If you had asked me a year ago if I thought I would ever jump on board with the Cylcing/Spin fanatics, I would have said 'heck NO!' The thought of sitting in one spot for 50-60 minutes sounds like torture. Pure torture. But after 9 months of only doing Tabata (yes, there was a phase in my life when I only did high intensity training. I DEFINITELY do NOT recommend it!!) my body started to fall apart. I was constantly straining muscles and if I took a class that required me to work longer than 20 second sets, I felt as though I was going to die.
That's when my Fitness Hero recommended I start incorporating some cycling into my routine. She recommended I start with 30 minute classes (by either coming late to a class or leaving early) and see how I felt. This was hands down the best recommendation for my body and my mind. For the first few weeks, I took one cycling class a week for just 30 minutes. It was hard - my butt hurt, I couldn't focus, I got bored, etc. Think of every excuse in the book and I felt it. But I needed to challenge my body and my mind. So after 3 weeks, I started going twice a week and at week 6, something incredible happened. I fell in love with cycling. I craved it, I felt the rush during and after a really challenging class. And that's when I was able to stay for an entire class and love it.
Granted, I am lucky enough to go to a gym with incredible teachers and an incredible community that will cheer you on during a tough class but there is so much to love about cycling. Especially when you meet Heather Gervais.
Heather teachers a bunch of classes throughout the week but she is famous for her Monday, 6:45 PM, Saturday 7:00 AM and Saturday 8:00 AM classes at Community Fitness. The energy CANNOT be topped in these classes. If you have a chance, pop in and give her a try. It's hard to describe the energy and passion that Heather brings to a class. My best attempt in sharing her sprit is to tell you about my favorite class to date.
Heather loves a good theme ride. And when she plans one, every detail is considered. There was the Super Bowl ride and Karaoke week but nothing, can quite capture Heather more than Oscar Weekend. I take Heather's Saturday 7 AM class so I walked into class at 6:45 the Saturday before the Oscars and the first thing I noticed was the red carpet that was laid out from the lobby into the studio. Only Heather would show up before sunrise on a Saturday to set up a red carpet. But that was not the best part. As we were all getting ready for class, we heard a bit of excitement in the doorway. We looked up to see Heather walking in wearing the perfect red carpet dress - a strapless, glittery gold number. Enough said.
After we all recovered from the excitement of seeing our amazing cycling instructor in a strapless, gold dress, we got down to business. Heather had spent hours pulling together a playlist of only Oscar nominated movie music. It was epic. I'm not much of a movie buff but there were several people in the class who can name the movies related to each song. The class had several sprints, fast paces and hills but Heather also challenged us to a one mile race. The beauty of the one mile race? It was our opportunity to win our first (and for me, my only) Oscar in life. Yes, Heather was able to find the most perfect little Oscar statues to give out as prizes. I'm not going to lie, I've never worked so hard to win a one mile race in class... EVER.
Heather's classes are full of fun and energy. You don't have a moment to get bored. The music guides the ride and there are a lot of 'WHOOOOs' and 'WHOO HOOOs' throughout the class. Along with the energy, one of the things I value most about Heather is how she incorporates the power of the mind into our rides. I have been lucky enough to be in her classes long enough that it has become second nature to remind myself 'YES I CAN' and 'STRONG LEGS' when I start to get tired. It's amazing how these simple thoughts really can push you through a tough stretch and push you to keep going when you want to stop.
Heather's classes are a MUST in my book. She also teaches non-cycling classes if you're interested. Check the Community Fitness schedule and be ready to ride your heart out!!