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"Flywheel is a sanctuary": Olivia Celenza Calls Flywheel Her Home Away From Home

By January 13, 2014 May 26th, 2017 No Comments


Olivia Celenza recently wrote her common application essay for college based off her experience as a rider at Flywheel Englewood. We’re honored (and flattered) that Flywheel has helped and inspired her to “Never Coast” both in class and in life. Read her story:

The hairs on my arms and back of my neck rise along with my anticipation. I adjust my seat and handlebars, clip my feet onto the pedals, and shake off the chill of the room. As the music starts and the lights dim, the whizzing of forty-two stationery bikes riding in unison creates a rush like no other. Indoor cycling, provides me with more than just a workout; each class is a liberating experience, a reminder of the rewards of hard work, and a concrete embodiment of the strength of my will. At Flywheel, my favorite place to cycle, I have a home away from home, a place of perfect contentment, ease, and happiness. I’ve heard that the way one rides a bike is a metaphor for how he lives his life: for me, there is no lightening up, no letting down, and no quitting. I ride with every ounce my being for every minute of my time on the bike, living deliberately and completely, just as I aspire to do in every other area of my life.

The lessons learned from cycling involve each phase of class and can be applied to every phase of my life. First, I prepare mentally and physically. Without the mindset and the stretching, those first five minutes of riding can prove disastrous. I envision myself in the zone, knowing that the power of my mind can transport me to the open road or help me lose myself in the class’s music. As the first song begins, I feel my energy and confidence surge, and turn them to my advantage. I draw power from my fellow riders, just as they do from me, as we all contribute to the room’s positive energy; I’ve seen firsthand that team effort can help produce more than the sum of a group’s individual parts. As the session wears on, I feel my brain telling me that I’ve reached my maximum potential, and I always respond with an emphatic, “No.” Pushing beyond my own expectations demands faith in myself, but I’ve drawn from past experience that I can go just a little farther each time. Although there are a hundred reasons I could give myself to skip my 6:30 p.m. class—I’m too tired, too much homework, need a little down time, should clean my room—I recognize them for what they are: excuses to avoid exertion, and I choose never to take the easy path.

Flywheel is a sanctuary where I can recharge my batteries to meet the demands of my busy life. At the same time, it has reinforced the importance of meeting my responsibilities. At the young age of ten, I lost my mother to breast cancer and had to become a surrogate mother to my siblings. Each day, I pick my younger siblings up from school, make them food, help with their homework, and provide a loving atmosphere. I consider myself their role model and mentor, especially in the after-school hours that belong just to us. I believe my cycling has helped me be there, in the moment, for my siblings, just as I am completely present during class.

Flywheel’s mantra, “Never Coast,” has also inspired me to do my best in my internships at my father’s dental practice and at a cosmetics store. Working long hours with no pay might appear fruitless, but I’d learned from cycling that every job done to one’s best ability adds another small piece of character to one’s overall self.

Cycling at Flywheel has helped me grow physically, mentally, and even spiritually. It liberates and energizes, clears my head and allows me to further focus. Each drop of sweat is a victory that gives me the confidence to attain more triumphs on the road ahead. Flywheel has helped me become my optimal self.

Best of luck to Olivia as she continues her college application process!
Want to take class at Flywheel Englewood? Sign up here.


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