RIDE OR DIE | KENNEDY, INSTRUCTOR
Meet Kennedy – a Toronto and EXT Instructor that is known for her ‘rave cave’ vibe classes and her natural ability to lift the room and motivate everyone to give 110% on the bike. Get to know Kennedy and how RIDE has impacted her life.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and moved to Toronto in 2016 after I graduated nursing school. While I love the hustle and bustle of the city, I’ll always be an east coast girl at heart.
Can you remember your first RIDE class?
I remember it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I grabbed the heaviest weights (I learned my lesson REAL quick), sat in the back row hidden behind one of the pillars at the Ossington studio, and spent the majority of the class thinking the same three things over and over:
1) “What the hell is happening?”
2) “How is everyone moving their legs so fast?”
3) “Why does this blonde chick keep yelling 1,2?” (Hey, Jess!)
I don’t think my hips could have been closer to the handlebars and I couldn’t have been more offbeat; I hated it and loved it at the same time. Afterward, I told myself I was never coming back and that it wasn’t for me, but I signed up for another class before I went to bed that night. I was in denial for a bit, but I was hooked right away.
How long did it take until you realized you wanted to become an Instructor?
The thought didn’t even cross my mind until there was talk of a new TO studio opening. One day after her class, Reilly pulled me aside to tell me she thought I should audition… and the rest is history! Shout out to Rei for being the best stage mom ever.
Describe your teaching style.
Intense, but honest and encouraging. I’ll always tell you when shits about to get crazy, but I promise I’ll be right there with you the whole time.
Best part of being an Instructor is…
Watching riders push themselves to new limits. I truly mean it when I say “I’m right there with you”, your successes are my successes. Getting to be even a small part of that is the BEST FEELING EVER.
A close second is having a microphone and forcing everyone to listen to my jokes.
Track you’ve had on repeat?
I’ve been revisiting a lot of old faves and have been on a big Pjanoo (Eric Prydz) kick lately. It’s beginning to rival the great Early Morning Dreams obsession of 2019-2020 (if you know, you know).
AM or PM RIDES?
I’ll raise you one better – middays
Favourite way to sweat outside of RIDE?
Running, home-workouts, and impromptu living room dance sessions.
How has becoming a RIDE Instructor changed you?
It’s challenged me and forced me to grow in the best of ways. It’s taught me to just go with the flow, and that my best self is my most authentic self; ridiculous Ken-style dance moves and all.
Go-to quote or words to live by?
Make the chaos count and turn the struggle into strength.
Who motivates you?
My #1 cheerleader, Dave. His character, resiliency, and work ethic silently inspire me daily. He is always encouraging me to be whatever and whoever I want to be and has saved my life in more ways than one. I’m a better nurse, friend, and person because of him. Easiest question so far.
To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve read it four times!
What’s your #1 life hack?
When you get to the bottom of Nutella or peanut butter containers, fill them with ice-cream. You’re welcome.
Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon in the city?
I wish I had this cool and adventurous answer like hiking or exploring the city, but if I’m not working I’m usually in a burrito blanket on the couch snuggling a cat or two.
Any hidden or not so hidden talents?
I can solve a Rubik cube in less than five minutes.
If you could brunch with any person (past or present), who would it be and why?
My younger self… I know she’d be proud of us for finally doing that thing we always said we would do.
Best memory since you joined RIDE?
Two years ago I had a significant health event that physically put my life on pause for a bit and mentally left me in a pretty dark place. I couldn’t work, exercise, and could barely walk around my apartment. When I was finally cleared to go back to exercising, RIDE was the first place I went. By the end of the class, I didn’t know if I was drenched in sweat or in tears (probably both). I remember putting my hand over my chest to feel my heart thumping as I tried to catch my breath and was overwhelmed with this tsunami of gratefulness to just exist and be alive in that room.
Looking back, I think I was brimming with so much emotion because those 50mins were more than just a spin class – it represented all the blood, sweat, and tears (literally) that it took to get back on my feet. It showed me that I could harness the energy from a negative thing and channel it into something powerful, and was the first time that I experienced the magic that is RIDE. Every time I clip in, I try to pay homage to that special moment and create a space where others can have that moment of self-discovery.
#1 piece of advice for someone looking to have a killer RIDE?Keep it simple! Let go of your expectations; breathe in, breathe out and put one foot in front of the other.
What does RIDE mean to you?
To try and limit RIDE’s meaning and impact into one definition just doesn’t seem right. The beautiful thing about RIDE is that it’s whatever you need it to be in that moment. Right now, at this moment to me, it means discovery – I’ve found one of the best versions of myself while dancing around in that candlelit room.