Every Monday, instructor Emily Burkhardt sets out to interview members of the FLY community–from instructors, to staff members, to riders. What does Flywheel mean to them? And how do they find joy in their day-to-day? This week, meet New York rider couples Julia and Marc + Heather and Ty!
By: EMILY BURKHARDT
Couples that sweat together will stay together, right? That is definitely the truth for these two couples. Julia, Marc, Heather and Ty took their first Flywheel class with me around a year ago when our Astor Place location opened.
I may have “killed” them in their first class, but their focus and dedication as a team stayed. They were committed–from buying a 5 pack of classes, to being members at the studio. It is not just a class for these couples, it is a community, a place where they can catch up with their friends (Nuzzy, Veronica, Rebecca, and Kelly to name a few…) and make even more.
They are so supportive of me and all of the little projects I am working on. Truly genuine human beings (Julia even created my Healthy Hustle logo and helped me with my website!)
All four of their stories are different and extremely inspiring in their own right.
What first brought you to Flywheel?
Heather: I discovered Flywheel about 6 months before our wedding. I was in need to shed some pounds and a fun distraction from wedding planning stress!
Ty: My partner in crime, Heather told me about it.
Julia: For years, I was always the weakest of my friends. We would sign up for a 5k and I’d barely be able to jog the equivalent of 2 blocks before needing to stop and gasp for air. I knew I needed to improve my cardiovascular health, but let’s face it. I was lazy. I signed up for a gym membership, but was not inspired to go partly because I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t want to pay $150/hour for a personal trainer to help because I just didn’t see it as an affordable long term solution. I started to follow my coworker to lunchtime spin classes at another studio and enjoyed it enough to keep going, but I still felt disconnected from the experience.
I finally let my old roommate drag me to Flywheel. She had been begging me to go for 3 years and I refused, repeatedly and vehemently, but when the Astor Place studio opened, I forced myself to buy a 5 pack and followed her in. It was a whole different world. Comparatively, it made the other studio feel like a walk in the park. I think a little piece of me died on my first Flywheel bike–the laziest part of me. I jumped in immediately, going 4-5 times a week for the first month. It was exhilarating and looking back, I’m not sure how I made it through, but I know that I’m stronger for it.
Marc: I found spin thanks to a persuasion from Ty while at a bar watching football. I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much but after just a single session I was hooked. I had been a casual runner for years, but I enjoyed the intensity efficiency of getting a workout in just by showing up to a 45 minute class. After doing spin elsewhere a few times Julia dragged me to Flywheel to try something different. At first I was hesitant about the whole numbered system but soon came to enjoy the competitive nature of the Torq Board and my ability to track my progress.
What do you do?
Heather: Account Director, Advertising (I sell booze.)
Ty: Store Director, Aether Apparel.
Julia: Designer of All Things Digital, Advertising (I wish I sold booze, but I design for a luxury car brand. Please don’t drink Heather’s booze and then drive a luxury car, or any car.)
Marc: I recently founded a branding and digital product studio.
How does Flywheel make you feel?
Heather: Energized, strong, and allows me to get my competitive fix in a healthy way.
Ty: King of the world.
Julia: Flywheel has definitely increased my confidence. I feel and look the best I have in my entire life and I don’t hate it! My energy levels are noticeably higher–Marc isn’t rolling his eyes at me for wanting to go home early to sleep on a Saturday night anymore. In fact, now the tables are turned and he’s the one asking to call it a night first! A few weeks after starting Flywheel, I took up FlyBarre, too. The combination of both definitely makes me feel incredibly strong (even if I’m still using 1lb weights for most of the class, I can see the difference!) After eight months of raving about FlyBarre, Marc finally joined me for a class (and don’t tell anyone) but he loved it. Flywheel Sports has definitely changed our lives.
Marc: I tell first-timers that they’ll feel like they want to die for the duration of the ride but it will be followed by a sense of accomplishment and a boost of energy afterward. I’ve been taking Flywheel rides for nearly a year now and I’d say that’s how I feel every time.
How does going to Flywheel with your significant other inspire you?
Julia: Marc & I push each other to get to class when maybe one of us doesn’t feel like going. It’s hard to stay on the couch when your other half is out crushing it on the bike. Now, going to a Flywheel class together is just as fulfilling as going out to dinner. We’re investing in our health together and supporting each other through it. Having a support system definitely helps. Heather, Ty, Marc and I ride at Astor Place with a group of people that extends well beyond the four of us, so it’s hard to miss a class. I know if I don’t show up, someone else is holding me accountable.
Marc: Ditto to what Julia said, but I think it’s worth noting that we don’t always rely on each other to make it to class. Our schedules might not align, or one of us might be out of town but we’ll still find a way to work in a class. The sense of community at Flywheel is so strong that you can always show up alone and feel welcomed, by both the instructors and the staff.
What does living a healthy lifestyle mean to you?
Heather: Feeling good and looking good, inside & out.
Ty: Being about to walk (and do my infamous lunge dance) when I’m 90.
Julia: A healthy lifestyle means feeling and looking great while still being able to enjoy life. To me, it means living that confident life without feeling like you’re sacrificing a part of you to get it. It’s finding the balance between exercise, diet, and happiness. What fun is being healthy if you can’t shove chocolate chips in your cheeks like a squirrel every now and then, guilt-free?
Marc: Being able to feel and look good while having a realistic diet. Sometimes a burger and fries calls your name and as long as you’re active you should feel guilt for indulging in occasional pleasures.
What brings you joy?
Heather: My hubby, our dog #SophieNYC, the Healthy Hustle… and Trina.
Ty: Being able to share a more active life with my two main ladies, Heather & Sophie Renee.
Julia: So many things bring me joy. I always need to be creating things, whether it be designing at work or for @TheHealthyHustle, cooking at home, calligraphy, or knitting 12 matching hats for me and my closest friends. If it can be created, I want to do it. I also love finding my sliver of peace and quiet in this busy city. And of course, traveling the world and learning new things with my fiancé Marc tops the list!
Marc: Art, culture, travel, food, drink. And being able to share those experiences with Julia as well as our other close friends.
Like all of the FlyFAM, Julia, Marc, Heather and Ty are not just riders, they are a part of a much larger community. Stay inspired and dream big on this beautiful Monday!
Peace & Love,