Harness-ing the road to fitness

Our CLEFit crew had a busy day ahead of us with the LaureLive concert less then a week away and a 1:00 pm team meeting following our tour stop at Harness Cycle in Cleveland's Hingetown neighborhood. But for now we needed to return our working minds to the present moment. This was our second cycling tour stop of the year so we had an idea of what we were walking into and what it would take physically and mentally to complete today’s ride.

Our crew arrived one by one and we walked through Harness's beautiful boutique. We were warmly greeted by some of the amazing people that make up the Harness Team. They showed us around and helped us get fitted into the right size shoes for the ride. As the previous class let out they passed by us with sweat running down their faces and our own heart rates started to rise. For some of our crew this would be their first ride and the Harness Team was right there to help with set up and adjust the bikes for the newbies.

Katie Spies would lead the ride today and we would soon be experiencing her full-on passion for cycling. This cycle guru/warrior/diva truly creates a full-body workout within her class. As we warmed up her message was clear and inspiring: to leave excuses and our egos behind us as we rode forward on our journey to fitness.

The lights were low with candles lit in the front of the room which helped us focus on ourselves and our inner landscapes, then as the song would change she would bring us back together as a team, a pack of cycling wolves working in tandem for one goal. She reminded us that we were riding together on this wave of energy that was co-created by everyone on this ride, right here, right now.

Our fearless leader, Katie, loves to rock to the beat of the music. Pumping your pedals to a beat in sync with those around you helps keep the individual going on pace, pushing the muscles and streamlining the mind. Some songs truly felt like we were acting out a dance party on a bike, empowering us to turn up our energy a notch.

The Harness Cycle ride lived up to expectation and bestowed a full mind/body workout as promised. As we pedaled on deeper into class the lights came up. We grabbed our hand-weights that we clipped in behind our seats before class and shifted our focus to our upper bodies while keeping our wheels rolling, for we had lots of "road" still to cover. Katie cooled us down shortly after and with sweat oozing from every inch of our bodies we huddled together for our signature "CLEFit Family photo" at the end, (another term that we adopted along the way on our tour). We slugged our bodies out of the classroom and back to the lobby. Many in our crew collapsed on the benches and though our bodies were spent our minds were sharp and alive. Thanks for the ride Harness, we will be back to meet you on the road to fitness again soon.


As we wrapped up the tour we had time to interview Katie and learn more about the passion that keeps her wheels moving forward.

1. Tell me about your passion for fitness?

My passion for fitness comes from my craving to live a balanced and complete life- the more I move, the more balanced I feel. Fitness is not something I compartmentalize; rather I crave the strength, the power, and the balance it brings to every aspect of my life. When I sweat and move with intention, it helps put everything else into perspective.

2. What's your favorite part about what you do with your organization?

The community! Harness Cycle and Groundswell Co are not just studios where you sweat- they are places where communities are created through movement. We connect with the city, with each other, and with ourselves each time we walk through those doors. I am so inspired by each person's story and it is one of my favorite things about our community.

3. For someone that has never cycled before what can they expect from your class?

Tons of energy, upbeat music, a lot of hair flipping, and a sweat session disguised as an indoor cycling dance party that lasts for a cool 45 minutes. I love combining house, dance, EDM, throAt our core, we ride to the beat as a pack, so we turn the lights off and allow each ride to focus less on how he or she looks, and more on how he or she feels. The goal in that 45 minutes is to get lost, let go, and within that darkness, feel light. By the end of the ride, you'll be sweaty, feel powerful, and be ready to take on whatever comes your way.

4. What is(are) your philosophy(ies) on health?

"You never really know your power until you exercise it." This resonated with me because it was through Harness, through movement, competition and pushing myself, that I rediscovered my power and passion. This circles back to my belief that health and fitness aren't things you compartmentalize; in order to feel your best, be your best, and do your best, you need to be wholly immersed in the idea that your health is the most important thing you have. My mom works at the Cleveland Clinic and that has been the one thing she tells me over and over- "if you don't have your health, you have nothing." After struggling for years with what that meant and how to make health a priority, it clicked when I found Harness Cycle. You have to love what you do, and that includes your workout. It permeated into my daily life- when I worked out, I felt better, and then I ate better, and then that balance I craved for so long was something I had finally achieved.

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