Thursday February, 28th 2019
Classic me to procrastinate down to the wire to write my first quad blog post. Triggered by my sister Liesl teaching her regular Monday spin class featuring a playlist designed to celebrate Black History Month. That and Evan Biddells Facebook post reaction, and the urging of a spinner friend. The idea I couldn’t shake. But what to say?
So almost a month later and only hours left for this black history month, I am inspired to take this opportunity to share a little of my life story of spinning and my journey as an independent entrepreneur of colour.
I was born in Kingston Jamaica in 1965, moving to Keele and Finch because my Father was to be an intern at Sick Kids Hospital. My mother from Guyana, spoke several languages and was my French teacher in middle school, and later the Head of Special Education for the Board of North York. I pursued a teaching career because of her. I moved to California with a young son and was living in the Studio City for 6 years. This is where my relationship with spinning began.
Spinning was trademarked in 1987. I was lucky to be there, where and when it began. It was the time of Billy Blanks Tae Bo and hot yoga before hot yoga was a thing.
I lost a crazy 40 pounds in four months spinning and it seemed like the hardest and the easiest thing for the first time in my life and I’ve never had the same relationship with food and excercise since. I got a taste of empowerment. I soon was certified with Johnny G himself!! (The inventor of this life changing excercise).
I was encouraged to teach, and that is what I do today. I look for potential future instructors with a certain look in their eye. I know they get it. My spin addicted friends and I opened RPM Fitness and it continues today. I believe this is where the quad style was born. I hooked my sister and any friends I could. I brought spinning with me, home to Oakville, Toronto and to Queen and Broadview.
In 2002 four partners opened quad King St. It was to be the first of of many locations. Today I am the sole owner of quad spinning and continue to teach the best classes I can at quad over 20 years later.
I have taught over 20,000 spin classes, and the #quadlove remains.
I’ve achieved my early instructor dream of selling out back to back classes over two hundred spinners on a Saturday. 50 plus bikes!!
Quad proudly was the first and only spin studio solely offering spin in 2002 and for many years it was a hard sell. They said it would never last! I did teach the majority of classses myself, sometimes 25 spins a week as well as signed in, cleaned mopped and carted and loaded bikes in my Dodge Ram. We did grow slowly from 15 bikes to forty and quickly boasted the best instructors in the city.
I believe quad put spinning on the King st map. The difficult times have been traumatic and I stand alone extremely proud of the sacrifices and the gift of spinning that was handed to me, of which I get to share with the quad/Toronto community. I may have always been reluctant to be seen as the face of @quadspinning but today on the tail end of black history month I am so extremely proud of creating a space, a vibe, an experience where all are welcome and people of all fitness levels continue to return to quad over 15 years.
So ya… I’m a proud single black female entrepreneur. Can’t wait to see what the future holds. Can’t stop creating.