Faces of Joy: Walter “Markes" a Fast & Furious 800+ Rides!

Walter Markes is a familiar face in the Darien Studio. Every week, his determination and positive energy radiate from the front row. Shares GM and Instructor Dina Fay, “Ask anyone in our studio about him, and they say 'I love Walter!' Having him ride in the front row of my classes actually motivates me. He never gives up.” Known for his big smile, Walter channels his intensity and athleticism into his work as a professional race car driver and BMW technician. Originally from Jamaica and now the owner of Peppa Seed Racing, Walter shares here how important fitness is to him.

When did you start JoyRiding?
I started in 2016, when I attended the Center for Children’s Advocacy Fundraising Ride, hosted by my friend Antonia Thompson.

Which classes do you usually attend?
I ride with every instructor I can fit into my schedule! I love Dina, Mo, Jaime, Selina, Maggie, Allie and Stephanie!

Has exercise been a part of your life for a long time?
Yes, I have been exercising for a long time and it is important to my work. My type of race car driving is called “sprint racing” where we race on tracks for 45 minutes to an hour non-stop. Race car drivers need to be be fit in order to maintain high levels of concentration in the face of the hostile environment that g-force loads on your body as you round corners at high speeds. In addition, you have to be able to withstand the heat when you are wearing multiple layers of fireproof clothing. You have to have endurance because it would be unsafe to feel tired during a race.

As a race car driver, you also don’t take time to towel off - I take the same approach in an indoor cycling class and just let the sweat go. I don’t stop for anything!

How did you decide on the name of your company?
The name Peppa Seed is the name of a Jamaican [reggae] dance move and a sound track that goes with the dance. In the dance, you move your upper body twisting your shoulders side to side. I got the name 25 years ago when I built a very fast and powerful BMW street car. I used to mess around on the street as in the movie Fast and Furious. When you hit the accelerator, the car was so powerful, the back would fishtail from side to side like the Peppa Seed dance. A friend nicknamed my car and it stuck.

What motivates you on a daily basis?
My fitness and health

How would you describe the JoyRide experience to friends and family?
An hour of hard work, sweat and fun that feels like it went by in 15 minutes — my happy hour! 

What are/were goals that you wish to accomplish with the help of JoyRide or that you already accomplished?
Doing a triathlon is on my bucket list.

What is your training schedule like?
On Monday through Wednesday, I swim for 30 minutes, then do JoyRide's 6:30 p.m. classes. On Saturdays and Sundays I do doubles!

Supporting riders’ causes and charitable organizations is of the utmost importance to the JoyRide community, and a vital part of our mission. Is there a cause or organization about which you are passionate?
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and JAH JAH Foundation, which supports the healthcare and social / human services and education of Jamaicans.

Favorite Theme Ride or other?
“Hot Moms of Music” Ride with Dina

Walter at the Track

Walter at the Track