Ken Alan, IDEA’s 1989 Fitness Instructor of the Year, who teaches in Los Angeles, considers himself a master of the verbal miscue. One of his favorite bloopers came during a warm-up spiel. “I said, ‘Okay, let’s get going,’” says Alan. “‘Everyone open your feet up, leg distance apart, make sure your ankles are above the feet, your knees slightly below your thighs and your head between your ears. Deep inhalation . . . and . . . ’”
Handling the Situation. Alan says, “I have no idea where that came from. What was weird was no one noticed; I figured they were more spaced out than I was! I don’t know what lesson you can learn from that. It was a group of regulars; they sometimes seem to tune out what you say, and, obviously, they had tuned me out. So I guess you need to change your cuing around periodically to spice things up.”
Alan adds, “I’ve had my words transposed many times. Instead of saying, ‘Reach and stretch,’ I’ve said, ‘Streach and retch.’ Not a very good way to start a class. I do usually correct myself, but [why these words] come out of my mouth, I have no idea. I think humor is the best way to handle such blunders. I sometimes follow Josie Gardiner’s lead and yell out, ‘What, you didn’t anticipate my mistake?’”
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