Staying active has always been important for both my physical and mental health. Growing up and through my formative years, I played soccer year-round and loved the intense cardio and competitive aspects of the game. In high school and college I also performed in musical theatre and stage productions. Combining physicality with music felt natural and was just downright enjoyable. So, when I went to my first StarCycle spin class and felt the energy in the room, I knew this was the right place for me.
I went through StarCycle spin instructor training the same time I found out I was pregnant. Though it was a bit daunting to go through training during my first trimester, I believe the work I put into preparing to be an instructor helped my overall psychical and mental well-being. The excitement, anticipation, anxiety, and physical stresses that I was enduring as a first-time mother-to-be at times felt overwhelming. So, having a place where I could decompress and focus my energy into something that didn’t revolve around work or home life was like therapy. Moreover, being pregnant during the pandemic would at times feel isolating, so being a part of the Star Cycle community, whether it be instructing or taking a class, helped me to feel more connected.
I taught spin until I was 37 weeks pregnant. I felt strong mentally and physically, and I believe it helped me recover from the birth of my son more smoothly. I had a c-section, and it was a painful recovery. But knowing that I had an outlet to go back to as soon as my body was capable helped me push through. I pushed myself to get back on the bike slowly and by week 5 post-surgery, I was back to conditioning and preparing myself to teach again.
I dealt with postpartum depression, and I can honestly say that clipping into the bike was the therapy that helped me push through mentally. As a new Mom, it is incredibly difficult and the sleep deprivation was mind bending. There were times I felt broken down. I had a new routine that wasn’t my own. I felt like my life wasn’t my own anymore: my mind, body, energy, everything. Everything that I had was being poured into this little being that I had given birth to. It was miraculous, overwhelming, and chaotic. I didn’t know when or if these feelings would ever go away or if this was the “new normal.”
Having the StarCycle community motivated me to push through. Just like a spin class when you hit a wall and your legs feel like they can’t pedal anymore, you push through. So as a new mom, I continued to put in the work and knew that if I worked hard at giving my little baby what he needed to grow and thrive, then that connection and bond with him would also grow and thrive. And now my little one is 17 months, and I couldn’t imagine a life without him.
StarCycle is a place that motivates me to be the best version of myself. Having an outlet for yourself, especially being a new mom, is incredibly important. And the entire process of being an instructor: searching for and listening to new music, creating playlists for class, spinning to make my body stronger, and encouraging everyone in the class to push themselves for 45 minutes in a dark room with music blasting, is the most powerful outlet. This outlet helps me stay strong for my family.
The desire to inspire and push others to achieve goals is so rewarding. I believe that making exercise a lifestyle has given me the freedom to share this passion with others. The example is such: no matter what you set your mind to do, no goal is unattainable.