An old friend of mine visited Cadence this week, as he is opening his own studio in Kingston, Ontario (Apex Indoor Cycling). I really wanted him to understand that what makes Cadence what it is, is our community of people and type of person that we attract. I am so proud of and grateful to the Cadence community for making Jeff feel so welcome. This was not done out of obligation but because this comes naturally to the type of people that have made Cadence a second home. Every time I looked, someone else was talking to him, introducing themselves to him or wishing him good luck. That's the vibe and the person that we, and when I say that I mean everyone including guests, staff, and instructors, has attracted.
After Jeff took my Saturday class we drove to lunch and he was talking about his experience. What stuck out to me was when he said "There is just no negativity." At that point, I asked him to write a blog about what he experienced at Cadence over the past three days and four classes. With no coaching whatsoever, here is what he saw and felt he was a part of. I could not be more proud. His experience has been my vision for Cadence from the day it opened.
I read the blogs and things that people wrote in posts on Facebook and Twitter and was really interested to get a sense of what all the fuss was about. Last summer, I had a vision to transition into a new career path and, taking Mike’s move to create Cadence as inspiration, decided that I was going to open an indoor cycling studio of my own in Kingston, Ontario.
After about 20 years, Mike and I re-connected as I reached out to him for some guidance and direction on starting my new venture. From day one he was super accommodating and helpful as I was winding my way through site selection, bike choice, scheduling systems, etc. Basically, all the tangible stuff.
Whenever I would talk with him, it was undoubtedly clear that his vision for Cadence was far beyond the bricks and mortar or fancy spin bikes. He kept reciting community, genuine care for people and their well being as his true vision for Cadence.
As I get closer to opening my studio in early May, I took Mike’s invitation to come out, visit him and immerse myself in the “fountain of youth” that is Cadence. What I have experienced is true inspiration and direction on what I want to create in my own studio.
From the moment I walked in the door, I felt a unique sense of belonging as friendly staff and other members of the Cadence community greeted me. In the common area before class, people were engaged in conversation at all levels and the atmosphere was energetic and a little electric. There was a feeling of anticipation mixed with an eagerness to accomplish something.
That air and feeling continued as the shades were drawn, the lights dimmed and people settled into their space for the next 45 minutes. As we started into our warm up, I got a sense that I was pulling and contributing to something not as an individual, but as a part of something bigger. The closeness of the studio is apparent and although you don’t converse during the class, the energy of the 30 riders is vividly and physically apparent. As Mike dialed up the intensity and the room began to get warm, a feeling of “Hakuna Matata” came over me. No worries. Everyone was there for a reason. That reason was void of any negativity and was super charged with positive energy that embraced the room.
The 45 minute session was intense, fast paced and super rejuvenating. Positive shout outs from Mike and the crowd were simultaneous at times and the applause at the end of the workout was one you’d hear at the end of an Angus Young guitar solo.
Post workout, we commented to each other on how good we all felt. Complete strangers to me an hour earlier where asking what I thought about my experience and were inquiring about life and other matters, like we’d been acquaintances for years. There was never a hint of intimidation, pretentiousness, ego, status or otherwise.
In a word, it felt like family.
In this fast paced world we live in, we often get ahead of ourselves and let our busy schedules dictate who and what we are. Places like Cadence allow us to positively reset our minds. For 45 minutes you can put all of the negativity and weight of your situation on pause. It’s liberating and stimulating at the same time.
I am sad to have to leave to go back to Kingston, but am truly excited that I had the opportunity to see what Cadence has become and feel challenged to emulate some of the magic in my studio back home. Bravo, Mike, for the vision and determination to create it, and kudos to the community and staff that fosters and supports each other through it.
Thanks for the open arms and opportunity to become a part of the Cadence community.