By Christina Castañeda
Karla Villavicencio Llamosas knew that she could not keep trying to force a smile anymore when it took too much effort to give one. She tried to care for her two daughters while suffering from postpartum depression, and no matter how badly she wanted to feel a connection to them and her husband, she just found herself more and more emotionally numb.By internalizing the pain and burying her feelings, Karla thought she was protecting herself. As a result, she felt like she was “in a parallel universe.” The symptoms of depression led to physical consequences as Karla began to suffer from panic attacks. Her thoughts led her to believe that terror could strike at any moment, and she began to experience symptoms like dizziness, a high resting heart rate and chest pains. The dark thoughts in her mind became inescapable, leading her to suicidal thoughts and even an attempt on her own life.During her first Spinning® class, Karla felt the instant release and reconnected with herself and who she really was. The more Karla trained, the more the dark thoughts began to disappear as her mind/body connection became stronger. She began to see the road she wanted to follow in front of her as she had found the purpose she needed in life.
Spinning is like a river, like fresh water, it cleaned my vision and my thoughts. Spinning makes me very happy, it’s just that simple.
A Warrior for Spinning
Now a Certified Spinning Instructor
actively teaching at Polaris Gym in Mexico City, Karla’s journey and passion for Spinning elevated her to one of the featured Warriors in Josh Taylor’s Warrior Ride at the WSSC Conference.“A Warrior isn’t born in one day,” Karla says. “It is someone that is there every day, not just in the gym, but everywhere in their lives, with their friends and their families; both in troubled times and in victories.”
Karla’s Secret Teaching Weapon
Although becoming a Certified Spinning Instructor led to a new venture in her Spinning journey, it didn’t come without its challenges. Newcomers to her gym who weren’t familiar with the Spinning program made it difficult for her to teach at first. She had to discover how to bring the whole experience to them to fall in love with the whole program.So Karla used a powerful tool as an instructor; she put her compassion in action and many of her riders began to identify with the struggles of postpartum depression. She began to guide them on how to lose themselves in the ride and clear their dark visions, always keeping the road ahead in mind. In every class, she wishes “that everyone pedals with their hearts”, and being able to share that feeling with everyone motivates her to keep teaching classes.
Guiding More Warriors
Teaching Spinning classes does help grow the program, but it can’t be done alone. For Karla, her goal is to create unity in the program because “if there is unity between the instructors, the program can grow.” The WSSC Conference is proof of how the unity and the warmth is very much alive throughout each ride as different instructors from different countries speaking completely different languages can ride together as one.Karla wants to train not only her riders, but also future instructors as a master instructor for the Spinning program. The master instructor dream does come true for many people, and we support one of Mexico’s newest Spinning superstar's journey as a warrior.Has a Spinning ride led you out of a dark place? We want to hear from you! Contact us at email@example.com
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