Blonde woman looking over her shoulder

How Erin Found Her TRYBE & Tapped Into Strength

After taking a leap and making a HUGE life-change, Erin took ZYN22 for a spin and found freedom, strength, community and so much more in the Dome. Here’s how she went from a 3rd-row rider to rcoking the podium bike with crazy confidence thanks to the support of her TRYBE

My ZYN22 journey began at the exact time I needed it- on July 23, 2015. I had just moved to Fort Worth after having made the difficult decision to leave an abusive relationship. The two and half years I spent in that relationship were the hardest of my life.  During that time, an individual depleted me of my joy, confidence and overall sense of self worth through their constant criticism, controlling behavior and rage. I now, more than ever, believe the saying is true that you don’t realize how bad of a situation you are in until you’ve removed yourself from it.

When I arrived in Fort Worth, I felt completely lost and left with an overall feeling of sadness not knowing what my next steps would be.   For the first time in my life, I was living alone and completely starting over.  I desperately needed a positive change and an uplifting environment.  My friend invited me to go with her to this “really great cycling studio” she had been going to. I reluctantly agreed and booked a bike on the 3rd row.

I felt an array of emotions as I stepped into The Dome. Like, what was this crazy dark room full of stationary bikes and loud music?! And why was everyone so happy?! I was nervous, scared, overwhelmed and excited all at the same time – feelings so many of my riders have shared they’ve experienced during their first days at ZYN22. I clipped in those pedals and told myself I was really going to try. The music began, my feet started pedaling and I was immediately hooked. I distinctly remember the moment after arms when the music got a little softer and Kathryn started talking about the confidence and strength each of us gained with every pedal stroke in class. I felt the tears form in my eyes, and I knew I truly needed to hear that message. I felt an overwhelming sense of support and community in that moment – like although we were strangers, everyone in the room was supporting not only me, but each other. WOW.

Days turned into months and I slowly started finding myself feeling a little more confident with each and every class.  I stuck with the 3rd row for a while until I felt confident enough to move up to the 2nd row. That’s where I sat for a few weeks until one Friday afternoon when Ashton encouraged me to move to the FRONT ROW. I sheepishly declined her offer. She continued to encourage me until I finally moved up. That encouragement made me feel so empowered, supported and valued.  I felt like I had found a community that believed in me and my abilities.

Before I knew it, I found myself contemplating trying out to be a ZYNstructor! (I was TERRIFIED, y’all!) I must have talked myself out of it and back into it no less than 10 times simply because I didn’t know if I was capable. I finally mustered up the courage to try out and I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did. Instructor training tested my physical and mental strength more than almost any other experience ever has.  To be honest, I feel like that was the exact experience I needed to finally start moving forward and believing in myself again.  I was able to overcome physical and mental challenges and slowly begin to rebuild myself.

We use the term “community” so much at ZYN22 and I can honestly say that I have found the best community through teaching.  Being a ZYNstructor has led me to find some of the most wonderful friends around – from fellow ZYNstructors and Z SQUAD, to all of the amazing riders.  I would never have known some of my very best friends if it weren’t for ZYN222.  I love walking into the studio and seeing the new and familiar faces every day.  I am truly thankful for each and every individual that walks through those doors.  Many of you that know me have never been aware of my past of abuse, but each and every one of you have unknowingly helped to build me up by your smiles, high fives and genuine kindness.  ZYN22 truly is a community of love and support.

Each of us has a different journey and we all face different challenges, but the amazing thing is that we get to share our journeys together as one community. We lift each other up when we fall and we celebrate each other’s accomplishments and progress together as a unified team.  ZYN22 has seen me at my very lowest of lows but it has helped me reach a place of progress and growth that at one point, I didn’t know I was capable of reaching ever again. I am a different person because of ZYN22 and I am so incredibly grateful for that.

I love to ask my riders if they feel stronger at some point in each class. My hope is that they all know that the strength I reference is far more than just the physical.  The strength I see in my riders is comprised of their kindness, courage, genuine care and support of one another.  That strength is what truly matters in life. That strength is why I ride and that strength is why I teach.

Thank you to each and every one of you for being a part of my journey.

Ready to Find Your TRYBE? Saddle up with Erin at ZYN22FTW this week!