What inspired you to become a Certified Spinning® Instructor and then a Master Instructor?
The Spinning program is different from other group fitness classes I have taught—it was so intrinsic and immediate. I loved the way my legs and heart felt so strong during my time on the bike. I started to discover my mental toughness and ability to focus through challenging climbs and tough intervals which eventually led to learning how to breathe and relax through life’s tough stressors. From my Spinning Instructor teaching experience, I became motivated to get out on the road and test my pedaling skills on an outside bike. I felt like I really needed to understand the difference in a hill versus a flat road in order to represent the program truthfully. My decision to teach the Spinning program was a pivot in my life. I went from a stay-at-home mom to a bike shop employee, a group ride leader, and, eventually, a sponsored racer. I was inspired to become an MI in the hopes of helping other instructors cut through the surface of indoor cycling and discover the how the Spinning program can change people’s lives.
What are the top two things you love about teaching Spinning classes?
I love how a great Spinning class starts as an indoor cycling training workout and then becomes a unique, individual challenge to overcome whatever obstacle is in front of you. It’s an incredible feeling to help people find their inner strength…to see them conquer what they think they cannot do and know that the self-confidence that comes from that will follow them outside the Spinning studio. I also love how relevant the Spinning program is to athletes and beginning exercisers alike.
Share a memory from your experience as a teacher/coach/presenter that embodies the value of being a Certified Spinning Instructor or Spinning Master Instructor?
A few years ago I taught a weekly class called Senior Spinning. The first few classes the participants needed help just getting on the bikes. They were nervous and unsteady but they were committed to giving this work out a chance. Several of them were off the heart rate chart (that went up to age 70), yet they were there week after week. The music was their choice…big band, Beach Boys, Johnny Cash…and the time on bikes was just 30 minutes. Over the three years that I was lucky enough to coach these friends, life happened and life ended for a few. They showed up not only for a workout but for stress relief and socialization. What we do as instructors is life-changing for many. It’s a big responsibility and a great honor. It’s why most of us do what we do.
Do you have a hero in the Spinning community, someone who deserves recognition for their leadership?
I’m grateful to have been surrounded with a manager and mentors from the Pelham Branch of the Birmingham YMCA when I first started teaching. They placed much value in doing things right without compromise. Regardless of all the unsafe and contraindicated moves the indoor cycle community came up with, these leaders stood strong and demanded the program follow the sound principles of the Spinning program.
What other professional certifications in health and fitness do you hold?
AFAA Group Fitness Certification, AFAA Personal Trainer Certification, ACE Group Fitness Instructor, IMIC (International Mountain Bike Instructor Certification) Certified Ride Lead.