Photo by Meredith Perdue
I am thrilled to share my first Caitlin Crowe Wellness Blog feature about my dear friend Savannah King! Savannah and I first connected through Rêve Cycling Studio in Portland, Maine. I wanted to feature Savannah because of her inspirational ability to balance a career as a scientist with teaching spin and other athletic endeavors. Her spin classes are highly inspirational and will always have you pushing yourself to a stronger version of you. Let’s clip in and enjoy the ride.
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Savannah, and I am a thoroughbred Mainer. I took some time away during school but Maine must do something to its water — I never want to leave.
2. What do you do professionally?
I’m a scientist at IDEXX, an animal diagnostic company based out of Westbrook, Maine. I started working in reagent manufacturing out of school, eventually moved into a product support role and most recently, took a job developing diagnostic assays for our Companion Animal Group. Yes, I get to wear a lab coat every day; it never gets old.
3. How do you spend your time outside of work?
Being active! I love spinning, running, skiing, practicing yoga, hiking and biking. I’ve actually recently, due to injury, started swimming and weight-lifting. Pretty much anything to get my heart beating faster. And I do, contrary to popular belief, like a bit of down time. I scope out Portland’s food and drink scene whenever I can. Sharing meals and conversation with friends and family is one of my favorite things to do.
4. What inspired you to become a spin instructor?
Honestly, it was on a whim. Rêve offered its first ever instructor training program and I thought, "Why not?" It was a lot of work. I thought I was going to fail out of spin school, and I almost did. My mentor went on vacation, and I mentally gave up the dream. But when she returned home, she reached back out and asked me to meet her at the studio. Something clicked. I distinctly remember riding to "Fire" by Gavin DeGraw, and she looked up when I started to speak. In that moment, we knew something had ignited.
5. How do you balance your career and teaching spin?
I am grateful the company I work for holds work-life balance in such high regard. I work full-time and head to the studio after hours. There are actually many Rêvers who work at IDEXX, and I’ve been able to meet coworkers from around the company this way. Fitness and outdoor activities are some of the best ways to network!
6. Why do you enjoy teaching vs. being a student in group fitness?
Teaching is a gift. Being a student in spinning classes gave me confidence, happiness and friendship. I often say it changed my whole life. Now, I get to give all of those things back to the community that made me who I am. Recently, I have been looking to yoga classes and outdoor activities for new learnings and inspiration. Switching up my workouts and allowing myself to be humbled as a student in class ultimately helps to make me a better teacher.
7. What have you learned about yourself and others through teaching spin?
You will never please everyone. Not everyone will like you or your class. However, there will be people that love you and your class. Those are your people. I’ve also learned there is strength and magic in sweating and working through resistance with a room full of strangers. If you allow yourself the space to get vulnerable enough, those strangers will turn into lifelong friends. And that is the best thing that spinning has giving me: friendship.
8. How do you manage your time on a daily and weekly basis?
All the planners! I have a paper planner for the big stuff. Then, I have an Outlook calendar for work and a Google calendar for running. I am fairly organized but somehow my organization is all over the map. I also keep several to-do lists (think: groceries, Amazon lists) in my phone. Again, all over the place but it seems to work for me.
9. How do you motivate yourself when you are tired?
I am a big believer that motivation ebbs and flows. Life happens. Recently, I fell while skiing and did something to my knee. My motivation to run, even when my injury isn’t plaguing me, has dwindled. I think the biggest thing we can do when you lose motivation happens is listen. Listen to your body and if it hurts and more importantly, listen to your head and if it’s hurting. What do you need? Not want. We all want that extra hour of rest in the morning. What do you need?
10. How do you fuel your body?
If you know me, you know I am not the biggest cook. I spend a lot of time at Whole Foods in their prepared foods section! For the past year or so, though, I have maintained CSAs through two local farms, one out of Alfred and another out of Bowdoinham. I get a box of fresh, unique vegetables delivered directly to my office. I roast root veggies in the winter and prefer my peppers and cucumbers raw with hummus and salt in the summer. That said, I like to eat seasonally and prefer spontaneous meal choice to meal planning or prep because I think it allows me to eat what I am craving and truly listen to what I need. Also, I think the best way to fuel your body is with water! I add Nuun tablets to my large Hydroflask for extra electrolytes and hydration, and it encourages me to drink throughout the day.
11. What does wellness mean to you?
To me, wellness is wholeness. It’s workouts and healthy eating but it’s also balance, meaning wings on Thursday's at a local dive bar and soft serve at my favorite ice cream shop after a long run or bike ride. It is a feeling of having fueled your body with water and nutritious meals, exercised and slept well. More than that, wellness not simply physical; it is mental and emotional too. Listening. Taking care of yourself. That is wellness.