Flywheel Englewood rider Michael Gutlove shares his story on how Flywheel brought him back from a basketball injury, and renewed feelings of encouragement, competition and strength he missed from his favorite sport.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always associated exercise with playing basketball. From grade school through college, I played in a number of organized leagues. After getting married and moving from Long Island, New York to Teaneck, New Jersey, it became somewhat of a challenge finding organized pick-up games. Additionally, my body began to face physical obstacles such as lingering joint issues, a result of years of pounding my knees and ankles on the court.
Fast forward to February 2014 – my family and I celebrated a religious milestone where we had professional photographs taken. I’ve never been a fan of pictures. Subconsciously, I suppose I wasn’t happy with my appearance. Despite my best intentions, I wasn’t exercising (playing basketball) as much as I would have liked. When I saw myself in the photos, it was evident to me that I had gained weight. To make change, I committed to a new weekly basketball game, confident that all I needed to do was play more often and the weight would come off.
A month later, I severely sprained my right ankle—the one joint that had escaped major injury in all my years of playing. I found myself hobbling around on crutches. Needless to say, I became discouraged, frustrated and frankly, miserable.
Later that month, my wife and I went away on vacation. Again, when I saw photos from our trip, the weight gain became even more apparent to me. Not only did I know that I needed to make a change, but a recent visit to the doctor indicated the same.
After exploring a several fitness options, I took my first Flywheel class on June 18th with instructor Carol Teigman. Carol helped me set up my bike, explained the tech-pack and TorqBoard and told me to aim for a power score above 225. It sounded like a simple task, but I quickly learned that indoor cycling is not just getting on a bike and pedaling. That being said, I loved the class and immediately booked another.
Five months and 50 Flywheel classes later, I can proudly attest to a number of accomplishments. Not only have I lost 21 pounds, but I’ve lowered both my blood pressure and cholesterol. I find myself having more energy throughout the day, and I am sleeping better at night.
The benefits of incorporating Flywheel into my routine, have impacted my efforts to make healthy food choices as well. I’ve also included a few weight-training sessions a week and have proudly added “shop for new clothes that fit” to my to-do list.
I recently came across an article that focused on the growing popularity of group fitness classes among men. At 38-years-old, I never would have thought that I’d pass on an opportunity to play a game of pick-up basketball for an indoor cycling class.
The reality is, Flywheel has been the best thing that I’ve ever done for myself. For the first time in my life, I’m not only in control of my health, but I’ve been able to set (and surpass) my personal fitness goals.
It’s been an empowering experience and I’m beyond excited to continue this journey.
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