Becoming a Flywheel Instructor
I've always wanted to be a fitness instructor. I did teacher training for yoga through Core Power Yoga. I liked it. Didn't love it. It wasn't enough. It was too quiet and I had too much energy to keep bottled up for a 60 minute yoga class. Although it was a nice experience, I wanted more. I was an avid rider at SoulCycle SOMA. I loved my instructor, Molli, who I went to religiously and over the year, she has became a great friend. So if you ever decide to try out a class at SoulCycle, I highly suggest you take her. She's a fireball full of love!
October 2015 rolls around and Flywheel opens a studio in Walnut Creek. I've never heard of it, but the studio attracted me so I gave it a shot. I fell in love with the interval training they provided and found myself leaning out SoulCycle and going to Flywheel more often. There was something about the numbers, the sweat-drenched workout, the music. It was much more than a workout for me. The days I didn't feel like running, I thought to myself, let's work out a different muscle in these legs. Something about pushing down on the pedal was like a release of stress and each upward push was like a step towards a better me.
As some of you may know, I auditioned for SoulCycle earlier in the year. I never moved forward with their offer because moving to New York in such short notice without a guaranteed job freaked the crap out of me. I thought about it a lot, and if I had to think about it, and if my heart didn't jump on it the minute I heard, then maybe I shouldn't do it. So I turned it down, and kept running and doing my own thing.
I was going through a rough patch in April and needed some UMPH in life. I emailed Ryan, the lead instructor for Flywheel, and told him I want to teach there. I didn't hear anything, so I started stalking him on social media. I DM'd him on Instagram.... heard nothing. Then I get an email two months later, the week of June 12, saying I was picked to audition. I felt my stomach turn, I felt my heart drop, and I probably felt every other emotion and thought "I AM READY TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN." Mind you, I already had a trip planned to Seattle for The Rock'N'Roll Marathon so I was juggling with how I was going to get home on time to make it.
Sunday, June 19, 2016. I ran my marathon the day before and was running (literally) on no sleep. I had to make changes to my flight to get back to the Bay Area before noon. I remember calling Alaska Airlines at 1am asking to put me on the first flight out that morning. I was so unprepared. I was asked to have two songs ready to audition with. I land at San Francisco International Airport and hop on BART. I put my headphones in and randomly pick two songs from my Spotify.
I get to Flywheel in Walnut Creek early. There's other people auditioning and other people who were about to critique my every move from when I get up on the podium, to the first thing that comes out of my mouth, to the songs I picked and to the way I ride. It was my turn. I was given a mic. God, the last time I spoke in public on a mic was at Saint Mary's Graduation in 2012. So you could get an idea of how nervous this made me. I told them straight up, "I ran a marathon yesterday, I didn't sleep, I hopped on the plane first thing this morning and made it here." It was one of the scariest experiences of my life. But I wanted this. This was my dream. So I pushed past the fear, and with my hands shaking, mouth dry, and heart pounding, I got up on the podium in front of a dozen people and shared my sugar & spice.
I wasn't confident at all leaving the studio. A week passes by. I heard nothing. Then on June 24, a lovely Friday morning, I get an email from Ryan. I remember I was sitting at my desk at work, contemplating if I wanted to open it or if I should have my colleague read it for me. My heart was racing because it was at that moment that email dangled my hopes and dreams from a ledge. I finally sucked it up and opened the email:
"CONGRATULATIONS! WELCOME TO FLYWHEEL!"
My training started on Thursday July 14. Ryan didn't give me a timeline to how long it would take to get fully trained. Basically if you get it, you got it. Goodness, I tell ya... This guys threw BPMs at me like ammunition! I was so clueless and so overwhelmed. I sent him frantic emails and he told me to STOP OVERTHINKING it. So the next day, I just listened to my music, hopped on a bike and that shit came as second nature. Here I am, two weeks into my training, and I am teaching my class to him. I had no idea what to expect, but I wasn't purely excited for anything in a really long while. Yeah, I had races to run, and have a marathon coming up, but this was different. This was NEW. It was a crazy mixture of happiness, nerves, and anticipation and I couldn't get enough of it. It has been challenging and I don't think I have rode a bike this much in my entire life. I am so lucky to have a trainer who feeds me information and constructive criticism daily for my brain to absorb. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone and he just threw me in there..... and I couldn't appreciate that enough. Although I am still in training, Ryan has helped me find my voice and passion to why I want to do this. At first, it was.. hey, why not? But now it's more of I want to make a positive difference and spread self acceptance to Flywheel.
I have never been more ready to make this happen. We all have these things we want to pursue, but so often, fear holds us back. Fearing that we won't be able to accomplish whatever we are aiming to do, the fear of how we are perceived, the fear of can't. If there's one thing this training period has taught me, it's to push past fear. Not even a month ago, this was just an idea to me. It was a nice thought. And somehow, Ryan saw something in me the day of my audition and took me on board. I am totally taking advantage of his mind and knowledge along with the whole Flywheel Walnut Creek family. Thank you guys. It must take a ton of patience because I have so many questions!
What a difference a few months can make. You can change where you live, what you do, who you're with. You can change anything. Five years ago, running was never on my itinerary.. I never took a group workout class... I never saw myself as active. Here I am five years later, an accomplished runner, soon to be ultramarathoner and apart of the Flywheel Fam! Flywheel San Francisco SOMA is opening in September. I will for sure keep you all updated when my first official ride is in the works, ideally by the end of August!!!!! I just wanted to take the time out of my day (and lunch break) to write this because everyone has been so supportive. A lot of people ask how I do it. And always, my response is "do what?" Frankly, I love managing my position at City Hall full time, squeezing in training for my races, putting in a ton of time at Flywheel, never ignoring my family and making all the time in the world for my friends. In all honesty, doing what you love should never feel like work. And although I do get tired, my body feels heavy, my muscles get fatigued, this is really the happiest I've been in a long while. The front desk even told me that people were already calling for my schedule. OKAY. I LOVE YOU GUYS. This means the world to me <3 Hope to kick your butts on a bike soon!