My brain started spinning (pardon the pun)... the door swung open... and I stepped out.

Once I realized that the indoor cycle doesn't move, I opened my mind to many things previously deemed unacceptable.

My name is Karen and I stepped out of the box last year. I am also the self proclaimed spokesperson for KEEPING IT FUNâ„¢ Indoor Cycling. I'm committed to helping other indoor cycling instructors who aren't afraid to approach indoor cycling differently.

Here is my story…

KEEPING IT REAL Indoor Cycling is where I come from. It was also where I thought I was going when I opened my indoor cycling studio a little over year ago. I was determined to maintain the integrity of the road and to honor the spirit of SPINNING®. Never did I entertain the idea of lunges, crunches, tap backs, push ups, BootiePops or hand weights on my indoor bike. NEVER, EVER……EVER would I allow that to occur on my instructor stage!!!!!!!! N E V E R.

Enter.....the shiny monkey.

I am plagued by, or shall I say blessed with SMS (Shiny Monkey Syndrome). The Shiny Monkey is fun, flirty, happy, and IRRESISTIBLE. After reading many KEEPING IT REAL articles, the Shiny Monkey bounced into my brain and pointed out something obvious about my indoor bike. The indoor bike is STATIONARY. It does NOT move, and nothing around it moves. There is no traffic, no way to get lost, no forward motion, no inclement weather, and no physical obstacles. Factors that keep us from doing things on an outdoor bike need not apply to the indoor bike. BooYah and three cheers, go to the Shiny Monkey!!!  Thanks for changing my life, little guy!!!

Today, indoor cycling offers riders a diversity of classes that they have never had before! Understanding and identifying KEEPING IT REAL and KEEPING IT FUN, as two completely different forms of group exercise, is what gave me courage to step out and teach something different.

Don't get me wrong, I like a KEEPING IT REAL class. I don't want KEEPING IT REAL to change. I have simply departed from KEEPING IT REAL and celebrate KEEPING IT FUN! I want to build a community of instructors who share my embrace of the evolution of indoor cycling.

There needs to be a forum for “KEEPING IT FUN” instructors. A place to share their love of sweaty indoor awesomeness, on bike that has just one wheel and goes nowhere. I want to share my story and help other instructors who are trained in the traditional indoor cycling formats; Mad Dogg, Schwinn, Stages, etc. feel comfortable stepping away from what's deemed "REAL" and into the “FUN” world.

There are safe and effective ways to teach a lil “party on a bike.” There are also safe and effective ways to add upper body resistance training to an indoor cycling class. We are NOT outdoors. KEEPING IT FUN indoor cycling is a group exercise that can appeal to everyone. It is growing in popularity (without injury), among elite athletes, weekend warriors, all age groups, both genders, and most importantly.....with people who haven”™t had a work out routine, or haven”™t stuck to consistent fitness plan in years.  I've seen in my studio how KEEPING IT FUN, keeps everyone coming back!!!

"If you wouldn't do it on the road, don't do it in class," may be the ultimate KEEPING IT REAL rule. I break this rule, EVERY ride.

Cuing from a KEEPING IT FUNâ„¢ instructor, may go like this.....
“Find your hill. Now, add some gear. Relax your shoulders and close your eyes. Create weightlessness on your pedals and get lost, in the rhythm. Follow the beat. Up 2, Back 2. Let”™s GO!!!”

When I ride, I close my eyes.  This breaks the KEEPING IT REAL rule.  You can't close your eyes and ride outdoors. On a stationary bike you CAN close your eyes. With my eyes closed, and when my optic nerve is completely relaxed, cardio therapy follows. I let the music penetrate my mind, my body, and my soul. I harness the power of those who ride with me and we ride, together. Everyone is connected through movement and the entire room moves like a jellyfish. I think this is what Les Mills referred to as FitnessMagic. FitnessMagic connects people with people AND it connects people with themselves. I live for FitnessMagic!!!

I am an indoor cyclist.

My cycle goes nowhere and yet, my cycle takes me anywhere I want to go 🙂

Karen Casler
Latest posts by Karen Casler (see all)

Add Your Thoughts...