On November 14th, 2000, Luciana Marcial-Vincion received a letter that would change the fate of her life as well as that of many others who are now near and dear to her. This letter offered her acceptance to the Spinning® Master Instructor (MI) Camp, which stated that she would join a team of 34 presenters worldwide...
When Lu was accepted onto the team, there were only those 34 members. However, today, thanks in large part to the tremendous efforts of Lu – now our fearless Spinning® Senior Advisor and Global Master Instructor Team Manager – the MI team has grown to 163 representatives globally. This tells you something about her expansive professionalism and dedication to the Spinning® brand as well as her team.
Yet what you might not know are some of her journey's highlights that quantify her professional dedication to her "craft" as well as her "path" – that of a masterful, dynamic, world-renowned leader in the field of indoor cycling.
Below we’d like to share some highlights (with original snapshots) from Lu’s twenty years with Mad Dogg Athletics. We’ll end with some sage reflections, which Lu offered recently, about her own experiences and how they are relevant to instructors these days. We know you’ll enjoy learning more about Lu’s journey. In honor of her, join us by giving up a big ole heart to the sky next time you hop on your bike.
Highlights on Lu's Journey...from Spinning® Instructor to Global MI Team Manager
Camp Leaders: Mary Jo Ketterhagen-Ida, Lucinda Christian, Mike Michels (Lu's mentors)
After serving seven years as an MI, Lu joined the Mad Dogg Athletics team as the Global MI Team Manager. Since that time, she has conducted ten Master Instructor Camps and trained 146 MIs! Yes, you read that number – 146 – right.
Team Pond Scum - Lu's Presenter Candidate Team, Camp 2000
Presenter Camp was called "Orientation Instructor Training" in the early days. Once completed, Presenters were eligible to teach only the Spinning® Instructor Orientation (today known as the Spinning® Instructor Certification). Lu recalls instructors were called 'Orientation Instructors' and were issued a Certificate of Completion.
However, a second Camp had to be completed to become a 'Master Instructor' for eligibility to teach Continuing Education. Lu’s Camp occurred during a transitional time, and from that point on, MDA evolved the training process into one Master Instructor Camp. Lu played a big role in what you now know as MI Camp!
Certificate of Completion for the 'Orientation Instructor Training' (what we call 'MI Camp' today)
Master Instructors, like Spinning® Instructors, were issued instructor cards. Many veteran MIs cherish this bit of nostalgic memorabilia. Above is Lu’s original MI card. Do you have yours?!
Remember when Spinning® studios had headsets for riders hanging from the ceiling above each bike?! Lu does!
Sage Words from Our Fearless Leader
On Evolution, Adaptation and Resilience…
A hallmark of the Spinning® program is the necessity to embrace science as a continuously advancing field. As an exercise physiologist, the scientific foundation of the program is what captivated me, but it's the growth and maturation of Spinning® over the years through science that has kept me intrigued. Our guidelines and program components evolve both to meet the needs of our instructors and to maintain our position as the leaders in indoor cycling education.
The way that we train Spinning® Instructors and Master Instructors has evolved as well. The structure of our education and training facilitates critical thinking skills so our SIs and MIs are well-equipped to successfully coach and manage diverse populations. One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Einstein: "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." This philosophy is the anchor for every MI Camp that I run and steers how we deliver our education to instructors.
20 years with Spinning® has taught me many things - too numerous to list - but probably the most compelling lesson for me is to never underestimate the power of listening. At the end of the day, everything we do in life, literally everything, has to do with relationships: relationships in our careers, in our families, with our partners and ourselves. In order to cultivate meaningful relationships, one must listen. Listening, and really hearing, requires patience and an open mind. An open mind is the foundation of adaptation and resilience, and the only way growth can occur; this I believe fiercely. Another favorite quote of mine is by Stephen Covey: "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply."
My greatest reward in teaching instructors and training Master Instructors is that we get to share in this journey of building resilience and adaptation for both the mind and the body. How we operate on the bike is a reflection of how we operate in life, and vice versa. The training principles we teach our instructors about riding and coaching powerfully translate into life skills off the bike. For many, these skills have come to life even more acutely in 2020 in the face of managing and coping with the challenges due to the pandemic.
Honestly there is just no community like the Spinning® community! I'm so in awe of our instructors worldwide, and so proud of our MI Team that deeply understands and fosters this magical ingredient called community. The MI team is like a family. We celebrate together, train together, sweat together, cry together, laugh together and move mountains together. We also mourn together. With the devastating loss in 2020 our dear MI mates Natashia Iacovelli and Charly Dunsmore, we came together in love, support and honor. I am eternally grateful for this daily gift of serving such an incredibly devoted and dedicated Master Instructor team. The MI team in turn, has the bounty and great responsibility of serving a global instructor community and ensuring that they are providing the tools and resources for instructors everywhere to be successful in changing lives, one pedal stroke at a time.
I've laughed with a few colleagues recently about how in the world 20 years went by 'so quickly.' I guess there is truth to the old saying that time flies when you're having fun. Truly, I love what I do. As with any career there are tough days, of course, thus the obligation to be resilient. This is a business, and in any business difficult decisions and problem solving are daily staples. However, every day I am blessed to get out of bed and greet the day enthusiastically because I know I get to work with like-minded people. I get to say that for 20 years I've worked with a truly great team, and that moves me to do my best and be my best. Onward!