I said “no”

Yup. I said “no”. As someone who always says yes (or tries to always say yes), this was a big accomplishment. Let me explain:

On Wednesday, I got an email from the instructor who teaches the 5:30 Cardio Conditioning saying she was really sick and asking if I could sub. Normally, I am more than willing to help and am really lucky that my job has the flexibility that allows me to leave early when I need/want to, but for some reason on Wednesday, it was the LAST thing I wanted to do. I was having a rough couple of days and was really looking forward to going for a run before teaching so I could clear my head. Plus, I was REALLY sore from my workout on Tuesday and didn’t want to do any lifting, which I would have done had I subbed.


I literally hemmed and hawed for a  long time before finally saying “no”. And even after I said no, I was second guessing my response and feeling awful that I said no because technically I could have subbed.  I just didn’t want to teach a double on Wednesday and a double on Thursday. I didn’t want to.

And you know what? It all worked out OK. I’m not doomed with automatic bad karma or getting a bad name at the gym because I said no. I doubt anyone is even thinking about it anymore. Big thanks to Athena for confirming that I did the right thing and even saying she was proud of me for saying no 🙂

So the point of this post is: it’s ok to say no, it’s ok to put yourself and your needs/wants in front of others, it’s ok to not do things because you feel like you have to, it’s ok to not do everything and to try to make everyone happy. It’s ok. (if I keep telling myself this, I’m hoping it will be easier to do these things!)

Questions for you: When’s the last time you said “no”? Are you someone who always tries to make everyone happy and put others’ needs in front of yours?

On a side note… I said no 2 times on Wednesday; apparently I was on a roll! It was 7:10 and my class was 20 minutes from being over and a girl walks in, puts her stuff down and starts to get her weights, without so much of blinking an eye to the fact everyone was sweaty and looking like they were quite far into the workout. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: “oh, I’m sorry, Zumba starts at 7:30.”

Her: “I know, it’s ok I’ll just join this class”.

Me: “Well the workout is more than half done and you’re not warmed up so it would not be very safe for you to join now”.

Her: “I ran here. I’m 9 minutes late, I can’t believe you won’t let me join.”

Me (as nicely as I could): “Actually the class started at 6:30 so you’re almost 40 minutes late and we are on the last bit of class, so it’s really not safe for you to join. I’m sorry.”

Girl storms out.  Fitness instructors, what would you have done? I just wouldn’t feel comfortable having her join the class 40 minutes late! Not to mention it was an incredibly distracting 3 minutes for the class and for me.

15 thoughts on “I said “no”

  1. Dana says:

    I’m so proud of you! I already told you that i can totally relate to always feeling pressure to say yes to people, but sometimes it really is necessary to take care of yourself first. In my program, they strongly emphasize the importance of self care, because we can’t help others if we don’t care for ourselves first.

    Also, that girl was crazy for coming in late. If I had mistakenly thought it was another class and you told me that your class was 40 minutes in, I would have apologized and left as discretely as possible without further disrupting the workout.

  2. Fiona MacDonald says:

    People coming late to classes especially SO late, is one of my biggest pet peeves! And you’re totally right, and it isn’t safe if she hasn’t properly warmed up! Plus throws up everyone’s groove just as they’re finishing an awesome work out! Good for you for standing your ground!

  3. Alison @ The Fit Chronicles says:

    Good for you for saying no! I’m a bootcamp instructor and I said no to subbing once when I was available–I felt guilty at first, but ultimately it was quite freeing. There’s no law that says you have to say yes to any class you’re free for!

    I had someone jump into my bootcamp class 15 minutes late and she ended up getting sick and sitting out. That was my lesson for allowing her to jump in. You are in the right for turning that chick away! Some people are so odd when it comes to working out…

  4. Jean Brennan says:

    good for you for taking care of your class that has been working hard for 40 minutes. Can’t believe that she thought it was OK. I have said no to subbing several times this year because I was tired and wanted to stay home and play in the dirt. You absolutely did the right thing. hope you are enjoying a wine now, I have have several with your Mom and Jeanne!!!

  5. suzanne gagnon says:

    Hi Nick, I know how hard it is to say “no”–I’m so guilty of not being able to do that! Good for you! Mom(I did say no to subbing the first week of school–I had a colonoscopy scheduled, so I guess that was a good excuse!!)

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