Gym bikes

An exercise class named the same thing as my favorite appetizer, spin dip. It has to be good, I thought.

Walking into a dimly lit room to find rows of exercise bikes, intimidating middle aged folks in spandex and a buff instructor, I knew spin dip and spin class weren’t equals.

To begin, a slow steady peddling matching the beat of energizing music. This is going to be just fine I thought.

The beat began to intensify along with the intensity of the instructors’ voice. The instruction was to increase the tension by moving the knob.  Real specific, thanks!  I turned the only knob I could find just slightly to the right.

The next instruction: stand up on your bike and continue peddling to get over an imaginary hill.

As I rose to conquer this imaginary hill I lost my balance and tumbled over the side of the bike onto a narrow space of floor between peddling sneakers.

From my ground vantage point I really only had one option. Get back on the bike and continue peddling. The other option of bolting wasn’t possible due to the sergeant instructors’ unwavering instructions.


This is a true story of a failed adventure. It served as a humorous intro to a speech on the power of persistence despite challenges. As I surveyed my audience of college-aged students including baseball players, Greek life T-shirt wearing gals and the more studious introvert type, I wondered how many if placed in the situation I was currently in – giving a presentation to a crowd – would rather bolt like I wanted to do in my short-lived exercise bike riding glory?

We’re all faced with many options – in speaking – to find our voice or remain comfortably in the crowd.

I hope you’ll choose the former rather than the latter. The results of becoming more effective at speaking will inevitably increase your skills at exercising leadership.

Oh, and while you’re pondering your options, pass the spin dip.

Learn valuable tips to speak to engage others at a Public Speaking Skills Workshop on October 14.

This workshop will be facilitated by Audrey Curtis Hane. Audrey is a Professor of Communication and Dean of Graduate and Adult and Continuing Studies at Newman University. She has taught public speaking for over twenty years and served as a consultant for numerous for-profit and non-profit sector companies.