A few years ago, I discovered spinning and threw myself into it. I went three times a week for about a year, which dwindled to twice weekly, which dwindled to once a month (in a good month). What happened? Did I just burn out? I’m pretty steady in my fitness pursuits, so I’ve often wondered why I lost interest in it. Last night I gained a bit of clarity on the matter.I’m training for a half Ironman later this year and getting back into indoor cycling is important to my success. Yesterday after work, I jumped into the 5:30 pm spin class at my gym and concluded that the missing ingredient for me has been a good instructor. I suspected that was the issue, but there’s nothing like taking a class from a really great teacher—or one whose style overlays well with the way you approach training—to make you realize this. Bryant Crouch, a longtime IDEA member, has been teaching the Wednesday class at my club since I first got in the saddle a few years back. His workouts are challenging, but they seem to be more fun than hard because of his motivational approach. The time flies by as he plants great imagery in my head or challenges me to reach down and find a little extra. He does this without screaming into the mic, without getting in my face while I’m trying to ride in relative post-work anonymity, and without doing any ridiculous acrobatics or contortions that road cyclists would never do anyway. With Bryant, it’s about good form, mind-body-breath connection and healthy structure in the work he plans. When we wrapped up the final push, something he said really stuck with me. “The hard work is done now…we don’t ‘ride to death’ in this class, we ‘ride to life. We ride until we feel alive.’” How great and healthy is the simplicity of that thought? Are you riding/working your clients and students to death or are you making them feel more alive? Have regulars dropped out? Do you plan your classes or sessions around what you need to get out of them or around what your students need? If you’re not sure, ask one of your regulars how you’re doing or ask for general feedback from the class. You might be surprised what you find out. Share any anecdotes or insights about your experiences in the comment box below.