Recently one of my spin students, Elliot, shared a little piece he wrote for the Airport Club newsletter. It was about his recent completion of the SF->LA AIDS LifeCycle Ride and how spin class had really helped prepare him for this huge endeavor. I enjoyed the piece a lot – not only because it was so fantastic to read of his success on the trip, but because it is so wonderful to hear the impact we as spin instructors can have.
I love to teach spin for a variety of reasons (I always was a bossy little kid so I'm sure there's something in there about enjoying being in charge!). One of the biggest is that I truly feel that over time, people DO benefit from it. Whether it's the benefit of being ready for a big ride like the one Elliot did, or they see an improvement in their climbing, or that they just feel BETTER because of the increased cardio health and strength, all are successes in my book. When people share them with me, it really helps me to see that I’m doing my job well and that it’s so worth getting up at the horrible hour of 5:00 times three times a week (and fighting my way through commute traffic after work once a week), not to mention the hours I spend carefully planning workouts and thinking about good songs to put with them.
Thank you to all of my students who manage to make it to those early morning classes or make it to the gym at the end of a long day and bring such positive and committed energy. No matter how I feel when I show up to the gym, I always leave feeling so much better and with a big smile on my face.
Below is the short piece Elliot Daum wrote. Enjoy!
Having recently completed the SF to LA AIDSLifeCycle ride, I want to extend my gratitude to the Club for all the support and encouragement I received along the way. I especially want to thank the spin meisters for all the training tips and the conditioning boost, especially during those dark and rainy winter months when long rides become impractical or merely dangerous.
If you are contemplating such a ride, check yourself in to the spin class ASAP. The translation from the stationary spin bikes to the road is remarkably true, particularly if you follow the excellent instruction of the class leaders. You will find that the transition to the road will start to gel in ways that will surprise you.
Once I began the long days between here and L.A., the lessons and the voices came back to haunt me in the most positive ways. Mary’s exhortations to “keep my knees over my feet” and “go, go , go!”, Anna’s constant challenges to turn th dial up, stay with her, and “n-i-i-c-e! encouragement, Sarah’s peremptory “Stand it up! Spin it out!” and, of course, Paul’s drill sergeant orders and demands for “100%” all stay with you on the ride. The form and the motivation keep coming long after the music has died and the Club is hundreds of miles away.
Also I found Anna’s “core” tutorials to be of enormous assistance as both body and mind come to learn how the conquest of long steep hills requires much more than quads and hamstrings.
The entire experience was a most positive one in all respects. It’s a great cause, a marvelous experience and a terrific way to get in shape. And the Club members and staff surely helped make the actual ride a joy. So “Stand it up and spin it out!”
Elliot Lee Daum