By Laura Gonzalez ’15, Campus Recreation Services, Communication Assistant
Meet Meredith: a Cycle Group Fitness Instructor
Meredith Willson, a senior civil engineering major, has been a group fitness instructor with Campus Recreation Services for nearly a year. She heard about the opportunity through a friend on the Maryland Triathlon team, earned her certification to teach cycling classes, was awarded the position and hasn’t looked back.
Willson teaches Cycle 45, a 45-minute non-impact cycling class designed for all fitness levels that mixes speed and resistance for a total workout. She also teaches a class introduced just last spring called Cyclefest which occurs once a semester and features a two hour video ride focused on climbing and endurance.
Her love of cycling began in high school with spin classes and eventually expanded to road cycling after she joined the Maryland Triathlon team at the university.
“The most rewarding part of being an instructor is that I can see progress throughout the semester. Many of the people that come to my classes come every single week and as the semester goes on, I try to make the classes a little bit tougher, Willson said, “Even though the workouts get harder, everyone toughs it out and hopefully leaves with even more satisfaction than they did the week before.”
Willson is no stranger to pushing her limits. In the summer of 2013 she participated in a fundraising event called the 4K for Cancer led by the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults that consisted of a 4,507 mile ride from Baltimore, MD to Portland, OR over the span of 70 days. She made the journey with 24 other strangers across states to deliver two scholarships to young adults diagnosed with cancer in addition to cooking meals at American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodges along the way.
Willson rode for her grandfather who died of leukemia and a family friend who was diagnosed with colon cancer. Not only did this fulfill Willson mentally and emotionally, but after the first two weeks of cycling every day she saw marked improvement in her cycling fitness and ability.
In addition to this cross-country ride, Willson competed in her first full Ironman Maryland competition in September and hopes to go to with the Maryland Triathlon team to national competitions in the spring.
After graduation, Willson hopes to continue teaching indoor cycling. It is important for her to have an outlet for fitness activity and incorporate what she loves into her wellness routine.
Willson suggests that those who are hesitant to try group fitness should take the plunge!
“We make it a point to ask participants if there is anyone new to the class, if anyone has any questions or is concerned about any past or present injuries,” Willson said, “Group fitness is a fun and interactive way of getting your daily dose of exercise. For me at least, time seems to pass a lot quicker when I’m surrounded by other people pushing themselves, than when I’m working out on my own.”
About Group Fitness at Maryland
Group fitness classes are a fun way to be active and offer a challenge for people from all fitness and experience levels. Classes are open to all university students, CRS members and guests.
To attend a class, you must obtain a group fitness sticker by signing an informed consent waiver and presenting your university ID or CRS membership card with the sticker attached at the time of the class. Classes are drop-in only, so no need to sign up ahead of time.
All instructors are undergraduate or graduate students at this university and are certified to teach group fitness classes. Campus Recreation Services offers a wide variety of classes, including BODYPUMP™, bootcamp, cardioboxing, cycling, HIIT, pilates, yoga, & Zumba®.
The #iamCRS spotlight blog series highlights outstanding CRS student employees. Learn more about student employment at CRS.