My story with Innercycling begins in Nov 1996 at Let it Ride in Miami Beach Florida, A friend of mine invited me to an indoor cycling class called Spinning. I was going through some changes in my life and lifestyle and low and behold I never knew what was in store for me over the next 14 years.
I had been living on South Beach where every doorman and every bartender knew my name (what an honor huh?) and I knew the layout for every VIP room. I had been working for a private investigation company called http://www.counter-intelligence.com doing high end electronic surveillance and cool gadget installations. Life was easy making good money and hanging with good looking people and party, party, party. By day I made great money installing high end gadgets in walls, doors and places I won’t even mention to selling things my mom would get mad at. I had plenty of talent in everything from sales to barter and worked many years installing everything from extreme car alarms and $2000.00 plus audio stereos to ultra electronic gadgets in all the toys you could think of including boats , yachts and cars. My life revolved around answering technical electronic questions and making sales or providing services but the questions just got shallower.
Well every weekend after parting till daylight and sleeping till 1:00pm I would wake up and after the hangover wore off I would grab my Giant mountain bike and do Urban Assault on the Miami streets riding about 20 miles in 100% humidity and 90 deg heat. Some days I would puke along the way but hey I was a getting into shape right ? Aaahhh at least I thought so. Life was petty cool at these times or so I thought. I was always having fun but not being very responsible. I began biking about 2 years earlier to get in shape for a Ski trip to Breckenridge , Colorado that my friends had planned from the place I was working at the time Total Auto Protection. Total Auto was owned by a guy who really taught me how to sell Basil Battah. Basil was from Lebanese decent and had a unique skill that I learned from quickly that I would later use in my own businesses and eventually in my Innercycling classes, I call it the gift of the gab. But anyways back to the story. Well the guys Jeff Griffin and Jeff Anson (Owns Total Auto Protection now) wanted to go skiing so I went and bought my first Mountain bike a Diamond Back. I rode this bike for over 1300 miles in 1 month getting ready for the ski trip and the hook was set. I fell in love with the bicycle until someone decided to borrow it off my porch and I had to go out and buy a new one a Giant.
To be continued…..
So back to the first Spinning class on South Beach at Let it Ride. I arrived on that Monday morning with cycling shoes in hand and adrenaline in my heart. The class consisted of 6 guys and my instructor Art Dilworth. Well class began and I started to analyze and adapt to my new machine. It took me about 10 mins. to find a grove and I got to tell you when I did I went nuts on that bike, me and my buddies fed off Art and Art off us. It was magic man, I tell pure you magic. The music, the moment and the Energy the Road the Inspiration I felt it, I could do it I mean you know all the words don’t you. My friends I got off of that bike and I found a Champion inside…..
As I took off my cycling shoes I told Art and my buddies this I am going to manage this place and teach Spinning for a living We all laughed got dressed and said goodbye. I was touched and my flame was lit. I return that day spoke to the owner, he hired me on the spot. I was working one week later behind the desk, was certified in a couple of weeks and was teaching within 3 weeks. Soon after I got my first Spinning tattoo and 3 months later I made another prediction that I would work for this company Spinning one day. Life was fun at the gym/studio and I would slowly but surely give up the nightlife. I began to use my electronic and mechanical abilities by fixing everything that was broken like the stereo and the bikes. I eventually installed a headset plug in system over every bike because the noise from the sound equipment was disturbing the massage parlor next door.( Yah that was a smart move to put a loud gym next to a massage parlor) but I solved it because we modeled the system on the same equipment that I would eventually work on in Johnny’s gym in LA Johnny G’s Spinning World Headquarters.
To be continued…..
A few months passed and I began to teach class after class (23 a week)at clubs all over Miami like: Street Dance, Body and Soul, Living Well Lady, Olympia Gym, Golds Gym, Downtown Athletic Club, Bally’s Total Fitness, William’s Island. Finally giving up within 6 months my position with the private investigation company to just teach and teach and teach. I had no energy or desire to go out and PARTY anymore and my VIP room layouts turned into Spinning room layout at 10 different clubs and every Gym receptionist now knew my name. I literally felt like I died and came back as a Spinning instructor, Old clients called me for new work and I would invite them to a Spin class, it was a blast. Around fall I received a letter from Tony Vargas from Orlando inviting all Spinners to a 12 hour Spinning journey with Johnny G himself. COOL I was going to get to ride with HIM the DUDE the Inventor. So I paid the 250 dollars and signed up. Oh boy was life about to change.
