I sat down with my Spin Instructor recently for a lunch of chicken wings with salad (on the side).
Tracy Sullivan-Garrison is an explosion of energy on and off the spin bike. She can easily tell you a full no- holes barred story in two minutes flat followed by a full hour of kick-your-butt spin.
Tracy has built a sub-culture in her class. From 16 years to 85, her class is a community of spinners who come to listen to her fast talk and carefully thought out song list. Her timing is flawless. Good thing because timing and music are everything in spin. It’s the difference between wanting to run out of the room kicking and screaming to enjoying the ride. She plays 17 songs in every class with music ranging from 1957 Doo-wop rock to current day hip-hop. If it’s a spinners birthday, Tracy offers to play a personal playlist, 17 songs of their choosing. “My Mom was very into music and I guess it rubbed off on me.” she explains. “I also have a neighbor who is the Vice President of the Beach Boys fan club and has so much music at home that it’s ridiculous, she gives me music all the time.”
There is also a gentleman in her class who has a son-in-law who works at Capital Records and provides her with a multitude of music. “The people in my class are so good to me,” she says.
Tracy grew up in Valley Cottage but spent a great deal of time at Daytona Beach where her parents moved in 1987 when she was 23. She worked at Bloomingdales on 59th and Lexington and is proud of her sales accomplishments. “I was always one of the highest achievers, winning two trips to Hawaii.” Tracy’s work did not end with her day job back then. After a full day at Bloomies, she raced to her position as a “runner” at Giulios in Tappan. “What a crazy time, it was ridiculous, I would race to get there every night, and barely make it in time.”
In 1993 Tracy met her husband Wayne and started a family. “With each baby I would gain more weight,” Tracy admitted. “My third son weighed 10 pounds and 11 ounces! This caused a major situation!” Tracy, not someone who ever went to a gym before, started walking Rockland Lake. When that wasn’t quite enough, she joined Premier in Nanuet, NY. There she fell in love with spin and was noticed by the fitness manager who told her she should be on the stage teaching not in the audience participating. After a few years and in between babies, Tracy got her certification and began to teach. “I was teaching so many classes at Premier and then the JCC in Tenafly that by the time I got to the supermarket I was delirious in the dairy aisle!”
With three young boys at home Tracy realized that teaching too many classes was just not possible. “I met Teresa at the JCC in Rockland when they first opened about six years ago and I literally badgered her until she just couldn’t say no to me.” Tracy explained. Tracy now teaches five days a week at JCC Rockland and her spinners are so committed to her that she recently planned a “spin lunch” during Restaurant Week that many attended.
“I have had clients come up to me with so many health stories,” Tracy continued. “One man had a heart attack at 67 and the doctor told him he was very lucky. The doctor said whatever your doing for exercise, keep it up!”
Some of Tracy’s clients are true athletes trying to compete with themselves for the most ski runs in one day and others just want to wear pants with a belt. “I love my “belt ladies” as they call themselves,” said Tracy. “They lost enough weight that they all went to Woodbury Commons and bought new belts!”
Tracy’s class certainly is a work out and burns up to 1,200 calories. A great way to get cardio with a great lady in a community of like minded people. It’s a good thing—enjoy the ride.