In our latest Spring into Change Q+A, Jenny DeMain of Cyc Madison opens up about how she found Cyc and discovered her passion for teaching fitness:
Cyc Fitness: As a Cycologist for several years now, you’ve become pretty well known within the Cyc Madison community. Tell us something that your riders don’t know about you…
JD: I graduated with a Vocal Performance degree from University of Wisconsin on track to become an Opera Singer, similar to Keoni actually! My first love was acting on the stage, but my dream is to ultimately act on screen.
CF: With a focus in music and vocals, how did you end up teaching fitness?
JD: Well I always knew I wanted to do something in music and performing, maybe even directing. When I was a sophomore in college I started teaching fitness classes on the side for part-time work, and I became addicted to helping people reach their goals, while stretching myself to meet my own. The moment I knew I wanted to turn my addiction to Cyc into a career was when I started to realize that my heart was 100% into my work at Cyc, and only 70% elsewhere. I honestly get the same adrenaline rush from teaching as I do when I perform on stage. I love being in control of the lights, the music, and the message, creating my own little 45 minute show, 6 times a week… At first I felt a little bit guilty for wanting to switch career paths, but I knew deep down that it was what I really wanted. It’s the perfect complement to my two passions, and I feel truly lucky to have found it.
CF: You’ve said that when you took your first class at Cyc, you were going through the ending of a serious relationship. What role, if any did this play in getting through this difficult period for you?
JD: During that time in my life I was looking for distractions everywhere. The tough part was finding ones that were positive, when all I really wanted to do was stay in bed. A friend of mine suggested I try Cyc. I was apprehensive, but went for it, knowing this could be the healthy outlet that I so badly needed. It turned out to be the best advice! I loved that I could take a class for 45 minutes, sit in front of the mirror and watch myself get stronger. Riding became a really important part of my day. Later, when I decided to become a Cycologist, I met a whole new group of friends. Riding, training and all the support is what got me through this time.
CF: As a Cycologist, you’ve become known for your awesome playlists. How important is the music component in your classes?
JD: It’s everything! Music elicits emotion, which gives me a lot of power as an instructor. I think different genres work really well for different sectors of class. For the weighted portion, I love to use trap remixes, or melodic dubstep. Progressive house works really well for jumps, while deep house is fun for swimming. My favorite band is Coldplay, but I’m also a huge fan of female vocalists like Robyn, Florence + The Machine and Sia. If I could do a theme ride combining the three of them I think my life would be complete!
CF: If there’s one message you could instill in your riders what would it be?
JD: I often say “push at least eight counts past your comfort zone”. Because when you succeed by pushing past that initial impulse to give up when things get challenging — that’s how you get stronger mentally and physically. I tell my riders to be proud of what they’ve accomplished at the end of every class. Cyc is not just a workout, it’s a chance to really better yourself.
CF: Cyc prides itself in building communities in each studio. Do you think the Spring into Change Challenge has helped you meet and interact with some of your riders on a more personal level?
JD: Definitely. Our goal at Cyc is to make every rider feel like they’re part of the Cyc family. I always joke that without them I’m just a girl sitting on a bike talking to herself. Two of my regular riders met and became friends through the Spring Into Change Challenge. They kept signing up for the same classes, so I introduced them, and now they’re halfway through the challenge and they ride together constantly. They became instant friends, and they may not have even met if it weren’t for the challenge. That’s what it’s all about!
– Compiled by Leslie Steinberg