Spinning in her spare time

Spinning in her spare time

This doctor finds fulfillment in teaching biking after-hours.
Oct 01, 2007

Last year my husband opened a state-of-the-art fitness facility. He needed candidates for a group-cycling certification program and still had a vacant spot on the day of training. As co-owner of the gym, I felt obligated to fill the seat—literally.

Pedal faster! Dr. Wendy King leads a biking class at her husband's gym.
I took the class under protest. I've never been into fitness and would never have decided to teach a cycling class on my own. But after eight hours of hard-core training and three cycle rides later, I was addicted and, believe it or not, energized. The only negative to such a long session was that I had to carry around a cushion to sit on for three days. Now I can promise my students that the butt pain does eventually go away.

I teach intense 30-minute classes at least three times a week. The class I teach is called X-biking and simulates mountain biking. I like teaching better than just attending the class because I'm a control freak. When I'm teaching, I get to pick the music and I know when the hills start (and, more importantly, when they're ending). And as the instructor, I don't have an excuse to skip class.

After a full day of working at my veterinary practice you'd think I'd be too tired to ride, but the music and exercise energize me and help me blow off steam. A surprising benefit has been that my previous public speaking phobia is gone. Now I don't mind yelling and encouraging fellow cyclists even with a microphone in front of me.

My hobby has helped me become a better veterinarian, boss, wife, and parent. I'm healthier than I've ever been. I even offer my team members half off the monthly membership dues at the gym as an employee benefit—and most of them take me up on it.

—Wendy B. King, DVM Veterinary Medicine & Surgery; Lugoff, S.C.