Wildcat Tracks: Sara-Taylor Reed ’09
Evidence has shown that exercise gives us an outlet for suppressed energy created from stress, which means exercise tones our spirit just as it conditions our body. Sara-Taylor Reed would agree with that. As a Cyclebar instructor, she knows first-hand the benefits of working out. Her fitness journey began while she was a student at Westminster. “I started running in high school and continued into college until my knees started to hurt. After taking a long break from exercise, I got into weight lifting my senior year of college and promised myself I’d never get ‘off the wagon’ with fitness ever again because it just feels SO much better to move,” she said. “A few years later, I took my first Cyclebar class and was hooked. Two of my favorite things combined into one activity: working out and blasting good music. Long story short, I became an instructor. I’ve grown and learned more as an instructor here than maybe anywhere else. It forces me to get up even when I don’t feel like it!”
Sara-Taylor remembers several Westminster teachers and staff impacting her during high school. “Let’s start with Mrs. Brown. I’ll never forget a conversation we had one day about the dress code. She helped me gain a new perspective about why there was a dress code—that it’s about having respect for yourself and your body as well as respect for everyone else that might see you. Her words had a huge impact on my 15-year-old self, and even today, I’m very aware of what I am saying to myself and the world with the way I dress. Second on the list would be Mrs. Keaton, my senior-year English teacher. Mrs. Keaton had a way of challenging and encouraging our writing. Her class changed everything; it made college a breeze and continues to make writing something I enjoy and feel confident about. She was the first person who ever told me I was good at writing, and that stuff sticks with a person, you know?”
“Lastly, another teacher that had a big impact on me was my sophomore-year English teacher, Dr. Gibson. At the time, I was going through a darker period of high school. My grades were slipping, and I was making some questionable decisions. Without judgment, he pulled me aside one day and made one thing very clear; he cared enough to call me out. He became someone I could talk to about things that were going on in my life, even after I graduated. When I was struggling in my first year of college, I reached out to him for advice. And then, when I got engaged, he was one of the first people I called!”
Now that she is an instructor herself, Sara-Taylor recognizes she is in the same position to make an impact on the people sweating through her classes. “I had no intentions of helping anyone when I first started. Honestly, I just wanted to make the playlists so that I could listen to the music I like. All of that changed once I began training. I recognized a difference between certain instructors. I wanted to be like the ones who made you think; the ones who spoke differently; the ones who were real and authentic—they didn’t just say the same old stuff you hear in every workout class,” she said. “They spoke in a way that could wake you up to reality instead of just going through the motions. Since then, I’ve begun the journey of finding my own voice. Some days it feels natural, and others, it’s not so easy. No matter what, though, I’m always coaching from my own experience. Typically what I say on the bike is something I’ve been through or am currently working through.”
No matter what, Sara-Taylor continues to share her joy of fitness, even when she feels less than motivated. According to her, lack of motivation is pretty common; even she can relate to that feeling: “Once I’m there and moving, I always feel better. So my word of wisdom or healthy habit for others would be to simply MOVE your body every day. And if you miss a day, who cares? You wouldn’t give up on eating if you missed a meal! Instead of making it about how you look, or working out to burn off something you ate, just move to feel better. When we feel better, we make better decisions, sleep better, and treat ourselves and others better!”
Sara-Taylor teaches at Cyclebar Creve Couer on Monday at 6:00 a.m. or Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.; Cycle Bar Richmond Heights on Thursday at 4:45 p.m. or Friday at 6:45 a.m.