place--to share Christ! Many great relationships have been forged through my Y involvement. My Thursday Bible study was formed from Y relationships. So, I know that my involvement there is not in vain.
But as it is, with all things that are somewhat dangerous, you can get burned. Not seered. Not fried or consumed, just burned. And it reminds me what a risky business I am in.
Now I know you are sitting there thinking--give me the details! I have to know!! And being a blogger, I will give them. But I just want you to know that in the 3 years of teaching fitness, this is the first of this type of thing to happen.
I have a fairly in shape older gentleman of 75 years named George coming regularly.. faithfully.. O.K. he never misses a day of my Wednesday morning pilates at the Y. I figured it was his only social outing. And as an outgoing, friendly fitness instructor, I talk to people. So, you know where this is going. (I'm so naive!!) So, by and by, he develops a crush on me.
As with anything that anyone says that is dumb, out of place, or just distracting, I just ignore it and move on with teaching. That's what teachers do. So, I was intentionally ignoring any signs of seeing this coming. Oh, and have I mentioned that I talk about my husband and kids (a lot!) when there's a free space??
So, I am demonstrating a modification to one of the exercises, and I have everyone leaning against the wall. It was a fairly small class, so I was going around making sure everyone got it. After all, I make modifications for their safety, not to challenge them further.
So George starts to slip and struggles to hold his balance right when I'm walking by.
Instantly, the mother of five children--the safety patrol--the save the world instinct-- comes out in me and I grabbed on to him for dear life, hoping his big body won't come crashing to the floor. When I noticed he caught his footing, I put him down. (yes, I probably was lifting a 180 pound man) And I breathed a sigh of relief.
And then do you know what he says???
"I was only joking!"
I'm like WHAT?!!! I was livid! mad! incensed!
But of course, I had to get on with finishing the class.
So, that all happened LAST week. So, this week rolls around. There's only one person in class. The weather is gorgeous, and everyone is home gardening, I guess. So, can you guess who the ONLY person in class was? That's right. Big George.
It wasn't until then, at that very moment that I realized how uncomfortable I was.
"Thanks for the hug last week," he said.
"Uh.. that was not supposed to happen," I said cooly.
I managed to make it through the class, but I did not leave my mat. I acted like there was a ton of people in there. But it was SO awkward!! (And I have since learned that we are not obligated to teach if only one person shows up!)
And so I did not even know what to make of my emotions. But when I went into the Y cafe, and Angie (one of the workers) asked how I was doing, I just burst into tears.
I felt naive, used, taken advantage of. I felt guilt, even though I was the victim of this situation. I felt like trust was gone. And yes, I am going to confront him. And yes, I am not going to teach if he is the only one in class. But it made me question so many things. I even contemplating quitting. But my husband told me that I should leave things as they are, and this will pass over.
But it made me realize (in a real way) all the dangers of being in the world. And I asked myself is it worth it? Is it time to ball up like a cocoon and shelter ourselves from these dangers? And the Lord reassured me of my calling--to be in the world, but not of it. Had I been tempted by these advances, I'd question myself. But I do not want to be in the world the way they are in the world, which is in their minds. They are plagued with lusts and temptations that we do not even know about it. (And such were some of you) So, I do not plan to humiliate the fella, but I do plan to be firm and clear.
Nevertheless, yesterday was an emotionally dramatic day. And in the end, the Lord was my comfort and strength through it.