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FREEDOM TO FLY: What does it mean to you?

By June 28, 2014 No Comments


“Freedom to Fly.”  This phrase applies to so many aspects of our lives; the ability to set and achieve goals, break through barriers, land dream careers, speak up, fight for our country and so much more. As we get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July this year, we asked select Flywheel staffers what “Freedom to Fly” means to them. We discovered that these three simple words carry a lot of weight to most members of our team. From dedicating time to the US Air Force to finding a career that brings true happiness, our #FLYfam defines Freedom to Fly:

Danielle Devine-Baum: Flywheel Master Instructor, NYC
I feel very fortunate to be able to say that I love my job! I don’t think very many people can say that. To me, “Freedom To Fly” means having the opportunity to continuously get better at what I do. As an instructor, I learn from my peers, coworkers, and students every day and I grow as both a leader and a teammate. Flywheel encourages our #FLYfam to bring new ideas to the table and never settle. That sense of freedom leaves me feeling limitless.
Learn more about Danielle and her her journey to Flywheel here.

Brian Poirier:  Vice President, Technical Operations
As a Master Sargent in the United States Air Force, the phrase “Freedom to Fly” has a deep meaning to me. It reminds me of “The Core Values” instilled in all airmen during military training: Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do. These values remind us what it takes to get the mission done. They inspire us to do our very best at all times. “Freedom to Fly” reminds me that every mission my troops take and all the training they do ultimately, in some way provides the people of this country the safety and security to “Fly Freely” with their lives.

Tevia Celi: Flywheel Master Instructor, LA 
As many of my riders know, I live with Multiple Sclerosis. Despite doctors’ advice, I have chosen not to take the Western medical approach to treatment. Instead, I continue working out and teaching at Flywheel LA. I have opted to shift my diet to a plant based nutrition plan. I have been vegan for eight years and I have been symptom-free for seven. I found the “Freedom to FLY” through my own journey.

Adam Wasserman: Flywheel Instructor, NYC 
To me, “Freedom to Fly” is the essence of giving you the permission to let go. Letting go of control, letting go of fear and flying into the unknown with an open mind. After having fate flip over an unexpected card, I had two options – be defeated by it or fly above it. Knowing I was stuck in an unfulfilling professional career, I took a chance and decided to try putting all of my energy and passion into something I really loved: helping people lead healthier lives. So, I took a giant leap and was blessed to join the amazing Flywheel family. Since then, I have continued to soar higher than I ever thought possible. I gave myself the “Freedom to Fly” fearlessly into what has become the fullest and most rewarding career I’ve ever had the good fortune to have.

Tiffany Tynes: FlyBarre Instructor, LA
For me, “Freedom to Fly” means having the opportunity to be a part of an organization where I can share my passion for fitness with others without having to change anything about myself. At FlyBarre, I also have the opportunity to inspire, motivate, and empower not only women, but men too, which I think is AWESOME. Having the ability to show my vibrant personality both on and off the mat and express myself through my music and fierce style of teaching brings a smile to my face every time I step into the studio. Being a FlyBarre Instructor means the sky is the limit and I am soaring and enjoying every minute of it.

Dani Knecht: Flywheel Instructor, Chicago 
I began teaching indoor cycling back in college at Penn State. I became hooked on the team atmosphere, riding to a pulsing beat and conquering intervals. The bike allows for a deeply personal experience. I was hooked. I made it a goal to keep teaching at least one class per week no matter what my schedule demanded: throughout law school, studying for the Bar, and eventually practicing litigation. I had a good job as an attorney in an economy that doesn’t welcome complaints from the gainfully employed. Regardless, I had very little personal satisfaction and felt increasingly less like myself. Life was moving forward at an astounding pace and I was struggling to experience even a moment. Indoor cycling has always been a place of freedom for me. It’s both a control and a release; a safe haven as well as a place to test limits. The bike has an incredible power to meet you wherever you’re at and however you’re feeling and then transform you.

I was introduced to Flywheel through Aleah Stander, a Flywheel Master Instructor and college friend through fitness. On a whim, I put my name into audition for Flywheel Chicago, thinking “what if?” What if I could make a go at a career in fitness? What if I could change that very day in the stadium? Eight months later, I’m thankful to be a part of the Flywheel Chicago community. Chicago riders are exceptional on and off the bike. My fellow #FlyFam teammates constantly inspire me to lead heartfelt and powerful rides. There is an inherent freedom in not looking back with regrets. I realize now that my personal identity is not tied to what I do for a living. My personal identity is about who I am and how I carry myself. Flywheel has given me the freedom to do what I love; to be present in amazing moments and to live to move. For that freedom, I am grateful.

Lara Kalayjian: Marketing Manager, NYC Region
Growing up in NYC and being raised by two creative directors, I always had big dreams of becoming an advertising executive – the female version of Mad Men! Through the years I was fortunate to work at some of the top agencies on amazing brands where I was able to wear both a business and creative hat. As I continued to move up the corporate ladder and my responsibilities grew, my teams became larger and my hours became more demanding. I needed an outlet. Through my sister’s recommendation I found Flywheel and immediately fell in love. Flywheel became my happy place. Fast-forward three years, I turned 30 and was the Account Director on a huge global brand. Yet I realized that I wanted something different for my life. I wanted to wake up everyday and feel like I was giving back in a way that was impactful, positive and FUN! I wanted joy in my life and I wanted to bring joy to others lives. I wanted freedom! I left advertising and made a list of everything that made my feel happy and free to be myself. Flywheel was at the top of that list and on a whim I reached out to the team to inquire about a position on their marketing team. A month later, I was hired to manage marketing for the NY Region and my life has not been the same since. I start every day excited to go to work, excited to build impactful partnerships and excited to spread the Fly love. Some say I bleed Flywheel blue…I would say they are RIGHT!


Thank you to all of our amazing members of the FLYFam who shared what “Freedom to FLY” means to them. We hope to hear more from you. Email to submit your story.