INSTRUCTOR FEATURE: MADDIE

Meet Maddie

Maddie, a voting rights advocate, has spent her entire life as an athlete. During college, while playing club lacrosse she fell in love with indoor cycling and it continues to be her cardio of choice. With playlist ranging from Bruce Springsteen to reggae Maddie loves to use her high intensity class to motivate the group to push just a little hard.

Tell us, why do you cycle?

I cycle for the workout and for the community. Fitness has always been a big part of my day to day life, but every calorie burned on a bike is ten times more important to me when I get to share it with other people.

March is Women's History Month. As we reflect on the achievements of women across the world, is there a female athlete that has inspired you on your fitness journey?

I have been a long-time fan of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team. The women on the team are world class athletes (who have won three World Cups in comparison to the men's zero), and are very responsible about their positions as role models for young girls and advocates for women's equality in sports.

What type of class do you teach & what can riders expect from your class?

My classes are jam-packed, focused and fun. I encourage riders to actively set goals for themselves throughout class. As an instructor, I want my riders to be bought into the class, into the method, and into the process of getting stronger. I want them to understand the importance of aspects like form on the bike, heart rate, and recovery. I've done my job when people tell me that their Watts are increasing over time. I alternate my Monday and Wednesday 12pm classes between intervals and strength rides to make sure everyone is working through different heart rate parameters. Most of all, I want people to have fun, get stronger, and feel like they belong in my class.

How do you curate playlists for class? Share one!

I have a general "spinning possibilities" playlist that I am always adding songs to. I find it easiest to create playlists when I am making them either for a specific type of class (i.e. strength or intervals), or a general genre or theme. Once I have about 10-12 songs picked out, I go through and figure out the order that works best to make sure we are getting work both in and out of the saddle, and also to provide encouragement and exciting songs at the hardest parts of class. All of my playlists are on my Spotify follow @madeline__brown (It's a double underscore)!

Below is one of my favorite intervals playlists:

1. We Could Go Back (Jonas Blue)-Warm Up

2. First Love (Lost Kings, Sabrina Carpenter)

3. Follow Me (Hardwell, Jason Derulo)

4. River (Bishop Briggs)

5. Wild One (Flo Rida)

6. Faded (Alan Walker)

7. Rollin (Calvin Harris, Future, Khalid)

8. Castle on the Hill Remix (Ed Sheeran, Throttle)

9. Bedroom Floor (Liam Payne)

10. Break Free (Ariana Grande)

11. Schoolin Life (Beyonce)

12. Came Here for Love (Sigala)

13. Stickwitu (Pussycat Dolls)

Favorite current hit song and artist?

The Middle (Zedd and Maren Morris) or Make Me Feel (Janelle Monae)

Have you always been into fitness? What inspired to you to get into fitness?

As a kid, I was always playing sports. I have three brothers and played every sport they did. But my relationship with sports and the fitness world evolved as I grew up, and it turned into something I did for me. I played lacrosse through college, and found in spinning an opportunity to continue pursuing fitness into adulthood.

What were the hurdles that got in your way?

The biggest hurdle for me was always seeing myself as an athlete. Despite the fact that I had some practice or fitness class every day both in school and out, I still felt like I wasn't really an athlete. I idolized women with bodies I considered to be athletic and never saw myself in the same lens. I think what began to change my perspective was when a lot of the athletes around me started to lift and build strength. All of a sudden people's forms and shapes evolved and I was able to understand that each one was strong in its own right. Now when I focus on myself and my fitness journey it is easier to celebrate my strengths and pinpoint the places where I want to be stronger, not smaller.

Fitness tip for 2018?

Someone told me recently that for her, health is a priority because she wants to prepare herself for the moments in life when she has to try. I loved that perspective and have tried to make it my fitness frame for 2018. So I challenge everyone, rather than thinking of that class as an obligation, or something you know you should do, think of it as an investment in your future self. Think of each healthy choice as a part of a foundation that will carry you when you need it the most.

What is an unusual/unique thing about you that isn't fitness related?

My little brother and I used to be child models for a company called Wham-o that made Frisbees, Slip and Slides, and other toys.

When/Where can folks take class with you?

I teach four classes a week at Takoma Park and welcome anyone to come ride with me! I teach Mondays and Wednesdays at 12pm, Fridays at 6am and Saturdays at 10:15 am.