- How did you first find Velocity?
I received an email from a lady named Mallory, where she was pitching (quite well actually) a new indoor cycling studio in Zurich. In the beginning, I assumed it was spam email and completely ignored it. I thought, no way someone is offering me an indoor cycling position in Zurich, I don’t even speak German (:D). Eventually, Mal’s persistence triumphed (she wrote me a second email), and I understood she was dead serious. Then we met in person, after that I was convinced that she was preparing something great and I wanted to be part of it so badly!
- So you weren’t necessarily looking to instruct in Zurich, but felt some kind of connection right away?
Definitely not looking to instruct in Zurich. But you know, great things happen when you least expect them. After meeting, the enthusiasm and well planned vision for Velocity definitely did the trick. The more I talked and interacted, the more I wanted to be part of Zurich’s first indoor cycling studio.
- Tell us about the link between your professional career and your instructing.
On my professional career we conduct experimental research on the design and fabrication of novel biomaterials. We are working at the interface between engineering and biology. In particular, we try to understand biological mechanisms and, at a next step, exploit this knowledge to manufacture engineering tools tailored to achieve a specific response in a biological system. If you consider the bigger picture, we do exactly the same at Velocity. We utilize an engineering tool (bike, lights, sound) to induce a specific biological response on our body (increase of heart rate, euphoria, muscle growth, muscle soreness, pain).
- Being an instructor is a powerful thing, because people come to your classes and take things from you, from your intention and from your coaching. What do your riders get from your particular class?
Well I guess you should ask my riders to get a precise answer on that (:D). I try to give 110% to all my classes, this is what I try to communicate to my team as well. The minute we enter the dark room for a Veloburn class, we commit to do our best, nothing less. We never ever give up, we stay together on both tough and easy stretches of the ride, as a team, as a pack.
- You have something that riders get from your classes and from you that they aren’t able to easily get anywhere else. How did you develop this crazy self-confidence and presence that your riders seem to love?
Haha, thanks for the compliment. I guess there is no well defined protocol for that. Believe it or not, I am always slightly stressed before any class. While I set up my bike, however, I always think that I am there for my team, to deliver a great experience to them and achieve physical and mental growth together. These thoughts fire me up!!
- What have you learned about yourself from your riders?
Simplicity is key. Few powerful words deliver the message in a much more efficient way. Also, in order to make people get the most out of themselves, you need to tell them how to do it. Although words like “don’t give up”, “stay with me” definitely help, giving information to the riders on “how” one can achieve that, is crucial. This is the reason I try to give many technique tips during my classes, to tell them how they can do their best. The second important thing I learned is that we tend to underestimate ourselves so much! We are capable of way more than we think.
- You can come to Velocity and find so many different things. What do you get from Velocity?
Well the list can be pretty long for that one. Two are the most important. First, Velocity is the best place to let go: dark room, wonderful music, great instructors and working together with your physiology to achieve your physical and mental goals. This setting enables you to spend time both with yourself and as a team, to interact, to communicate and importantly, to face and surpass your limits. Second, the smile of my riders after we are done from the class (especially after the last tough track). This smile, inferring: “Damn, I did it!”. Priceless!!