Some people run marathons… and others create them. New York City rider Stephanie Golden turned her passion into a mission when she discovered that she loved taking back-to-back (to back to back…) Flywheel classes. Not only did riding help increase her fitness level, but it’s also helped her raise money for several charities she holds close to her heart. Read on for her story.
I started riding on April Fool’s Day of 2011, after my yoga teacher recommended I try Flywheel. Despite telling her all the reasons I didn’t want to go, she convinced me that I would love it. My first class was with John Wellmann and she was right – Flywheel was love at first pedal stroke. John was and continues to be a delight to ride with, much like the other instructors at Flywheel.
I began by taking two to three classes a week but as any rider knows, the high you get from cycling is powerful and keeps you coming back for more. I soon started riding every other day and eventually every day. The results I get from Flywheel are amazing; it keeps me slim, in great physical shape and helps me start my day off right. I am a morning rider and will take class regardless of the weather, lack of sleep or a hangover! No excuses. I also don’t drink coffee so it’s my morning pick-me-up.
In October 2015, I came back from a wonderful two-week vacation. I really missed class and decided to take a few back-to-back classes to get into the swing of things. I also wanted to make sure I hit my 3,500 Power Points for the month! After that, I soon found that I loved doing 90-minute rides – coincidentally, I took one right before the NYC Marathon, which I’ve always wanted to do (unfortunately, I end up hurting myself every time I try to run). That’s where Flywheel comes in; it’s great cardio, with low impact on my body. I then got the idea that maybe I could do a marathon on the bike and decided to do four back-to-back classes and donate the dollar equivalent of my miles to charity.
I did my marathon at Flywheel Lincoln Square and everyone was so helpful and supportive, including Claire Bohrer, Brittany Cornelius, and the rest of the staff. My marathon instructors Bryant Montalvo, Crystal Fraser, Alex Puette and Lissa Smith were also wonderful. They played songs that I had requested (that kept me going!) and also told the folks in the class about what I was doing in case they wanted to donate.
I had such a blast that I did another ride marathon at the end of November, and was joined by Davanna Dean Law and Heidi Bratt, who donated their mileage as well. I held the third marathon on December 20th and plan on doing one every month, recruiting more people each time. So far, I’ve donated to Collide NYC who help feed the homeless and their pets, ShareAfrica.org who care for orphans in Kenya, Heifer.org who help feed the hungry, and God’s Love We Deliver.
To top it all off, I gave participants a bag of my homemade toffee, which has been a staff favorite for a while. I have been making thin, dark chocolate and nut toffees for the past year and have recently started selling them online and in stores. It’s the treat I get to eat after burning all those calories!
It feels amazing to be able to give back to others as I’m giving back to my body. Taking care of my health and wellness is a priority, while donating to charity is my privilege. Flywheel helps me do both.
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