I arrived at the tent at 6:00 am in the morning and there he was , Johnny G. The man the myth. I had been told the stories and heard all the rumors but there he was in spandex and big white letters on the side that said SPINNING. I felt like something special was in store for me , I knew it.
The ride began and the magic started all over again as if it was the very first time just 11 months ago. It was incredible the energy, the feeling, the sweat, the burning, the passion I could keep going.. but I’ll spare you. I was again in Spinning heaven and I was peddling towards everything I wanted in my life and Johnny’s words struck a cord in me that has vibrated ever since. We all rode like madmen for 12 hours and I was so energized I placed my bike in the sunlight just outside the tent for the last 4 hours and was invited to ride on stage with a Japanese drumming band. Way cool. When the ride ended I jumped off my bike jumping up and down and people thought I was crazy but I was just so energized. Johnny came over to me a said “Respect, would you like to move to LA and run my Gym?”I was a little stunned and not knowing what to say I said I’ll call you and ran to the car that leaving.
That was Sunday, I called Johnny on Thursday and He returned my call the next day Friday and by Monday afternoon the following week I had subleased my South Beach apartment. By Tuesday I had a home for my cats Bubba and Budda for the price of food and by Wednesday I sold my car and was ready to go. I called Johnny on Thursday and he called me back on Friday and I moved to LA on the following Thursday. I was in Hollywood..Spinning Style..
I arrived at the Johnny house with 3 bags filled and 500 dollars to my name and that’s it. I met the family Jodie, Jordan, Jackie, Jason and there 2 cats Sugar and Spice. The Goldberg’s, oh that’s what G stood for Goldberg. Johnny had a real family and a real life too. huh..cool.
I began working at Johnny G’s Spinning world headquarters as General Manager that week while Johnny traveled. Man what a place I remember it so well because it had so much magic. The candles, the incense, the love that was present there made me feel so honored. These were to be called by all the Jodie details. See Jodie is Johnny’s wife. She was the soft in all that was Johnny G Spinning headquarters and was the designer and magician be hide the decor. Johnny was the Energy that made it need the balance of softness to hold value as a balance in design and appeal. I remember walking in and feeling like I was home as my eyes began to focus on all the details like rice in a bowl over the toilet to the smiles in the pictures on the peoples faces who had visited from so many nations on earth. I wish to rebuild something like it one day, I remember it so well because this would soon become my home as I moved in upstairs in to the office and that’s where I met. Dear Ole Uncle Louie. Louie is gentle Aquarius like me and set in his ways kinna just like me. (Louie today is kinda the bookkeeper at MDA in the Venice office) I remember moving the office around and the look on his face as we moved his stuff around. Oh well I had to sleep somewhere and the stuff was in the way. Louie like the girls and usually the very pretty ones and always made a bee line for them whenever he saw them walk in the door My first few days were so cool, all new faces a whole new seen and i was in Spinning Heaven, I mean Spinning Headquarters sorry. It was so cool to me that m whole life had changed in just a matter of 2 weeks period . I began to really look around the place and that when I noticed things that were in need of servicing like the Spin bikes so I found all the tools and began servicing every bike back to life. To be continued…..
My family back in Miami was on my mind more and more and I decided it was time for me to go home and be close to my mom and dad who was about to retire. I left Dec 1998 to go home and I remember my last day at headquarters and cried as I walked out, headquarters was open for another 11 months before closing for good. Upon arriving in Miami I received a letter of invite to become an MDA presenter and returned to LA 4 months later for training. (to be continued)
I was invited over the next 2 yrs to teach at ECA and was invited to Venezuela 4 times to teach as a representative of MDA and Spinning. Here in Miami I owned at the time a company called Innercycle, in addition to my 23 classes a week I fixed 400 Spinning bicycles a month and was the only presenter in the world who worked for what I called the BIG 3 MDA, Johnny and Schwinn.
(To be continued)……….