Follow Your Dreams: Spinning with Jamie Cooke

Ones of the best things you can do for yourself is too keep moving. I’ve always loved exercise but it’s only during this past year that I’ve realised it’s not only about keeping fit, but keeping your mind and body in sync, and staying grounded.

No matter whether you choose to or you have to, changing your life, creating new dreams isn’t easy. It takes courage and lots of hard work. founder of , the boot company change her life. In 2003 she launched ‘After the paparazzi snapped Kate Moss wearing them, things were crazy for a while. Matches boutique had a waiting list of 800, J.Lo wanted them, Beyoncé wanted them – I was working flat out.’  At the hight of her business Jaime completly change her life. She, her husband and three young children left central London and moved to Kent.  Jamie’s now a certified Spin and instructor and has her own spin & studio, Popcylce in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

What motivated & inspired you to start Pop Cycle? 
JC: I was in a terrible car accident in Ibiza four years ago which left me with three herniated discs in my lower spine. I was in hospital on morphine for five days with talks of surgery. I decided to consult a neurologist in London whom convinced me not to have surgery, but work on rehabilitation with Pilates and building up a strong core. It took months before I could even stand up straight in the mornings, and then with loads of work and dedication I became stronger and had less days in pain. I couldn’t believe that Pilates could make me feel so good in such a short time. I knew then that I wanted to help others through core fitness and Pilates so decided to train at Body Control in London.

What steps did you take to get things going in the beginning? 
JC: I started with small classes of six students and privates, mainly clients who also had lower back pain. As I became more fit, I wanted to increase what I was offering and started teaching classes at Sweaty Betty and eventually fell in love with spin. That’s when Popcycle was born. I was attending classes in London, NYC and Canada and just loving this new style concept of spin in the dark with a booming system. I wanted to bring that experience to my clients in the countryside. I started with small boutique sized classes in my cellar a couple times a week and now we offer up to 14 spin, and resistance classes a week.
Can you tell us about any habits you have or things you do that setup you up for success every day?
JC: I try to have at least 30 minutes to myself every day, it doesn’t sound like a lot but I get so much out of that time. Even if it is to have a hot bath, read a book or just chill out in my kitchen with a giant cup of tea. Teaching can be super draining especially in a phyisically active environment, the only way I can give my clients all the energy and motivation they need is by having down time and recharging. We get so caught up in rushing around and doing, doing, doing that we lose time for ourselves on a daily basis.
Can you tell me a bit more about the classes & what you mean by Popcycle is indoor cycling re-invented?
JC: Popcycle isn’t just about spin, we work at higher resistance than most classes. I like my clients to bring awareness to their core muscles while riding, we do a lot of choreography to keep it fun and I always add at least 2 tracks with hand weights to work shoulders, biceps and triceps while . The studio is a small boutique environment, so we have no more than 8 per class – my clients really like this as I can watch their form and keep energy levels high when I need to. I wouldn’t be able to give the same experience in a mixed class of 50 bikes. We are in a dark stone cellar, with DJ lighting and a booming sound system. You wouldn’t actually know it exists in the middle of the countryside, we don’t advertise – it is all word of mouth and this brings such a lovely vibe to the studio.
We now offer resistance classes, barre, and Pilates. Plus combination classes with 30 minutes of spin and 30 minutes strength training. We have a ballroom studio for the floor work, it is a very large and beautiful old space with views across the Bayham Abbey Ruins. Sometimes we see deer running by in the middle of our sessions.
I have also just launched 90 minute Live DJ Rides every 6 weeks – which has been a huge success!

I know lots of people who are either afraid of spinning or trying totally love it – is it for everyone?
Like any activity, it isn’t for everyone. But you can do it at any level and any age. I had a 71 year old in my class the other day and she was loving it! You work at your own resistance and pace and do what you can, there is no pressure and the beauty of indoor cycling is that its very low impact so the joints don’t get a beating like they would running or doing high impact cardio, plus it is an insane fat burner! Since I started the classes last February, I have only had one client say she didn’t like it – thats not bad out of 100.
I’ve hear that your playlists are so popular you’ve also been DJing some events!
JC: I love music and always have, I do spend a lot of time on my playlists each week. I feel like the music is what carries you through the tough bits and if I am motivated by my selections, I can get my clients to push that little bit further. I haven’t yet DJ’d my own ride as that would be quite the challenge, getting through a 90 minute session teaching alone is quite the feat. I work with the DJ on the Live Ride sets so we know what songs are being played and I can work out profiles for each track prior to the class.
When I face a big challenge I… work out how I am going to approach it. I try not to jump in without a plan, but really think about the decision and how it affects myself and everyone in involved.
My greatest fear is… not having the energy to do what I love. Some days I wish I could give more, but I also have to remind myself that I can’t do everything!
If I could go back in time to when I was 20 I would tell myself… to live in the moment and enjoy it. I spent much of my 20’s wanting to achieve and look at the future, rather than living in that wonderful moment. Being in fashion made it very difficult as we were always working 1-2 seasons ahead, it was impossible not to think about the next year.
The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is…quitting my fashion business Muks. I could have kept it going, but demands in family and moving to the country meant I would have to continue to travel and lose time with my children. That was a hard decision to stop, but now I know it was the best choice as I have a better balance with the kids and my love for Cycling and Pilates.


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