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How the FLY Challenge Changes Lives

By April 14, 2017 No Comments

Over the years, we’ve seen incredible transformations during our FLY Challenge. Whether our participants set out to lose weight, get stronger, boost their confidence or lift their mood, no goal has been off-limits. Our most recent Challenge helped our FLY Fam start 2017 strong. Below are a few amazing highlights, so read on for some inspiration and motivation!

Want your very own success story? Sign up for the NEW FLY Challenge, kicking off 4/24!

Kathy English, Scottsdale, AZ

“I’ve earned the results since I worked hard and smart for it!”

I signed up for the FLY Challenge to become more consistent again with my nutrition and jumpstart my triathlon base training for the year.  I always start my school year strong with meal planning, but by the end of last year’s fall semester I was eating the same thing week after week—particularly at work—and I know I wasn’t getting enough for my daily needs. I became so lazy that I would have a small veggie tray, some sliced turkey, and Triscuits every day for lunch! Then I’d wonder why I didn’t have enough energy throughout the day for double workouts…and teaching sophomores!

For the first two weeks, I felt great because the nutrition plan was in motion. My energy level during the day teaching hasn’t hit any lows because my meals and snacks have been balanced with protein, carbs, and fats. It’s super important because on most days, I’m doing two-a-day workouts: one at 3:30am and then again after school! The recipes I have made from the meal plan have been delicious and filling!

My milestone was eating everything that I bought and put on my menu for the week.  That may not sound like a big deal, but I can become wasteful and end up picking up a sandwich or suggesting we go out to eat for dinner! Speaking of the meal plan, the weekly themes were helpful and relatable; my favorite was from the first week. The idea of detoxing with whole foods was great. There is something trendy (yet disturbing) going around now that detoxing means fasting or going on a juice cleanse. But we’re much better off just eating clean!

Another great Challenge moment was getting to the 300 Club during one of my night rides. I had to dig really deep! At this point — after two weeks of training without a rest day — I was ready to throw in the towel.

I was doing the at-home workouts, but had to modify them for the piriformis issue I have in my right glute, and added more arms/abs. I love HIIT, so that workout was great!

My goal for week 3 was to push my Power Scores even higher in my Fly 45 evening classes; as I had mentioned earlier, the week prior became tough since I hadn’t had a rest day among all the swim-bike-run-strength training I was doing.

In the end, my body and mind were so much better overall; the changes that I implemented were on point. I hit personal bests in all my classes and have been using these power gains in other areas of my training. I’ve definitely earned the results I anticipated since I worked hard and smart for it!

Remember, your journey is your journey. Don’t compare your progress with others, and know that changes aren’t going to happen overnight. I’ve heard that from working with my past two triathlon coaches. We have to trust our training and nutrition, and soon, those changes will begin to happen!

Brian Mahar, Flywheel Washington, DC

“This was an opportunity to reset. Now, I feel lighter, leaner and stronger.”

The new year’s Challenge was my second Flywheel Challenge. Last time, I did wheel only, but this time I loved mixing in FlyBarre. My attitude going in was different: I was focused on springing into summer rather than burning off holiday food. I was psyched!

The last three months of 2016 were tough, with some professional and personal challenges. Combined with the holidays, cooler weather, and shorter days, I was eating and drinking more and exercising less. In trying to be more self-aware the past few years, I’ve found I’m less energized in the winter, like a hibernating grizzly bear. This Challenge provided an opportunity to reset and get back to my healthier routine. My goal was to get back to a routine of regular fitness and good food prep at home, and I achieved that. I’ve learned that if I have good habits, the physical benefits will follow.

The first week was tough – I didn’t hit any milestones – and I came down with a bad cold. This was definitely a roadblock, but I knew it was temporary. The following weeks, I committed to taking class after work every evening, and avoided excuses for not going. Doing weekend food prep for the coming week also helped me prep for success. By week 3, my focus was laser sharp, and I skipped an impromptu happy hour just to get to class. I also tackled my very first wheel/barre double. I even took 7 classes in one week and scored in the 340s on my birthday ride with Ashley. My high score for the year!

