What if every day is the perfect day to finally be exactly who you were always meant to be?

Me: “ Emily, i’m coming to your class tomorrow morning”
 
Emily: “ OH MY GOSH, ME TOO!”
 
I’ve spent countless minutes trying to decide how to write and share this post on Emily, because to me, it is quite impossible to sum up the incredibly vitality of her being in a single blog post. Emily is the best friend you didn’t know you were missing, she is the person who greets you with such unfettered childlike excitement each time she sees you.. just picture that cliched airport reunion scene.. that’s what seeing Emily is like EVERY SINGLE TIME.
 
Things I know about Emily:
 
she will keep you smiling through all of those tender moments in life.. ( for those of you tending to a broken heart, just ask her about her ability to nurse you back to health via an impromptu throw down of open arms by creed ( it's like karaoke, but much, much better)
 
"never has she ever owned a pace rival skirt" 
 
she is the only motivator I know who can bring an entire room of strangers together to hold hands and do the wave ( every class, guaranteed)
 
she has the ability to turn the most common daily occurrence into something magical ( just provide her with a bag of pop rocks, I dare you!)
 
she will never forget your name, favourite slurpee flavour, and the thing you love most about yourself
 
she loves day ( or month) old bananas and will spend her hard earned acrobatic dollars purchasing a single banana from Starbucks because that’s where they keep the best ones ( aka the ones that nobody else wanted to buy)
 
she is beautiful.. and I don’t mean this merely in a physical capacity. Emily has the ability to turn the tumultuous moments of life ( tooth ache, heart ache, bone break) into simply another moment to reflect, learn, and start over. ( If you’ve taken a class with her you know exactly what I mean when I say this)
 
she has unfailingly committed herself to the pursuit of her utmost dream, and that my friends, is something that many of us are too afraid to even ponder the thought of
 
she will be leaving us soon to embark once again on a dazzling and absolutely individualistic journey across the world. 
 
I could ramble on and on about Emily, but instead, I sat down with her to dig a little deeper into how and why she has chosen to commit a moment of her wild and precious life to the hustle and bustle of motivating at YYC Cycle.
 
 
Besides your Safeway prowling and resulting infatuation with Neil, what motivated you to walk through the doors of YYC Cycle?
 
I had been battling an injury that prevented me from anything high-impact. My close girlfriend, Hillary, suggested I try spin at YYC, so we went together. Until then, I was a self-proclaimed spin expert after attending a handful of clunky sneaker feet slide-in shoe-cage classes with shitty ACDC mash-ups at my local gym. 
Being greeted by three of Calgary's dreamiest dreamboats had me immediately hooked, before Amelia and her bright floral pants and disco lights took me on a wild adventure ride. I think I blacked out, but obviously loved it enough to come back. Grady handing me a chilled, citrus infused face towel post-class sure didn’t hinder my instant infatuation.
 
Why did and do you choose to spin at YYC ( over other facilities) and what aspect of the bikergang do you find the most compelling?
 
After retiring from a life of competitive athletics, my fitness routine (and heart!) lacked a sense of team. The community, the relationships I’ve made and continue to make - with fellow motivators, staff members, and riders alike - is what makes YYC Cycle so important to me.
 
Where do you spin? ( Marda, Kensington, or Avenida), and what factor(s) decide which studio you lend your time to?
 
When I first started spinning and motivating, Kensington was the only YYC Cycle studio in town (circa Calgary community spin room wallpaper - remember that?). Once Marda Loop opened its doors, I split my classes between the two locations to A. keep it interesting and B. make more friends (duh). Since being back in Calgary, I’ve been primarily motivating at Marda Loop, but try to pick up classes at all three. I love how each studio has its own unique feel and attracts a different crowd.
 
When is your favourite time to spin? What advice would you give others who find it difficult to find the motivation or time to include spin in their schedule?
 
One of the things I love most about spin is how easy it is to incorporate into your fitness routine. YYC offers a variety of class times throughout the week. Regardless of your schedule, you should be able to commit yourself to a 50 minute class at some point in your day. If you’re not a morning person, I dare you to try one of Neil’s 6am classes and get back to me. He’s like the spin class equivalent of a Pringles can... Have I mentioned I’m obsessed with Neil?
My advice for anyone who is struggling with motivation is to find a spin friend, or even your favourite motivator, to keep you accountable! Turn it into a fun challenge, like “I’m going to attend x classes per week for the month of July”, or take part in one of the studio-run initiatives like the Passport to Summer!
 
How do you maintain balance between your acrobatic and banana filled days and your position as a motivator? 
 
Fitness has always been at the top of my priority list; a way for me to escape, unwind, and take some time for myself. When I was living and working full-time in Calgary, finding at least one hour a day to sweat was what kept me sane. Keeping things variable with other forms of exercise is important to round out your routine, and - for people like me - to prevent boredom. 
One of my biggest challenges was trying to find time for both working out and time for friends. Post-competitive athletics and pre-Group Fitness discovery, I had always worked out alone. Although I do enjoy the solitude and kicking my own butt at times, YYC is such a stellar spot to meet friends with at least one common interest. Branching out and trying something new with a friend is a perfect way to merge both aspects of your life - two birds, one stone!
For now, before I set sail on another adventure, I’m trying to strike a balance between spinning as much as I can, spending time with family and loved ones, resting, and training for my upcoming contract. Taking 10 months off the bike and away from this community really made it clear how much I love this place and these people. I am so grateful to always be welcomed back with such warmth and love. YYC Cycle will always be my home.
 
Lastly, approximately how many times do you think you say the word “tinder” in each spin class?
 
One average, twice* per class.
(*Excluding the infamous 'Bad Tinder Date' themed Valentine's Day 2014 playlist.)

And so my bikergang, I will leave you this this. Find that idea, that spark of motivation, that undeniable urge to live a life full of drive and passion, and once you find it, love it, nurture it, and keep it safe. The ability to surround yourself with people who motivate and support you is the single most important thing you can do for yourself. Nobody is going to dream your dreams for you, but I promise that immersing yourself among people who believe in you and motivate you will result in an undeniable urge to live the life you have been secretly wishing you could live.

Emily, may you dream big, live fully, and continue to inspire all of us as you dive your way across the universe <3.

Break a leg my friend, ( not a heel though).

Maggie

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