I’ve written about my love for spin a bunch of times for a variety of reasons throughout the course of the blog but never have I spoken about the person who not only inspired me to become an instructor but who trained me. As you know by now, my spin journey started at a little spin studio just down the block and I found my love there. Long before I had decided to become an instructor I would take Rebecca’s class. Only Rebeccas class. She was the only instructor there that I loved and the only instructor that would play music that made me actually feel things on the bike. The word for that is “spinmotional” and Rebecca coined the phrase. Though you could feel comfortable knowing what to expect, her classes were always evolving and she was always exploring ways to use the music and the bike that kept us interested and challenged.
I became friendly with her simply by taking her class frequently but we weren’t hanging out outside of the studio and I didn’t know much about her. She would occasionally take post-class selfies and I would feel like the coolest person in the world because Rebecca tagged me on facebook AND Instagram! When I decided to transition from rider to instructor she was super supportive and was even going to be one of two instructors to train me.
I had my first training session with the other instructor. I’m not sure I learned much but she did tell me to put together the first five songs of a class that I would present to Rebecca for my next session. I was SO intimidated! The day I was to train with her was one of those days in which nothing went my way. Work had been hard and I had had a very stressful meeting that ran late causing me to feel frantic. When I got to the studio I tried to shake it off but I was also nervous to get on the mic in front of my favorite and a flawless instructor. I got on the podium, she helped me mic up, and then she stood in the middle of the studio and watched me teach what I had prepared. Halfway through the first song she stopped me and told me to move the mic right up to my mouth, a mistake we all make at first. On to the next song. It went fine, not great but fine. Third song in she stopped me again halfway. She put her hands together and as gently as she could she said, “you’re just not hitting the beat.” Ugh. How was I supposed to be a beat based spin instructor if I can’t even do it. She had me run the song again a few times like a drill. It felt better but again, not great. She very honestly explained to me that our riders are cutthroat and if my first class wasn’t great, they would eat me alive and she really didn’t want that for me. We wrapped up our first training together and as soon as I got into the privacy of the bathroom, I lost it. Tears exploding from my eyes. I know it was a combination of my work day, frustration from not being amazing for Rebecca and likely some hormones. I wiped away the tears, shook it off and headed out. Unfortunately my red eyes didn’t dissolve so easily and Rebecca could tell I had been crying. “I swear it’s not from the training, its just been a hard day.” Between the bathroom and the lobby we stood and I remember vividly she said “I don’t do hugs but I feel like you need a hug.” I did and from it I felt better.
Fast forward a few months and I found the damn beat and became an instructor too, striving to be as crystal clear as Rebecca. I was a work in progress but I did steal a hug from Bex after.
About 4months after I joined the team of instructors, she informed me that she was leaving that studio for Flywheel. She explained that though she loved her riders and the team, she had a family to support and Flywheel offered more classes, much better pay, benefits and professionalism. I was happy for her but sad for myself. This move caused a big stir amongst management and was the beginning of the end for me and many others at that studio.
Rebecca settled in at Flywheel and to no one’s surprise, her classes were amazing. When shit really started to hit the fan and I finally left, Rebecca encouraged me to audition at Fly. I was hesitant at first because of my day job but I needed to be teaching. She put me in touch with the right people and I auditioned. She was front and center for my first practice ride. Afterward she had tears in her eyes and she actually gave me a really long sweaty hug, her initiative! I’ve since settled in at Flywheel myself but I wouldn’t have done it without Rebecca’s constant support and encouragement.
In a field that can be very caddy and very competitive, Rebecca has been nothing but supportive not only to me but to everyone who crosses her path. She’s one of those people who lift others up instead of tearing them down and she’s inspired me to try to do the same. She’s a full on supporter of women supporting women and she has made me feel like a badass just by being a badass herself. She’s an amazing mother, sharer of music, hilarious drunk, and a true friend. She’s been a constant support through not just spin but through our fertility struggles. She may not show her affection with hugs but she most certainly shows it in her actions as a friend. I’d say her only flaw is her distaste for hugs but I’ve cracked that code and know that hugs from me are the exception, right up there with her kids and husband. Right Bex?
Rebecca is also moving out of the city at the end of the month so I know she understands the emotions that come with such a big change. It’s the perfect time to cue up some spinmotional jams and let the lyrics take over. One song Bex and I bonded over, as it is by far one of my favorites and she found an amazing remix to is I Lived by One Republic. It’s fitting as both of our NYC chapters come to an end to quote it. Bex, I hope that when that moment comes to say goodbye to NYC, I hope you can look back and say that you did it all, that you owned every second that this life could give, that you saw so many places and things that you did. I hope that you can leave and say, “I swear I lived.” Thank you for being my friend, my mentor and my favorite person to hug.