BEYOND THE BIKE ROOM- A LOOK INTO FULL RIDE CYCLING
Just over 365 days ago, Full Ride Cycling started off as nothing but a room full of bikes in a small shipping container, yet within a year it’s transformed into one of the fastest growing boutique indoor cycling studios in the country, with local and national award winning instructors. Recently we sat down with owner, founder, and Nashville’s #1 Indoor Cycling Instructor of 2018, Kenzie Todd, to share her journey and how Full Ride Cycling came to be.
A year ago today I remember standing alone in my kitchen, one week from soft opening, looking at my bank statements saying, “wow, it’s really all gone”, what I had earned working multiple jobs at once, was truly gone.
And what for? 1,082 sq ft of a steel shipping container with limited A/C! My days leading up to opening… Sweats. No sleep. Fetal position.
3 days later, it's my 28th birthday.
I'm looking out at the starry Nashville skyline from a gulch-y (expressed like 'Gucci') hotel rooftop. We had our soft opening today.
I look around and I see the friendly faces of my new team mixed with old friends... All are here to celebrate me jumping off of a perfectly pleasant cliff, like an ass. "That's so cool, but I would never do that" being the main consensus of the lot. I am trying to soak it all in and "feel the moment of success" right now. But all I feel is anxiety.
What if no customers ever show and I go bankrupt? What if I blow my knee again and I can't teach or even ride a bike until it's too late and I lose everything?
Why am I doing this to myself? I think back to the idea of what I am chasing. What I spent all of my savings on. What is about to happen in the next 48-hours. I'm sinking into a quiet depression when I overhear my mother explaining to her two newfound compatriots on the L.A Jackson dance floor that she's visiting her daughter who is the “best cycling instructor in Nashville.” A title only a mother could say with such confidence.
8 short weeks after that, I win that title for real. My mama the fortune-teller.
My early days...
Growing up as a ski-racer in Canada, I had my hopes set on the Olympics. Unfortunately that dream came crashing down after not only one, (or two) but three knee surgeries; and from there I spiraled into a tough relationship with my body. My ski days left me with a naturally resting heart rate of 42 bmp (which is lower than most people’s heart rate when they’re asleep), so high intensity workouts were the only thing that would get me to the caloric burn my body needed. In college, I tried nearly every workout there was, but nothing seemed to resonate. My friends suggested running, but I couldn’t run because of my three previous knee surgeries. Others suggested the gym, but I quite honestly hated that concept. Others suggested walking, but that felt boring (and lacked that high intensity I needed). It got to the point where I could hardly stand putting on workout clothes because I’d beat myself up the second anything tight was on my body.
Eventually, I stumbled across a cycling workout, and it changed my WORLD. It took me years to finally get to the place I am now, a place of acceptance and admiration. A place of loving me, Kenzie, for more than just a number on the scale. For me, indoor cycling not only was the workout my body had been craving, but it was the fix --- the spark that ignited my passion to lead others who were hurting just like I was.
Today I write this post truly honored and humbled by how God has blessed me.
What started as a boutique cycle studio in a shipping container has transformed into one of the fastest-growing boutique cycle studios in the country, with award-winning instructors, and zero debt. (Zero. Debt. Y'all.)
I found the right team. They did everything, every day, for the last 365+ days straight.
After two years of teaching at another studio in Nashville, I realized there was so much more we could do as a company and I set out on a mission to be the type of leader I craved to follow. To lead a group of people hungry enough to change not only this sport (indoor-cycling) but the city in which we play it.
Our mission was to build a space that requires everyone who enters it to fight to put more joy in their lives, to fight for their dreams, and mostly to fight for love—self and otherwise.
Looking to this Sunday, as we approach our 1st anniversary, my heart swells with gratitude. For everything. For everyone. For you, who are reading this note and wondering if you should come to ride a class. Or if you already do, if you should talk to me about it. The answer is YES.
In a world that feels like you need a license to talk to new people, consider this my invitation.
The ink is dry, we are opening our first permanent studio in early spring of 2020.
But right now...
Cheers to the riders! All of you dedicated athletes who show up day after day to keep the change alive.
Cheers to the studios who send instructors from other states to learn from the FRC team. Those who pour their hearts into their classes, and whose hearts burn and they love it too much to stop; you are always welcome.
Cheers to my FRC family! The instructors who keep breaking through to new and better levels, locally and nationally. The studio coordinators who warrant that every rider is cared for and seen the minute they walk through our doors. The company advisors and executive team who are helping to pave the best path forward.
Cheers to my family! I come from a very entrepreneurial house and I'm lucky that both my parents taught my younger brother (Co-founder, Adway) and I to seek out ways of making money while we sleep (they forgot to mention all the sleepless nights on the way there).
But as the founder, it is not my story. It's ours.