This is the second of my heroes of health series which recognizes people that helped me and others to be healthy and happy. You who follow my blog know that there have been two institutions that were critical in restoring and now maintaining my health: Weight Watchers and Life Time Fitness. In my first of this episode, I wrote about my foremost hero at Weight Watchers – Julie Faircloth (read here Heroes in Health Episode 1: MOTHER of Weight Loss and a Freestyle Life). In this one, I write about a guy who has not only encouraged me to take my health to another level but soon will be my instructor in doing so for others – Life Time’s Spin master Corey Ellis.
On a whim back in November 2017, I decided to try my hand (or better yet my bottom) at Spin Class. Back in 2015, when I topped out at 358 lbs., riding a bike would have been unthinkable. I could only sit on a bike seat for a matter of moments before my back (and other things) would become compressed. You can read more about those times, my first small steps at fitness with Water Aerobics, and the role Life Time played in getting fit enough to spin in this blog. Forward to F.I.T – The Tale of Pam *2
Now with my health tenuous but restored, I decided to shake it up and try something different from the usual elliptical training and walking that I did. I walked into the 11:15 Sunday Spin class, not knowing what to expect but eager to start my next fitness addiction. Little did I know how hooked I would get.
I was staring at the bike not knowing how to size it or stick my feet in the cages and up walks a guy that looked like a linebacker from the Cowboys – Corey. He offered to help me which I thought was a nice gesture from a fellow classmate. He sized the bike and showed me how to strap in. While he was doing it, I noticed a bunch of people coming up to talk to him and say hello. I soon realized that he was not a fellow classmate, but the instructor. Not only a Spin class teacher, but one of the most accomplished at Life Time, certified in all three types of Spin Class, EDG, Power, and AMP (essentially dancing on a bike).
Corey is a phenomenal motivator, teacher, and Spin instructor (as well as all around good guy). I cannot explain the exhilaration that I and the rest of the packed class feels at the end or the fun we have during it. But I am going to try to distill down into three points why I consider Corey to be a hero in health.
- The Ultimate Professional – Corey is the ultimate student of spin and he takes his craft very seriously. He is always attending conferences and training sessions to bring best practices to work out more efficiently and bring the latest and greatest to the class. Just today, he took us through a new technique that he learned while at a conference in Houston. In addition, he demonstrates his professionalism through he pre-class preparation. Each song is selected for its timing and the rhythm is matched to the needed RPM and Watts. When he says the next interval will be 1 minute from the press of the stage button, it is! In addition, he explains exactly the method to his madness, so you understand the reason for the workout.
- An Innovator – Corey also has a background as a music DJ and producer. He uses this background to bring innovation both to our exercise routine through precise timing and rhythm. Also, the music itself is innovative. He has a saying that Brittany Spears goes with anything and proves it. He has made mixes with Brittany and other artists that you would never think would go together. He also has made whole spin session sets aligned to a theme. I loved his session during the Super bowl when he had competing music from Philly and Boston.
- Making Fitness Fun – The best part of the spinning with Corey is that it is fun. He always interjects humor while we are sweating away. He is a Master of Music and will throw in several interesting points about each singer. He also throws in some jokes about the theme of the day. Also, he knows almost every person by name and brings out interesting facts about your fellow classmates. We also have interesting competitions like who can get to a mile first. Lastly, he shares his life with us. We all had the pleasure to meet his mother who is his biggest fan and who on occasion calls in or attends the class.
Because of Corey’s professionalism, innovation, and proclivity for fun, I have reached new goals. See below the picture of me, Corey, Kaisa and another participant after the St. Jude Challenge. This was a 4-hour spin class that Corey and others led, and I was pleased to finish! Lastly, Corey has inspired me so much that I have signed up to take Spin Class certification. Not sure if I can match my hero but I am going to try.