There Is No "Front Row" At JoyRide!
At JoyRide, we always say “there is no front row,” and that you will have the same high-energy, endorphin-surged experience in all of our indoor cycling classes, regardless of where you ride in the studio. This being said, we also want JoyRiders to know that riding in the front row can be an outstanding experience, and all are welcome there. We love how Erin Ritz gave it a try and now she’s hooked.
In the words of co-founder Rhodie Lorenz: “Being more visible or seen' in class (or in life!) can feel more intimidating, but it carries some tremendous benefits: accountability, leadership, palpable energy, connection to the instructor and fellow riders. It is not better, just a bit bolder. Plenty of our riders ride in the back row for years too - and that’s awesome. There is no status either way - just permission to be included wherever you choose to be."
Gaining Confidence One Row at a Time, a Guest Blog Post by JoyRider Erin Ritz
My journey with JoyRide began on bike 25 in the back corner. I had taken an indoor cycling class before, but never at a studio like JoyRide. I had heard about JoyRide from mutual friends, so I wanted to give it a shot! At first, I was afraid of what to expect and was very nervous. Bike 25 seemed like the perfect, safe place to start, with a great view of the instructor and surrounded by mirrors. After my first class with Selina, I was hooked. I had never sweat so much in my entire life, nor did I know that exercising could be so much fun! JoyRide immediately became my second home and support system. I moved to CT in 2013 and was still meeting new people, and JoyRide immediately welcomed me with open arms and quickly became my happy place.
I started JoyRiding only on Sundays, and then added Tuesday mornings. After a few short weeks I attended classes every day I could; most weeks I was taking four or five classes. I continued to hang out in the back row, but I soon realized that everyone was supportive no matter where you sat. Each class, Selina Santos would tease that she had all these "empty spaces" in the front row. Finally, after two-and-a-half months, I gained the confidence to leave my beloved bike 25 and jumped up to the second row. I didn't think it would be possible, but there was even MORE energy and excitement being closer to the instructor.
The next class, I took a leap of faith and signed up for bike 4, up front and center. During class I found that being in the front row led me to push myself to stay on beat and get out of my comfort zone. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I have ZERO coordination, so it was a huge confidence booster when I was able to go from song to song and not miss a beat! Being in the front allows me to be in my zone, be a "leader" to the other riders, and overall, it maximizes my workout! Once I rode in the front, I knew I would never go back! Bike 4 proved to be even more special to me when I learned that it was also at one point Selina's “home”, the bike where she started riding. Without the support of Selina (and the other JoyRide instructors) I would never been where I am today! There is no doubt I would still be hiding back on bike 25.... :)
Erin lives in Stamford, CT and is studying to earn her Masters of Education in Secondary Ed Science at Sacred Heart University. During her free time, she coaches swimming at the Westport-Weston YMCA and Sacred Heart University. She is also an intern at Westhill High School as a science teacher.