How did you get into fitness?
I made a career change about 20 years ago after being a busy mom to two young children. I wanted to feel better about my body and get healthy again. I became certified and started developing my own workouts related to helping other women, especially moms, get back in shape.
What inspired you to open Flow Ryde?
I think I had an interest as a Black woman to open up a space that I could call my own and lends itself to people who look like me to feel included and to be celebrated. Flow Ryde really is my heart, and it’s me expressing my love and affection for people, from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds. I want everyone to feel like this is a space for them.
What kind of music inspires you the most?
Because of my age, I’m from the generation where hip-hop was created. That’s probably where I get most of my inspiration.
What has navigating the pandemic been like?
During the shutdown, a lot of fitness was closing, but I really felt that health, wellness, and exercise are essential. We’re important, and we need to be here. So I think just knowing that I wanted to be of service in that way kept me going. We realize and recognize why the rules are there and to us, it’s a small ask in order to help stop or at least slow the spread of the virus. Our space at Substance Fitness (in Los Alamitos) lends itself to being an indoor-outdoor studio. Because it’s industrial, the back door rolls up, and we have an alley so we can roll the bikes outside and space them 6 feet apart. On days when it might be sunny, we have them under canopies. All of our bikes are completely sanitized before and after every single ride. Everyone who comes to the studio is required to wear a mask. We do a temperature check and contactless sanitizer at check-in.
Has Flow Ryde become more than spin?
Prior to opening, there was this social and civic engagement with the Black Lives Matter marches. I held a couple of (virtual) benefit rides during the summer, and I raised more than $6,000 for various equality and justice organizations. I also use my platform for education. One of my riders participated in the Bakers Against Racism campaign, and I encouraged my riders to buy her sweets and Flow Ryde matched the dollars. Our whole mission statement is: “It’s the music. It’s the mood. It’s a movement.” It’s a movement around mobilizing and lending ourselves to conversations about causes that are really important to us.
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