I was drafted last week to go on a work trip to Texas that was a 24/7 gig. Some of it was great (amazing artwork and exhibitions, interesting people and a crazy beautiful hotel room in Houston), some of it not so great (hours of driving to stand in a field next to a pond for 2 days to watch a hunting dog trial in 32 degree weather –isn’t Texas supposed to be warm??). But mostly what the trip entailed, was me not having a minute of time that was my own.
Before I left, I took two classes with my very favorite instructors: Kate Hickl and Holly Rilinger. I planned on writing them up while I was gone but in the whirlwind of my trip, that didn’t happen. I am grateful now that before I got on that plane, I got to take these amazing classes. For two days in a row, I sat on a bike at Flywheel in front of amazing, energetic, inspiring women and felt just lucky to know them. I have written about Holly a lot – deservedly, since she is absolutely amazing, but not about Kate, who is the one who made me love Flywheel in the first place. It’s funny, I don’t write about Kate because it’s hard for me to write anything other than how she absolutely changed my life.
When the Flatiron studio first opened, I was at a moment in my life where I just wasn’t inspired. I had fallen out of love with the Barre classes I had been taking, with yoga, with almost every class I had been taking, and was just working out in a gym – which was fine, but I was totally uninspired. I missed the energy of classes. I stumbled into a weird, 6 week unlimited package at the then new Flywheel and into the wondrous Kate’s class. For the next 6 weeks I took her class at least 3 times a week and by the end of my unlimited package, I had remembered why I LOVE working out. That when you find something you love, you find that it is both energizing and inspiring, even while your ass is being kicked. Without Kate’s reminder about the greatness you could find in a class, who knows if I would have taken any of the classes I have taken and LOVED since, not just at Flywheel, but all over the city.
Back then, Kate’s classes were full but not packed to the gills like they are now. These days, I can rarely get into a Kate class at the Flatiron studio. She is just awesome and everyone knows it. It never fails, every Tuesday morning, there still is hardly anywhere I would rather be than in Kate Hickl’s 9:30am class. That has been true from the very first time I took it. The Flywheel community is a strong and committed bunch but it is amazing how Kate makes her classes feel like a family. On Tuesday morning, it felt like coming home and before I left for my far too intense trip, I really needed that.
I refer to her as Kate the Great for a reason. She teaches a hard, challenging class that has an inspiring, joyful energy but also manages to be one of the sweetest and most genuine people I have ever met. And that really is a sign of greatness….
Top image a little internet goodness & just a good thing to remember and the image of Kate from the new Flywheel website