It’s no secret fitness for me is more than just a thing on my adult to-do list. For many grown ups, working out is something we know we’re supposed to do to help keep us healthy yadda yadda but make excuses to avoid it and I feel genuinely sorry for those people. My fitness journey (such a cliche saying) started my sophomore year of college when that freshman fifteen became the freshman twenty-five. The average college freshman packs on the pounds from beer pong and late night munchies. For me it was because I was sad and missed my parents and pints of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream were brief distractions. Ben and Jerry were my boys! We broke up my sophomore year but occasionally still have a Friday night fling.
When I was finally over having to pull my pants up over my gut every time I sat down I decided it was time to buy bigger pants or make a change. I chose running. What an incredibly difficult thing to do! At first, sustaining a jog for more than 60 seconds was a feat! Now, 11 years later, I run marathons. Plural.
It didn’t happen over night. Finding my strength and drive evolved over years of trial and error, fails and wins, and an amazing support system.
With time I realized to run strong I would have to incorporate strength and cross training into my weekly agenda. Self taught squats and lunges became a routine and for cross training I decided to try spin. That’s where the real journey began.
I nervously signed up for a class at New York’s trendiest spin studio hoping that my $35 dollars would be well spent. Gosh it was intimidating walking in to this very posh Upper East Side studio that felt eerily like a cult. Once in the dark room they clipped me into the pedals and it was clear there was no escape. I was about to be initiated. From the very first beat I was like a deer in headlights. What the fuck was happening!? Everyone was pressing right and I was pressing left and what the hell was a tap back!? It was frightening! 45 minutes later, I was drenched in sweat and totally hooked! The addiction began.
A few years later a friend told me she heard they were opening up a similar style studio right on our block at comparable prices. Sign me up! Over the next three years I was in and out of there, riding sometimes every week, sometimes not for months. July 2016 they offered a great rate for the monthly unlimited and offered the Ride-July challenge. The rider with the most rides won one month unlimited membership. You better believe my competitive side took on that challenge, completing 56 classes in one month. You say crazy, I say 2nd place badass.
With that challenge over, I felt lost. What was my next goal? Hmmm… how about becoming an instructor? Sure why not! After three months, a nine hour certification program(snooze), several hours of training and an unfathomable amount of support from riders and instructors I found myself on that podium ready to teach my first spin class. My opening jam was a remix of Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out”, ironic and hilarious. That 45 minute class felt AMAZING! Every single saddle had an ass in it there to support and welcome me to this new challenge and chapter. They cheered, they sweat and I think they had as much fun as I did.
I knew becoming an instructor would be fun but I had no idea how much of an impact my riders would make on my life. The connections I’ve made, big and small, have been overwhelming positive and I am so grateful for those moments. There are a handful of spin family members that deserve blog posts of their own and eventually I will write about them specifically but today I want to give a general thank you.
Thank you to the riders who spent their time and money and chose to come to my class. Thank you for showing up and working hard not just for me but for yourselves. Thank you for every woohoo, every sigh after completing a hill, every dirty look during pulses with weights, every push and every smile. Thank you for your dedication and drive. Because of it, I try to create classes that continue to challenge you and keep you smiling. We are more than just workout buddies, we are family.
It is with great sadness that I announce my last class at this little boutique studio on the Upper East Side as of 1:00 today. My heart breaks to not see this community of amazing people daily but I am eternally grateful for the moments we had. To every rider whoever rode with me, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my pink spin shoes all the way to my heart. Wherever your fitness journey may take you from here, just remember what an old spin instructor used to tell you; it’s your body, it’s your bike, it’s your ride. Enjoy it.