Every Friday morning, I lead a spin class at 4:30. Because the gym opens at 4:30, we start late, but that's to be expected. I'm the leader of the class, so I have a little set-up to do before I crank the music. I turn on the lights, turn on the de-humidifier, move my bike to the center of the room, connect my iPod, turn on the speakers and adjust the volume, fill my water bottle, put on my cycling shoes and adjust my seat and handle bars. I'm able to do all of this and get on my bike ready to ride by 4:34 a.m.
Yet, I wait. I watch my fellow spinners adjust their bikes, chit-chat about this and that and trickle in as late as 4:40 a.m.
Some people come in gracefully late. I don't notice them slip in after the lights have dimmed, the black lights are aglow and the music has started. They find a bike toward the back, make their adjustments and fall into step. I barely notice their lateness.
Some people come in awkwardly late. They move in and out of the room - they set up their bikes, they leave the room; they adjust the bikes some more, they leave the room. They move to another bike because something was wrong with the first bike.
Stuff happens. Alarm clocks fail. Traffic jams. Keys disappear. Stuff happens that's out of our control. When that happens, be graceful. Enter the room like a ninja, stealthily take your place toward the back where you don't disrupt someone else's ride. Grace.
I find the same annoyance with those people who are late for church. The ushers hold them back so they don't disrupt the opening prayer while the pastor sets the mood for the room. I find my attention distracted when the doors open during the first hymn and they all file in, squeezing into pews saying, "Excuse me. Sorry. Thank you. Good morning. Pardon me." WTF.
I know. I need to work on my Christian attitude of gratitude. Let's save that for another blog entry.
I started to write this in an effort to vent about what happened in my spin class this morning. Someone was late, disrupted my class because I had to get off my bike to help her, and the rest of the spinners missed some great cardio during a kick-ass song ("Paralyzer" by Finger Eleven). We were on the fourth song before she was on a bike, ready to ride.
Her lateness threw her off for the rest of the class, and it affected everyone's morning, too. She couldn't find her rhythm, and even though we were all there to support her and help her catch up, she was flustered.
I got to thinking about not only her but other people who show up late in life. Myself included from time to time. Lateness sucks energy from a room. When 11 people sit at a conference table waiting for the 12th person to show, it affects the dynamics of the group.
When we show up late, full of apologies and excuses, it throws off the momentum of the room. Move like a ninja. Enter the room. Take your seat. Turn off your cell phone. Get on beat.