The Best Way to Start Your Week: A Love Letter to My Sunday Morning Spinning Class

This Sunday marks somewhat of an end of an era for me. I’ve been teaching a Sunday morning indoor cycling class at XSport Fitness in Alexandria since the summer of 2010 – it started as a class I participated in, which then convinced me to become a Spinning instructor – and it was also the first class I ever team taught, eventually becoming the very first cycling class I could call my own.

It’s been quite a journey. Like every format I’ve ever taught, I spent those first couple of classes still kind of trying to figure it out (any instructor who will tell you otherwise is either an enigma, or lying). Before too long, I truly found my style – those of you who have checked out my playlists know I organize my classes into 3 “building blocks,” which typically start relatively tame, and four to five songs later, straddle the line somewhere between brutal and miserable. But nothing was truly as amazing as when I realized that I had built a core group of awesome people who joined me every Sunday morning.

When I was asked to change my Sunday schedule, I didn’t think too much about it, but once I had committed to the move (yes, I’m still teaching a Sunday double, but moving cycle to Thursday nights at 5:45 … you didn’t think you’d get rid of me that easy, did you?), it sunk in: I was giving up my very first cycling class. So much has happened on those Sunday mornings. It was actually a Sunday morning when I was taking a class, shortly after my certification class, and before I was officially on the schedule, that I taught my very first song (I vividly remember the morning Dylan looked at me, and told me to pull my bike out and teach a song – Usher’s “OMG.” So yeah, if you’ve been wondering where my style of harder than necessary meets somewhat crazy comes from, you can thank Dylan). I’ve seen people succeed in their fitness journeys – some go from “uh, I have no idea how to set this bike up” to Spinning junkies. In many ways, I think I’ve grown, too – not only as a cycling instructor, but as a person.

As today’s headline suggests, I view this is somewhat of a love letter to my Sunday morning Spinning class. Whether they realize it or not, they have meant the world to me. They stuck by me in the beginning, and didn’t run away when I determined my style to be “kinda evil.” They kept joining me, even when I’m sure some of them were a little tired of weeks filled with Katy Perry and David Guetta and “Moves Like Jagger.” Heck … they even started requesting, and getting excited, on weeks we would end with Sting (“Desert Rose.” It’s like yoga on a bike. It’s an incredible way to end a class – four minute climb, all about clearing your mind, thinking about what you’ve accomplished throughout class and getting your week off to a great start. You bet that’s the last song on tomorrow’s playlist).

So, to my Sunday morning cyclists: you have been my savior. Your energy was infectious on the mornings I was exhausted (because a few of those Sundays, I was teaching on maybe four hours of sleep). Your questions and suggestions pushed me to become a better, more knowledgeable instructor. Your kindness and your dedication always put a smile on my face, even on days I was feeling sad or lonely or hurt (my smile may hide it, but there have been more than a few). You’ve been my inspiration, you’ve been my therapy, and yes, you’ve been my reason to get out of bed early on Sunday mornings. For that, I’m forever grateful.

That said, I want to end the same way I do every class I teach: thank you so much for joining me, because I truly do appreciate it. Though we will no longer be spending our Sunday mornings together (unless you decide to swap cycle for Piloxing, starting July 22 at 9:30 a.m. … or take up Pilates, which moves to 10:30 a.m. starting July 8 … or you want to start cycling at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday nights … hint, hint), you will always have a special place in my heart.

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