Thursday, March 5, 2009
The MI Team at ECA
At ECA, I got to room with my teammate Iona Passik from NYC. She's been with Mad Dogg Athletics and Spinning since the very early days with Johnny G. Now, our team is fairly big, and we're spread out all over the world, and we usually only get to see our peers once a year at WSSC, or occasionally at another conference like this one. And even then, we're usually immersed in our own sessions, practicing presentations, listening to playlists, etc. For that reason, many of my fellow Master Instructors I don't even know very well.
So after all these years, I got to learn so much more about Iona! It's very cool the variety of people on this team, each with his or her special talents, abilities and ways to motivate. I didn't get a chance to attend any of Iona's sessions except the final parts of a couple of them, because either they were right before mine and I was practicing, or I was recovering/showering after mine, or on one occasion I went to see JC Santana. But I did hear a fantastic compliment she received, which speaks so loudly of her.
I came in the Spinning room after her session to set up for mine. We were chatting about her ride, and a woman shouted out from across the room. "I LOVE YOU IONA - you are so inspirational to me! I just want you to know, I LOVE YOU!"
Iona said to me, "That woman is 71 years old and just took her first Spinning class this weekend. I just met her!"
What a fantastic compliment!
And of course, Josh Taylor. I've gotten to know him over the years, hanging out a bit after ECA NY 3 years ago and attending quite a few of his rides over the past 8 years. It's easy to see why everyone loves him - he really gives it to them straight and is a master at inspiration and putting together his music. And so creative with his rides. I love what he brings to the table from his road racing, and I'm so proud of him for developing and producing his new bike set-up kit (you'll be learning more about that later).
He was leading a session using high intensity accelerations, trying to get them to do it properly, but he noticed that many were pedaling like a roadrunner with no resistance, feet blurring around at well over 120 rpm. "STOP!" he said, jumped off his bike and proceeded to review how to do it right. This so needed to happen!
All of us Master Instructors have similar goals - to inspire and help instructors teach safe and effective Spinning classes using efficient proper movements, to pedal properly and to set themselves up the right way on the bike so they can turn around and do the same to their students. But on the same token, all three of us are so different. That's the beauty of a conference like this or like WSSC; you get all different personalities and styles to learn from.
9 months ago when I submitted my rides for this conference, I chose my favorite ones, along with one new one. Doing your favorite rides makes it even more fun, because there's a reason they're my favorites - they have a big impact on my riders, and I love the music and I can do the profile blindfolded (but I still practice practice practice)! But the new one can be stressful, and this time it was The Suitcase of Courage. It was only the past two weeks that I really put the profile together, and only a few days prior that I 'tested' it out on my own students. Even then, it changed several times in the 24 hours before I taught it. "What if I do this, or maybe I'll do that!" I even bought a "prop" for it while walking back to the hotel after dinner with Robert and some friends.
Tune in tomorrow to see what that was, and what the ride turned into...