Sometimes, the best friendships start from a little competition. Read about Flywheel Atlanta riders Amy Crouse and Brooke Gothard who turned their ruthless ambition for that #1 spot on the TorqBoard into a lifelong friendship after discovering that they had a lot more in common than their close rivalry in class. Here, Amy and Brooke share their versions of the story:
BROOKE: Last May, my sister Brittany and I decided to try out this new craze called Flywheel Sports. After the first few classes, we were hooked. 6:30 am became my go to class every day. I would go in the morning and Brittany would go in the afternoon and we would talk after both classes about who got the higher power score. Our talks on Tuesdays and Fridays always consisted me complaining about being neck and neck with The Crouser. I didn’t know who this Crouser chick was, but she had me nearly dying after every class trying to compete with her! Brittany had seen her up on the TorqBoard as well.
AMY: I always loved taking Jeremy (JWheel)’s morning classes in Buckhead. Jeremy and I had actually gone to high school together at Woodward Academy, but apparently I wasn’t as friendly to him as I remember (more on that later!). I loved the competition, but there were certain names that I dreaded seeing up on the TorqBoard at the start of class. The two I dreaded most were Bgothard and Veeshee.
After months of competing against and barely losing by a point to Bgothard, (that’s how I remember it), I finally asked Jeremy to show me who she was one day in class. I was hoping she’d be some big mean, crazy-looking person, but when he pointed to her, I said, “Oh wait, she’s so pretty!”
BROOKE: When The Crouser came up to me and asked if I was Bgothard, we immediately connected! We began to share stories of our near blackouts competing against each other in Jwheel’s classes. We then decided to meet for lunch the following week to form a “truce.”
AMY: Lunch was great and immediately after, Brooke took me over to a table of her colleagues who “happened” to be at the same restaurant. They proceeded to tell me how they had been counseling Brooke every Tuesday and Friday when she’d lose our crazy battles. She then came to my office and met my co-workers, who said the exact same thing. I think everyone in our lives felt relieved about our peace treaty.
BROOKE: After our lunch, we both texted Jeremy to fill him in on our new friendship. I also called my sister Brittany Martin (Amy’s other former nemesis, Veeshee!) to fill her in. At that point, I think Brittany realized that she needed to start coming to the 6:30 am classes instead of the afternoon classes and she did just that. Now she is hooked!
AMY: We quickly became a team. The Crouser, Bgothard and Veeshee. We decided that if one of us won, we all won (even though secretly, we all still wanted to win) and we all just wanted to beat Jiggles, another great rider in Jwheel’s class!
BROOKE: We started a group text with Jwheel to discuss class, which soon turned into deeper conversations about people we know in common, what we are doing over the weekend and more. Hundreds of texts are sent each day in our “Jwheel Groupies” group text.
AMY: In the short, but impactful time we’ve been in each others lives, we’ve met families, significant others, in-laws and friends and celebrated birthdays, the birth of Jeremy’s daughter, job promotions, closed deals, and Brittany’s new home. It’s like we’ve been friends forever. Jeremy and I are both already confirmed to attend “The Annual Martin Family Thanksgiving” – we hear it’s epic!
BROOKE: By far the coolest part of our FLY friendship was when I went to class on my birthday and another one of my favorite instructors, Dani Pallo was teaching. When I walked into class there were balloons and a card signed by Crouser, Veeshee and JWheel – they weren’t in the class but made a special trip over to drop off the balloons and card. It was the best surprise ever!!
AMY: I’m so thankful that Flywheel brought these friendships into my life. Brooke, Brittany and Jeremy are three of the people that I can rely on the most in Atlanta. When I got a stomach bug a few months ago and had to miss Jeremy’s 6:30 am class, I texted him to tell him how sick I was and to see if he could cancel me out. A few minutes later he texted me to say he was outside my complex with Gatorade and saltines. It still makes me tear up thinking about how incredibly kind that was (also considering the fact that he almost missed his own class). We had known each other for years, but it wasn’t until we started Flying together that a truly meaningful friendship was born. I am pretty sure he saved my life that day. I’m so thankful for the gift that Flywheel has given me of bringing new friendships into my life and repairing old ones.
A note from Jwheel:
I am going to quote my father who never wastes an opportunity to impart life lessons: “Competition pushes you to do what you once thought was unthinkable.” In this great story the unthinkable was three fierce competitors (believe me I ran cross country with “The Crouser” in high school!) putting competition second and friendship first. Don’t get me wrong they each still want that top spot and I still motivate for them to get there, but now classes begin with smiles and always finish with high fives. I’m so happy to see their friendship blossom making my job that much more rewarding.
Read about Flywheel Chicago riders Kyle Pollio and Philliip Terrell who found friendship, strength and love in the stadium.