Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hate mail from a fan of Jillian Michaels and the Biggest Loser

Putting yourself out into cyberspace via a blog or forum means you are willing (or should be willing or will have to soon be willing) to be open to criticism.  Ya gotta have, or soon get, a thick skin. No one can please everyone.  

My skin is kinda in the stage of just starting to get a callus, still a little soft, on its way to getting thicker. Admittedly it's still hard to take when someone doesn't like you, or who criticizes you for doing what you feel is somewhat noble.  I mean, my goal here is to help the collective you become a better indoor cycling instructor, inspire your students, and do it safely and in a way that follows proper training principles and science, as well as keeps it specific to riding a bike. I understand that others may have different methods than me, but I'm not so much talking philosophy here, I'm talking safety and practicality and downright effective training.

So when I saw something as blatantly unsafe and ridiculous as what Jillian Michaels did in her so called Spinning class on the Biggest Loser, I had to comment. I mean, I did write the book on Contraindications... and what she did was so obviously dangerous with no regard for the safety of her students, the antithesis of what we try to teach in a safe effective Spin class. But I also didn't attack her personally. I kept my criticism to what she did in that Spin class.

A week and a half ago I received a comment from someone who really seems to like (adulate?) Jillian Michaels a lot, and did not care for my Open Letter to her, not one bit. "Scorpio" kind of missed my point, really.  He/she thinks I was suggesting I'm better than her. Scorpio said s/he doubted I would publish the comment, suggesting all my positive comments were a result of filtering out only the good ones.

Let it be known that I haven't ever not accepted a comment in the 8 months of this blog's history (although I reserve the right to do so if I feel like it; this is after all, my blog). I only waited to moderate this one for when I had time to respond appropriately.  I've had a lot of deadlines lately, and this is the first time I've had a moment. This blogging stuff is time consuming, man! :0

Oh, and a few days later I received another comment saying I was just jealous of her. Methinks it's the same person....too much of a coincidence!

I'm wondering if Scorpio works for her...or wished he/she did!

All the blogging books and articles and tips say that controversy is GREAT for blogs! They even suggest that the blogger take on controversial subjects or positions to get more readership! So Scorpio is doing me a favor. I look at other bloggers and see that they've gotten hate mail as well, including Fatcyclist and BikeSnob NYC

Fatty is the nicest and downright funniest cycling blogger out there, and it is from him that I got the "Open Letter" concept (although his open letters are funny and very sarcastic. Mine wasn't). Here is a response to one of his letters, someone who didn't appreciate his sarcasm. People just don't get it! (Fatty is pretty funny in his response).

Bike Snob on the other hand invites criticism. He seems to thrive on it. And he's very funny too, but in a completely different way than Fatty. Scroll down to see some hate videos he's been sent.

Now, I'm not suggesting I'm anything close to Fatty or Snobby, but Funhog is now in some good company! (And we have some silly nicknames too...)  ;-)

Go here to see the letter and scroll down for the comment from Scorpio and my response to him/her and to Anonymous who thinks I'm just jealous of Jillian!

I'm curious to see your comments.


Robert said...

It proves that it doesn't matter who you are and how well qualified you may be, if you do something wrong you do something wrong. People in glass houses, etc.

A mother once took her son to Mahatma Gandhi and asked him to tell her son to stop eating sugar. "Come in two weeks", he said.
A fortnight later, she took her son to see Gandhi again. "Stop eating sugar" he told the boy.
"Why couldn't you have told him that two weeks ago?"
"Because two weeks ago I was eating sugar!"

lamspin said...

Your response was a lot "kinder" than your first Open Letter, Patrick's comment, and Fatty's to his own OL(He is witty!). I thought your follow-up letter would complement the first one already. Well, at least you didn't respond with the same energy you received from Scorpio. Good for you!
This is what I would do if I was you: since Scorpio is not going to change what he/she thinks about Jillian and her doings, I would switch my energy to a better use. I would kindly ask for a copy of that episode as a "token of respect" to Jillian; then use that info as a perfect visual material training for the DON'Ts in IC training Now that is a "win-win" situation, don't you think?
That's my two cents! :>)

Charles said...

Where's AC, Todd, Bill Peirce, or some of those other "thin-skinned" (hint: that was sarcasm) guys over there on IC or PO? I would love to have them join in on the conversation.

Jen, you are an incredible inspiration to alot of people and I appreciate all you do for the IDC and cycling community. Keep up the good work. BTW, I'm teaching "Moving Mountains" on Jan 2 to kick off the New Year. I loved Flow in Sports and am excited about what I've learned. I have been slowly adding the language and music over the last couple months and have received positive feedback. Thanks for all you do.