By Claire Berngartt, Social Media Manager at Mad Dogg Athletics
Since I joined the Spinning team earlier this year, I have been dying to attend one of the amazing global rides and events that are put on every year. I cannot wait to ride on top of the tallest building in Chile or the beaches of Jamaica, but if there’s one time of the year instructors, enthusiasts and ambassadors come together under one roof to smile, laugh, sweat and connect, WSSC is it.
WSSC was not only my first introduction to the Spinning® community, but also my very first fitness conference. Having been a group fitness instructor myself for several years, I was kicking myself that I had not attended it sooner, especially after everything I learned!
As is often the case with all industry events, the biggest benefit of WSSC for me, is increasing my connections within the fitness community, aka, networking, or, in this case, “sweatworking!” The opportunities to meet new people are constant – from riding in elevators with fellow participants to working together during sessions, chatting with presenters after their sessions, to letting loose at the mixer, literally everyone I met shared in my passion for inspiring others to live their best lives! Throughout the main hall, the sessions and all around the hotel, the vibe was positive, open and inclusive. Striking up conversation was easy, and the sweatworking opportunities were exponential.
EXPANDING EXPERTISE OUTSIDE OF SPINNING
With 280 different sessions, workshops and lectures over the course of three days, I learned more in one weekend than I did over the course of a year. My very first session was FloYo® Paddleboard Yoga, and what better place to experience this than Miami, Florida? Reaching up toward the sun with water under my feet gave me a whole new application for my “stabilizing muscles,” which I’m always being challenged to strengthen in other group fitness classes.
All the sessions were broken down by category, which allowed me to make some last-minute adjustments to increase the variety of classes I attended. With approximately 30 Spinning® sessions per day, starting with an energizing 75-minute session first thing in the morning, rides anchored most participants’ schedules (followed by a trip to the hotel room for a shower of course!) There were trainings on SPINPower®, SPINFusion™, Functional Fitness, Sports Performance, Pilates, Yoga, Injury Prevention, Dance/Movement and more.
If I could have attended every single class and ride, I would have! However, since I haven’t figured out how to do that, asking about other people’s favorites helped me learn about nutrition, aging and fitness business development.
One thing that I kept hearing is that the energy of WSSC is unmatched by any other fitness expo in the world. The reason for that is because Spinning unites nearly all of its participants in one awesome ride. The event officially kicked off with “Instinct: The Ride” led by Master Instructor Josh Taylor. All 300 riders got a sweet complimentary jersey with their registration, and seeing everyone sporting one created a powerful sense of unity. With not an empty saddle in the room, Josh lead everyone through a two-hour ride based on digging deep to access your deepest animal instinct to adapt, evolve and survive.
The Spinning Team Ride had energy through the roof. It was like a dance-off with all the Master Instructors bikes facing their riders, culminating with a surprise marriage proposal at the end! Talk about heart-racing!
On the final night, attendees rode for an unbelievable four hours to benefit the America Heart Association. Encouraged by four different coaches, witnessing their dedication was truly inspiring.
I could tell from each night’s events that more and more people had become friends over the course of the three days. By Sunday afternoon, the goodbyes and hugs were happening left and right. We weren’t too sad though; there’s always next year!
FOR NEXT TIME:
- Stay as close as possible to the conference. The best option is at the hotel itself to make changing and showering between sessions a breeze. Book that room early though, because the hotel was sold out by the time I knew I was attending.
- Bring snacks to avoid lines between sessions. There are only so many places to eat, and everyone’s on the same break schedule. Power bars are your friend!
- Carry a sharpie and write your name on EVERYTHING! Lots of people have identical Spinning gear, like the water bottles, that everyone got in the SWAG bags!
- Make dinner reservations before Friday and Saturday night. Miami is a worldwide vacation destination for a reason. The food is phenomenal, and this hot spot is bumpin’!
- Bring a friend… or lots of friends! I left feeling so inspired, connected, educated, and ready to share what I had learned with my fitness community; next year I want to experience it WITH friends from my community to be able to hit more sessions to expand our knowledge. The more people I can recruit, the greater our community will be, and the more fun we’ll have!