The instructors were the best. My wife actually just invented #AnitaThursdays to keep us away from Thursday happy hours. And I got so much love from Ashley and the whole crew on my birthday ride. And Alex Robinson always kept us motivated.

I’m so happy to say that I finished strong. By the end of week 4, I felt great—lighter, leaner and stronger than before the Challenge. Despite gaining one pound, my clothes are fitting much better.

Renée Shemesh, Astor Place, NYC

“I worked hard to get to where I am and I will only continue to work harder for what I deserve in my life.”

Before I started Flywheel, I wasn’t feeling well both physically and emotionally. I felt like I needed a change to make me more comfortable in my body. I was feeling down and had an increase in anxiety and stress. While I knew I was able to make a healthy lifestyle change and lose weight, I was lacking guidance and support.

I signed up for the Challenge because I knew I would receive that support from the coaches. I wanted to be part of a team looking to achieve the same goals as me. We were all in this together!

At the end of week one, I immediately felt more confident than before I started. I doubled up for the first time in a few weeks and I brought my lunch to work every day. And when me and a few friends went out, I had control and didn’t touch the appetizers.

By week three, I not only went to class every day, but I reached 300 Power Points and got first place on the TorqBoard (for the women) in every class I took.

By the end, I was definitely feeling and seeing results. My stomach got flatter and I felt much stronger, both mentally and physically. Sure, I hit roadblocks like being tired after work, so I would skip the at-home workouts and just prep my meals and gym bag for the next day, and make sure to get a good night’s sleep. I enjoyed doing the at-home workouts every Saturday and Sunday, when I had the time.

I don’t think words can explain the support I have gotten throughout the Challenge. It’s been really comforting that instructors Sergei Deych, Emily Burkhardt, Cedric Green, and Ben Thompson have all been there for me throughout the Challenge and since I have started Flywheel! Plus, I made friends who are also on this healthy lifestyle journey.

The big takeaway is that it’s important to know that roadblocks will happen, no one is perfect, and I could reach for something that I want. I worked hard to get to where I am and I will only continue to work harder for what I deserve in my life. Just as Emily always says, “Strong, stronger, strongest!”

Dianna Carlton, Playa Vista, CA

“I  feel like I can tackle anything in my life. It was the best gift I could have given myself.”

This was my first Challenge, and I signed up at 8 weeks postpartum to try and get back to my pre-baby weight.

In the beginning, I was feeling tired due to being sleep deprived with a newborn, but I always feel great and energized once I left class. In week 2, I made it to 5 classes and was feeling great! I enjoyed the classes and the high energy vibe I got from the instructors. The Challenge recipes were also delicious and made me feel energized — I never felt hungry or like I was on a “diet.”

While I felt tired at times, I made sure to do a few at-home workouts (when I could squeeze it in with a newborn.) Finding a sitter was tricky, but I stayed very motivated and looked forward to classes. It was important to carve out a little “mommy” time out of my day and to do something that made me feel good, and was beneficial for my health and well-being.

I loved trying to beat my own Power Scores in my classes! I even made it onto the TorqBoard a few times, and started to feel so proud I was meeting my goals.

Speaking of goals, mid-Challenge I was losing weight and feeling less bloated, and I couldn’t wait to finish strong. During week 4, I got sick so I didn’t feel so great. But by Super Bowl weekend, I did two FLY 60 classes to end the Challenge on a high note.

The instructors and staff were also helpful and friendly, almost like an extended family. They remember your name and greet you right away as soon as you step in the door. It’s important to surround yourself with others who support you—and who you support – on a fitness journey.

Overall, I learned that no matter what life throws your way, it’s important to make “me time” and make fitness a priority. I always feel 100% better after a ride.

At the end of the Challenge, I lost 5 pounds, which is huge for me since it’s so hard for me to even lose one pound! Not only did I lose weight, but I lifted my mood and felt strong…like I can tackle anything in my life.