By Lilly Pace
Photographer: Caroline Ward
Passion. Strength. Movement is meditation. Raise the bar. These are the words scribbled on the walls of the downtown Evanston Cyclebar lobby. Moving into the indoor cycling studio, bikes are uniformly lined up under dim red lighting. A bright spotlight shines on a single bike in the front and center of the room. On this stationary bike is the place where Northwestern sophomore Amanda David, a Learning and Organizational Change major from Winnetka, IL, practices wellness.
David rests on a spin bike to the right side of the studio, pedaling slowly, while sharing how she found her passion for practicing wellness through cycling.
This passion for cycling, only recent, stemmed from a need to search for what she missed about playing sports in her past. A member of highly competitive field hockey and soccer teams in high school, David admits that deciding not to play sports at Northwestern was challenging.
“Even though I worked out and played club soccer, I definitely felt like I missed a piece of--not necessarily physically because I was working out a lot--but I definitely missed a mental aspect of sports and really being part of a team, which is something I had my whole life,” she says.
In her search for the mental aspect of fitness that she missed, during the spring of her freshman year, David decided to train to become a spin instructor and to create a student-based class where “girls and guys come in and work together and get a really good workout, but also feel good about themselves and have fun while they are doing it.”
Being able to make the riders feel good about themselves with her classes, and therefore influencing their physical and mental health, is one of David’s favorite parts about her job.
“A lot of people have told me that they felt so good walking out of my class and a lot of people have told me (whether they mean it or not, because it is working out and everyone hates working out) that they really felt good about themselves,” she says.
In between club soccer, her sorority, Dance Marathon, and volunteering with College Mentors for Kids, David has still continued to teach her own classes at Cyclebar on the weekends and once or twice during the week. These classes are time-consuming not only during their allotted 50 minutes in the studio, but also during the pre-planning of creating new playlists for every class, learning the music and setting up lights. Although planning for and teaching her classes takes up a lot of her free time, David insists that her spin classes are not a chore.
To further practice her own personal wellness, David, along with teaching spin classes and playing club soccer, works out at SPAC every day, because without working out she feels “so off mentally.”
Along with working out, David also attributes a large part of her wellness to getting the right amount of sleep.
“I like to go to bed really early and wake up really early and be productive with my day,” David explains. “I think in general my well-being has to do with sleep and working out and that puts me in a good mindset when I wake up for the day.”
As she strongly believes in the importance of physical and mental health, David even prioritizes her sleep at the expense of jokes from her friends.
“My friends all make fun of me and think I am a grandma,” David laughs. “Like it is 10:30 and if you text me I am not gonna respond because I am asleep.”
Overall, with wellness as her top priority, the addition of her Cyclebar job has only positively enhanced David’s day-to-day life.
“It is something I love doing, so it has only impacted me in a positive way because I am finally doing something that I am very passionate about,” she says