A lot of athletes find their way to a spin bike (and its workout high) before too long. Extreme sports and self-confessed adrenaline junkie Adam Kessel first discovered indoor cycling in a different way—after he was injured in a motorcycle accident.
His “low impact, high cardio rehabilitation” turned into a passion—he became certified as a cycling instructor (and taught at YAS in Venice), and two weeks ago Kessel opened Santa’s Monica’s first hybrid studio called Cyclepathic. It offers indoor cycling, group fitness, and adaptive classes for athletes of all fitness levels and capabilities—and the studio gives back to likeminded causes.
“My goal at Cyclepathic is to bridge the gap between able-bodied and adaptive athletes,” says Kessel, who made a full recovery from his injuries. “We want able-bodied and differently-abled fitness fanatics to be able to push their limits in the same fitness studio and get challenging workouts to great music while having fun.”
To get everyone sweating, Kessel has assembled a crack team of cycling pros (Madd Dogg and Schwinn trained), plus Crossfit, yoga, dance, HIIT, TRX, and barre instructors. So in addition to cycling, the action-packed schedule features group classes like Sandbell Sweat Shop, Holy HIIT, and an Adaptive Dance Class led by 22-year old dancer Chelsie Hill, who was a passenger in a drunk driving accident in her senior year of high school, which left her a T10 paraplegic and in a wheelchair.
Hill, whose own foundation Walk and Roll helps spinal cord injury survivors fulfill their passion for dance, recently took her first indoor cycling class at Cyclepathic. “The feeling I experienced getting on a bike and riding alongside able-bodied riders was indescribable,” she says. “With the help of the Cyclepathic staff who assisted me in pedaling, and the energetic cheers of encouragement from the fellow riders in the room I realized that we can really melt the barriers between able-bodied and differently-abled athletes,” Hill says.
Kessel is working on adding additional adaptive classes to the schedule geared towards build core, balance, and upper body strength—which is critical for adaptive athletes. Cyclepathic also donates a portion of their proceeds to Life Rolls On, a foundation started by Kessel’s friend Jesse Billauer (who sustained a spinal cord injury while surfing and now is confined to a wheelchair) that empowers paraplegics and quadriplegics to experience the freedom of mobility by riding a wave with the assistance of adaptive equipment.
“I really want to raise awareness about the unlimited possibilities and capabilities of disabled athletes,” says Kessel. “Many of them are pushing the limits in sports and in many cases surpassing what able-bodied athletes have accomplished.” —Rachel Marlowe
Cyclepathic, $22 per class, 720 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100, Santa Monica, 90401, www.cyclepathicfitness.com