Swet Haus: What made you want to come to the Swet Haus?
Stephanie Johnson: I started coming to the Swet Haus April of 2016 because the twice-weekly spin class I had been at Vancouver Island University ended and I wanted to keep up with my fitness. The VIU Spin Coach suggested I try out the new ‘Swet Haus’ Spin Studio.
SH: Can you describe your first class? How’d you feel during and after? Was it what you expected? What made you come back?
SJ: I was so anxious going my first time! and asked Jacqui to reserve me a bike, closest to the door – in case I had to bail. I looked at the small, dark room with the bikes so close together and thought “oh dear, I’m a plus size middle age woman – what the hell am I doing here?”. I expected the class was going to be full of skinny minis in fashionable work out gear gett’n their groove on. My God! Was my perception of the Swet Haus ever wrong! I was blown away, from my that very first class and still am today. The ‘Swetlings’, as Matt lovingly calls us participants are all like me in some way…coming to the swet room with different shapes, sizes, abilities – all with ferocious determination to be fitter and stronger.
I was hooked after that first class. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before in fitness training. I felt after that first class like a warrior! Yes, it was really hard. Yes, my sit bones hurt like hell and I wanted nothing more than to cry my eyes out, run away and never come back…but…something clicked for me during that first 45 minute Swet Strong class. I did it and I didn’t die. I felt accomplished. This was it – I found ‘my thing’ that I knew I could do the rest of my life. I remember thinking to myself “I can’t wait until it’s not so hard, and I actually like it”… I can honestly say I look forward to my classes now as I’ve seen huge results in just one year of consistent training.
SH: Tell us some of your most notable accomplishments here so far? Like your avg power when you started to now.
SJ: When I started, my average power was 155. Today, it’s hovering around 225 – 250. My most notable accomplishment has been consistency. I am really proud of myself for sticking with it every week. I attend 3 classes per week – shoot for 4 when time permits and never less than 2. This consistency has really brought me great gains in my overall fitness. Looking back, I can’t believe how far I’ve come. Pretty much every class, I give it my all, even on those days I really don’t feel like going. I’m so strong, fit and healthy now.
SH: Word on the street is that you’ve lost over thirty pounds. Did you do anything else different other than Swet Haus?
SJ: Yes! I know it doesn’t sound like much in a year, but I’ve always struggled with my weight so this loss is exciting for me. I’ve been a vegetarian for a long time. I believe that eating plant based, whole foods is key to our planet’s sustainability and our overall health. But it wasn’t until I consistently trained at Swet Haus until the weight started shifting. I think the cardio really fired up my metabolism.
SH: Have you noticed a difference in your everyday life since you started coming to the Swet Haus?
SJ: Pushing myself to my personal limit, each and every time I work out has carried forward into my everyday life. I have way more energy. I’m happier and take better care of myself. I “think like an athlete” ….what I mean by this is, when I know I’m spinning the next day, I ensure I’m rested, hydrated and well nourished.
SH: What’s the biggest difference between Swet Haus and anywhere else you’ve trained?
SJ: Hands down Matt, Jacqui & the trainers and the incredibly supportive culture they’ve created. I attend mostly Matt’s classes. It’s kind of funny, I don’t want to let Matt down because he believes in me. In the beginning when I started, Matt projected a belief in me – that yes, I can do this – be the athlete I wanted so badly to become. I remember the shift earlier this year – when I started to believe in myself! That was so huge. I didn’t think it was possible to get to where I am today…but I did…one class at a time.
It’s the people that make the Swet Haus so special. Also, their investment in high quality bikes.
Another key difference is in the level of training we receive. Matt develops programs every month, building on the previous month’s progress.
SH: What’s your favourite thing about the Swet Haus?
SJ: The people and the positive culture.
SH: What advice would you give to any new riders who haven’t been, or are hesitant to come to the Swet Haus?
SJ: Like the ole Nike commercial – Just do it! I hear from friends all the time “I can’t go, it’ll be too much for me….I’ll throw up…yadda, yadda, yadda”. No you won’t. You’ll survive and you’ll also thrive. Trust me…If this sista can do it, so can you. I started going with a really low fitness level and a perception that I wasn’t ‘athletic enough’ to go to the Swet Haus — oh, how I was wrong. It’s the exact right place for you to be. All of us Swetlings will be there to sweat along side you in your journey to become an athlete too. You’re first ride is just ten bucks—you’ll be hooked after that.
SH: What’s next for you?
SJ: Sweat Strong class tonight and I plan on increasing my RPM. The brutal 40x30s this month have really helped, but I have a goal of getting to 110 consistently over the next few month.
I also bought a new bike this year and I have a personal goal of riding it from Tofino to Uclulet…..
Thank you Matt and Jacqui for creating such a special place and for giving it your all, each and every time. This is what makes your place so truly special.