Bring Howard Harriston back to LA Fitness!!!
We the undersigned members of LA Fitness (LAF) are protesting the unfair, untimely release of Howard Harriston, LAF group fitness instructor in Maryland and Virginia. We are dedicated and satisfied students in one or more of Howard Harriston's class. Howard has a great attitude and is very motivating. He makes everyone feel like family. His routines are fun, safe, effective, and challenging. He has a great sense of humor and offers a variety of routines, not the same old, same old. If he knows it's your birthday he celebrates you by placing you in the middle of a circle and having the class do a workout around you. He also notices if you have new shoes and does the same thing. The circle activity lasts for about 5minutes. This is a really fun time for the class. It's such a treat to be recognized by such an outstanding instructor. After leaving out of the circle activity the class is pumped and all smiles, slapping high fives, and patting one another on the back. Howard energizes the class, is constantly in tune to the class. He knows when enough is enough or when he needs to give us more. His music is mostly instrumental, very motivating, and helps us get our second or third wind. Howard is a tremendous asset to the health and well being of the class and to the work-out community. Howard epitomizes a sense of community and deeply cares for each and every person that takes his class. If you've missed a class he notices and asks if you're OK when you return. You're not just a head-count in Howard's class. Howard is a source of light whether it’s during a mid-week class or at the end of a long work week for us that attend his weekend classes. I don't know anyone that doesn't look forward to attending Howard's class. We drive near and far (from Clinton, Annapolis, Crofton, Alexandria, Hyattsville, Waldorf, Severna Park, Bowie, Baltimore, DC, VA) while passing many other gyms just to attend Howard’s classes. Howard is so dedicated that he teaches when the radio doesn't work and has brought in his own radio, if the headset is broken he screams for two hours so that we can hear him, also he teaches the Saturday before and after the holiday. He feels a sense of obligation and knows the class needs and appreciates having him teach around the holidays, especially 4th of July, Labor day, Memorial day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Years. He is committed and very very rarely takes off to miss class. Each year the class gives Howard a birthday card because he is truly amazing and a special part of our lives. Howard has continued to teach when a battling a cold, sprains, strains, asthma, after an appendectomy, and a broken neck. On the rare occasion when Howard is out, the class is so worried and not at ease until he returns. Howard's class attendance is typically 50-75 people. I know instructors don't make a lot of money, but Howard teaches as if he's making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. He gives every class his all. Perhaps LAF views Howard is just "another" instructor or just a "number". To us, Howard is the best of the best, an invaluable asset that has been unjustly taking away from us. We are totally disappointed, heartbroken, and shocked that Howard will no longer be teaching at LAF. When Howard made the announcement the entire class was extremely let down and disappointed. Why is LAF placing unnecessary limitations and restrictions on the instructors, specifically, restricting the pitch of the music, using LAF only music, making all classes basic, limiting the format and type of exercises? Has Howard done something to place the class in harms way? Have you ever taken Howard's class or conducted an observation/audit? Has Howard defied LAF rules and regulations? Why weren't the members given the courtesy and contacted and asked how this would impact us? This is an injustice and disservice to LAF members. We actually go to the gym to workout, to be challenged, to see our gym family. If we want a basic class we’re sure there are other classes available on the LAF schedule and at other gyms in the area. If Howard taught on the moon we'd gladly be in attendance. His class is out of this world fantastic!! How do you remedy the issue of losing one of the BEST instructors on the LAF roster? How do you plan to make this whole and provide good customer satisfaction? We are requesting that Howard be re-instated as a LAF group fitness instructor. His seniority should be respected so that he can retain his schedule. Alterations in the format and music should be thoroughtly considered and evaluated to determine if these pose a negative impact on the LAF brand and the members.