Our Riders, Our Light

I know you can relate to this scenario: you’re tired and stressed from constantly hustling from one thing to the next and feeling on the verge of being overwhelmed by a too-long to-do list. Cycling class is two hours away and you haven’t had time to think about the profile. A list of questions fires off in your head: What did we do last week? Who will be there? Which profile do I have the energy to deliver?

You flip through your profiles, land on one, then remember that the fifth song didn’t work as well as you would have liked the last time you used it so you open your laptop, launch Spotify, thinking I just need a three minute song, this will only take a minute, and forty-five minutes later you’re tweaking the entire profile and panicking because you didn’t have forty-five minutes to spare!

You do a quick gym bag check, hope your electronics are charged, jump in the car and that creepy app on your phone that tracks your whereabouts flashes how many minutes to the gym and it’s longer than usual.

Ten minutes past your normal arrival time, into the cycle room you go to find good news and stressful news: three new riders setting themselves up and asking for help before you even put your stuff down. Sure! Welcome! What are your names?

It’s time to start class, you press play on the playlist, test the microphone, finish decking out your bike and music stand with everything you need, settle into the saddle, and look out at the riders in the darkness. The wheels are whirring, the fans are fanning. Everyone is looking at you. Anticipating.

You put on your headset. Good evening everyone! Thanks so much for joining me. Let me tell you about tonight’s ride. And the energy in your voice masks the day you had because this is what you do. This is what you owe them. And off you go.

Ten minutes in you feel off and realize you forgot to eat lunch. Brief panic. Do I have enough stamina for this profile? Who forgets to eat? But then the timing of your cue to come into a standing climb works perfectly with the shift in music, and the tweaks you made are working even better than anticipated. The riders are rocking it. The new riders are watching your every move and mimicking with gusto. You see the sweat and feel the magical mixture of energy and determination firing up the room.

In the final minutes, you coach riders to give everything they have left, to dig deep and reach the finish line strong, together. And they do. Each and every one of them. All out. No waffling. Three, two, one. We’re there – you did it! You are amazing! Thanks again for coming out tonight. Let’s land our jets slowly, then stretch together.

 As riders file out, they make a point to wave and say thank you. You love them for that simple gesture; it helps fight the exhaustion creeping in and softens the thought that there are still more things on the list to accomplish when you return home.

While you pack up your gear, you congratulate the new riders on their first ride and ask if they are now cycle converts. They laugh, say yes, and then share this: Our friend told us how good your classes are so we thought we’d give it a try. We’ll definitely be back.

And in an instant, all the fatigue, the stress of the prep, the list that still awaits, the hunger that’s roaring through your body, disappears.

When you finally tumble into bed that night and double check that you set your alarm for four-thirty a.m., you smile. Thanks to your riders, you can’t wait to wake up and do it again.

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