Instructor Spotlight: Mackenzie’s Journey Beyond Fear

When I started working the front desk at Fly in October 2017, I was by no means a workout devotee — unless you count the one time a month I would drag myself outside for a jog or to the gym. I was so excited to start this new job and was encouraged by Jenni to start taking classes. As excited as I was to try Fly, I was even more intimidated. I had never ridden a bike I had to clip into, didn’t know what HIIT stood for, and thought “barre” would include a lot more ballet.

Despite my fears and anxieties, I started taking a couple of barre classes a week and occasionally snuck into the back corner of cycling. To be honest, cycling scared the crap out of me. I could hardly cycle as fast as the beat and could barely stay out of the saddle for more than seconds at a time, but something about the music and energy of the classes kept me coming. I learned to be okay with being uncomfortable if I was doing something to better myself.

Soon, I was actually wanting to sit in the middle and front rows of class and was challenging myself more and more with each class that I took. Training to become a cycling instructor at Fly was the best, most rewarding decision I’ve ever made and I could not be happier that I did it. At the beginning, cycling was something that was completely out of my comfort zone and it took a lot for me to even walk in the door of Fly sometimes.

My very sweet friend and fellow instructor, Michelle, always says, “90% of the battle is just showing up.” This reigns so true when it comes to trying things that are scary or hard. Show up for yourself. Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be a big leap or change but just small steps that make a big difference in the long run.

I’ve learned along this journey what I need to do to conquer my fears. It always comes down to these two things:

1. Do it badly. I first used the concept of “doing it badly” when writing papers for school. I procrastinate just about everything until the last possible second, but hey, I have learned that I’m good under pressure. When I would find myself unable to begin a paper I would tell myself, just “do it badly” and a REALLY rough draft is better to work with than nothing. Doing it badly trickled into other aspects of my life when I was feeling scared or out of my comfort zone. It allows you to let go of your expectations and anxieties about something and just do it.

2. Practice gratitude. I know I know, if you’re like me, you probably see and hear about being grateful and practicing gratitude everywhere, from graphic tees and workout tanks to all over social media pictures and posts. All the hype aside, I truly believe that practicing gratitude helps me when I’m doing things outside my comfort zone. I start to think about how grateful I am that I even have the opportunity to try new things that I’m scared of! No matter how scary, every new opportunity is a chance for knowledge and growth. How amazing is it that we get to wake up every day with the possibility of trying new things? Never take that for granted.

Stepping into fear, letting go of expectations & practicing gratitude has created so much opportunity and growth in my life and every small step is movement in a positive direction.

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Redefining fitness–to empower you to reach your strongest self. Redefining fitness–to empower you to reach your strongest self.
Redefining fitness–to empower you to reach your strongest self. Redefining fitness–to empower you to reach your strongest self.