Why did you start taking Spinning® classes?
I didn't like cycling at all. I never rode a bicycle myself and I never watched road races. Even during the Tour de France I'd turn off the television. My boss asked me to give the Spinner® bike a try nonetheless. He persuaded me by offering free beers at the bar afterwards. After ten minutes on the bike I thought to myself: 'horrible, I never want to do this again.' The teacher was an older gentleman who was sitting in front of me and he was cycling much easier, more relaxed and with a very nice technique. That sparked my competitive nature. So I came back the next class and the next and the next. Once I went all out, I was hooked on the bike. This was in 1993. By now it's fair to say I'm a Spinning® lover. It's a way of life.
What inspired you to become a Certified Spinning® Instructor and then a Master Instructor?
In the beginning I was a regular drill instructor who pushed people to their limits. If my riders didn't fall off their bikes completely exhausted, I thought I hadn't done a good enough job. I was teaching Spinning® classes anywhere between 10 and 20 hours a week. During that period I was getting more and more stressed out myself and I was on the verge of a burnout. I was travelling all through Europe searching for education and talking to different trainers. Johnny G taught me the philosophy behind the Spinning program, after which I started Spinning with love and feeling. Because of him I got a different perspective on life, on sports in general and Spinning in particular. Since I started applying his wisdom, I'm at the pinnacle of my own personal fitness again. This experience inspired me to become a Master Instructor. Now I'm able to reach out to other trainers and express my teaching philosophy to them, so they can share it with their own students.
What do you love about teaching Spinning® classes?
I enjoy the Spinning classes because it's a workout for all fitness levels and age groups, so I can teach a class with vast variety. Every student has their own goals but is nevertheless a part of the group. It is simple yet powerful in the way that it can change both your physical and mental health. What I love most is the riders’ drive to accomplish their own goals, the support for each other and the positive vibe in the classroom. And Spinning® is still a great challenge for me as well. It's all about the balance between body and mind.
What makes Spinning® such a great workout?
Spinning is the perfect combination of physical exercise and mental relaxation. It gives you energy and you can get away from your everyday stress. Spinning is power, emotion and passion!
What are your top three favorite songs to play during your Spinning® classes and why?
I don’t have any specific favorite songs, but I do have a couple of favorite artists, so I'll name those.
- Armin van Buuren
- Emma Shapplin
- Brent Lewis
Share a memory from your experience as a teacher/coach/presenter that embodies the value of being a Certified Spinning® Instructor or Spinning® Master Instructor.
There are always lots of memorable moments during the classes and it's very difficult to pick a favorite. The biggest satisfaction is seeing your riders crush their fitness goals. There are some big events I've participated in, of which I'm going to have to make a top three list because I have several memories I hold dear:
- The 24-hour Spinning marathon in Sao Martinho do Porto involved the most emotions. The beautiful location on the beach with a setting sun still sends shivers down my spine.
- The first Spinning Experience in the Netherlands in 2002; with participants from all over the world and an amazing team of Masters Instructors was an incredible event.
- A European Empowerment Camp, where I performed a Reiki Ride, was also very special. Before we started there was quite some commotion and ongoing discussions. After the performing of the ride everybody was relaxed, calm and respectful towards one another.
We empower respect!
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a Certified Spinning® Instructor?
Don't hesitate, just do it. Spinning is a fantastic workout and being part of a worldwide group of Master Instructors enriches your life. I would advise the newcomers to take regular classes from different trainers and find out what kind of program they enjoy teaching.
What’s one of your favorite motivational quotes?
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
Do you have a hero in the Spinning® community, someone who deserves recognition for their leadership?
My heroes are Giba Ambrogi from Brazil and Marc Reuland from Luxembourg.
Is there anything about you that would surprise people?
I'm very good at making soup. Hearty soup. Soup with meatballs.