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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Fitness a state of mind and body
First Wind Cycling & Fitness improves both
Published Thursday, August 20, 2015 8:05 am
by Ashley Mahoney

Karen Hill’s heart conditions have not kept her sidelined.  

From a decade in investment banking to opening First Wind Cycling & Fitness at 1930 Camden Road Suite 120, the Charlotte native knows what it takes to over come the odds.

“I started working with a local organization—it’s a nonprofit called Camp Luck,” Hill said. “They run a number of different programs, but the biggest part of it is a sleepaway camp for kids with heart disease and their siblings. They run a big event every year—one of their largest fundraisers is called Bike Luck.”  

Following her increased involvement with cycling, Hill began a process of putting together First Wind.  

“I have a couple heart conditions, and my whole life, up until my adult life, I played sports, but I would get tired really fast and had a lot of problems and would pass out and things like that, and nobody really knew what was wrong,” she said.  

“And then, when I was 25, everything went dark, and all of the sudden my heart was like racing, my whole body was shaking. [I] had to go to the emergency room. They had to stop my heart, and then I had to have a procedure to correct something called Supraventricular Tachycardia.”  

Hill found physical and mental relief through fitness.   

“They found that I still had issues, and so I have been on [a] different series of medications since then, and have gone through periods of time where I can’t drive and I can’t do things like that,” she said. “So I started walking to work, and then I started running. When I was a kid, I couldn’t even run a mile, and then I remember the day I ran two miles, and I was like, ‘this is the greatest day of my life!’  

“Then I just started getting into fitness. It really started helping me with my heart condition—just kind of feeling better on a daily basis. Cycling was just one of those things that I got really into.”   

First Wind Cycling & Fitness has cycling, barre, personal and small group training, as well as combo classes. One is a ride to the barre, a 55-minute workout split between the stationary bike and a horizontal bar at waist level for support.  

“They’re supposed to be similar to riding an outdoor bike,” Hill said. “You can do a full-body workout. They burn 20 percent more calories than a regular stationary bike, and they’re easier on your back and knees because there’s no sheer force from the bike staying still the whole way through.”   

Cycling classes can hold up to 20 people, while barre caps at 14 so participants have room to move about. Additionally, small group training sessions max out at eight people.  

While people want to feel and look fit, few want to pay for it with time or money. A single class is $20. However, first-time students can attend two classes for that amount. Additionally, a class pass (five classes for $90 or 10 classes for $170) or an unlimited package (one month for $185, six months for $175, or 12 months for $165) includes cycling and barre.  “For me it’s all still very new—fitness being a big part of my life is still new,” Hill said. “I think I have a very deep appreciation for it because I couldn’t do this stuff before, and now I can. It isn’t something that I dread—it’s something that I look forward to—it’s something that is a new experience for me every time I go out there.”  

For information on personal or small group training: go to http://firstwindcycling.com/personal-training.   


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