Every day, we hear countless success stories from our FLY Fam. From those who persevered beyond the burn and transformed themselves, to those who have fully immersed themselves in the community, it’s clear our riders and pulsers are complete rockstars. This is certainly true of our latest FLY Hall of Change inductee, Dupont rider Sammy Moskowitz, whose unique story redefines what it means to FLY with a friend. Read on and get ready to feel inspired.
1. What was your life like, pre-Flywheel?
My life pre-Flywheel was…sedentary. I went to the gym and walked/ran on the treadmill a couple times a month if I was really motivated, but mostly I just sat at my desk at work and sat on my couch at home. I was tired most of the time, I struggled with anxiety, and I didn’t sleep very well. Looking back now, I realize that I did not have any idea that it was possible to feel better than I did. I thought that this was what adult life was like, and that everyone felt this tired and anxious all the time. But that’s not true! Regular exercise really works! Who knew?!
2. How did you first learn about Flywheel, or what first brought you to the studio?
In March 2014, my amazing and close friend Blaine died unexpectedly two weeks shy her twenty-first birthday. She had an undiagnosed heart condition, and was gone instantly and shockingly too soon. She was and still is one of my favorite people. The following January, I went to Philadelphia to visit Blaine’s parents, and her mom asked me to join her at Flywheel. To be honest, the prospect of waking up early on a cold Sunday morning in January was less than appealing. I had been to a couple of classes at another popular cycling studio, and I was not a fan. But I wanted to make Blaine’s mom happy, especially because Flywheel was something she and Blaine did together. So I got up early on that icy day and took my first Flywheel class.
When I finished that first ride, I felt like I was really out of shape—which I definitely was—but also like I had accomplished something hard. For all the things I didn’t like in other cycling classes, there was something I loved about Flywheel. I liked the metrics and the Power Score. I liked that I could compete with myself. I liked that there were tangible goals. But above everything else, I liked that Flywheel was something Blaine used to do. Every time the instructor announced a race on the TorqBoard, I thought of Blaine and pushed myself harder. I pictured her on the bike next to me, smiling and sweating, and the race went by a little bit quicker.
3. How often do you take class?
Right now I average 4 classes a week, but I’m about to do my first Flywheel Challenge so soon it’ll be 5 classes a week—at least!
4. What’s the biggest benefit or achievement that you’ve gotten from Flywheel?
Wow, there’s so much. The most obvious answer is that I feel so much better physically, mentally and spiritually. I sleep better, I’m less anxious, and I have so much more energy. I love that Flywheel endorphin high I get after every class. I changed my lifestyle, not just in terms of exercising almost every day, but also in terms of setting goals, and setting intentions to achieve them. Every time I hit a new PR, I set a goal to reach a new one, and I know that I will eventually get there. It’s something that has seeped into all other areas of my life, and has made me a better and happier person.
5. How has Flywheel positively impacted your life?
I’m so much stronger than I was a year ago, and I have learned how to channel my anxiety into my ride, which has really improved my mental health. Simply based on those things, I’d say that Flywheel has had an incredibly positive impact on my life. But the bigger and more personal impact for me is that Flywheel has kept me linked to Blaine. Blaine loved exercising and working out. She was happy and funny and smart, and she understood that self-improvement is not easy or ever really finished. After she died, it took me a long time to realize that the best way to honor Blaine’s life would be to try to embody her spirit and make some positive changes in my own life. Flywheel has been a big part of my journey to figure out how to move forward without her, while still maintaining a meaningful connection to her memory and legacy. Every time I go to Flywheel, I know that she’s with me. And that will keep me coming back; the endorphins are just an added perk.
6. Tell us about your home studio and your FLY Fam — how do they inspire you or support you?
I know that everyone probably says this, but seriously, the FLY Fam at the Dupont studio is THE BEST. I walk into the studio and I feel like I’m Norm in Cheers. Everyone says hello, they all know what bike I ride (48 is my ride or die), they ask me how my ride was when class is over, and they celebrate with me when I hit a PR. Last week, I was called back into the studio after class, and Anita and Justin (two of the very best instructors at Dupont) presented me with a homemade sign asking me to be their FLY Pal for the upcoming challenge. WHO DOES THAT?! It was so awesome, and just goes to show the kind of truly thoughtful and amazing people that make up the Dupont team.
Speaking of Anita, she deserves a huge shout-out. She’s an amazing instructor, and a powerful influence on me and why I love Flywheel so much. Her playlists are insane in the best way, and she is a kind and supportive coach who has helped me reach and surpass every one of my goals. And I know there are countless other people who feel the same way. The fact that I’m receiving this honor has everything to do with her. So thank you, Anita—you’ve changed my life.
7. What would you like to tell people who are thinking of trying Flywheel?
Flywheel is such a special place that attracts the best kind of people. Everyone is just doing their best to improve, and the only thing that is expected of you is that you try. Turn up that Torq. If you can’t do it, you can at least try. I promise that if you can just get yourself to that first class, you will not regret it. I hated working out before I started going to Flywheel, and now I am that person who drags all her friends to classes because I genuinely want them to experience the magic that I’ve found there. And if you’re looking for a FLY Pal, I’d be happy to cheer you on (as long as you’re on bike 47 or 49).
8. Anything else you want to add?
If you want to learn more about Blaine and her legacy, please check out www.livelikeblaine.org – her family started a wonderful organization that aims to inspire girls to become leaders in their communities through fitness and sports. Also, check out my podcast Happy Campers!
A letter from our previous Hall of Change winner, Tameka Moss:
Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is incredibly inspiring—and a poignant reminder that life is precious and should be embraced for all of its beauty and challenge. The Flywheel studio has been a place of renewal, restoration and healing for me as well. The fact that you chose to refocus your loss and grief to be a source of energy for growth and strengthening is truly incredible! I am humbled and grateful to know you are a part of MY extended Flywheel family. As you continue to hit new PRs, exceed your goals, set new intentions, and evoke Blaine’s spirit as you ride (and keep her memory alive as you continue to strive to live your best life!) Know you are inspiring so many more around you. I’m a firm believer that positivity and joy are contagious—we just need more people who intentionally want to do so! More people like you. My favorite tee from Fly’s spring line states simply: Decide. Commit. Achieve. I’d say that tee was written just for you. I’m cheering you on from Beantown, and look forward to connecting with you through our 4-week Challenge FB page.