Natalie Carter (Class of 2009) tells us about launching Spin Genève, how she got inspired through her sabbatical and the unexpected benefits of turning your passion into a business.
My IOMBA experience started back in 2008: I was an MDC student and dipped in and out of full time IOMBA life. I was immersed to the point of drowning for the Net Impact Conference and stayed at a good distance when it came to sitting any exams. My career as a consultant for PwC benefitted from the IOMBA experience as I worked on lots of consulting projects with International Organizations and not for profits in Geneva, but last year I decided I was done – burnt, fried and cooked. I finally jumped out of corporate life to take a step back and think.
Not working anymore meant I had a lot of time on my hands and a lot of space in my head to cogitate and deliberate over potential new ideas for how to spend the rest of my life. This is how Spin Genève was born – kind of. After an evening of beer talk, my husband who loves road cycling, and his pal who owns a bike shop said why don’t we offer spin classes this winter – that way we stay in shape over the winter and if we’re lucky, get paid at the same time? Why not? After almost 20 years sitting behind a desk in an office the idea of doing something fitness related sounded like fun. Looking back at my time at work, there was never really very much fun in political corporate life – and I leapt at the chance to try something new and build something together with my other half.
So on Jan 5th 2015 we opened Spin Genève – Geneva’s first dedicated spin studio. If you’re not sure what spinning is – check out our website (of course) www.spin-geneve.com or take a look at Soul Cycle or Flywheel in the US where the trend is much more established. So, is it fun? Yes, it’s more than fun – it’s exhilarating. The process of creating something that didn’t exist before has been incredibly rewarding – it’s got the great advantage of being tangible – we offer classes, people come along they work out and enjoy it!
With the thrill of starting something also brings a different kind of anxiety – the “will I make enough money to live on” kind that doesn’t exist in the comfort of a long term contract. This is hardly a new anxiety, it’s just new to us. I think it’s a healthy concern to have in one of the world’s most expensive places to live, but it’s dwarfed in comparison with the energy and drive I have when I get up at 6am ready for my 7am class. And to top it all off, after years getting larger, my bum is actually getting smaller. Now that’s what I call the value of spinning!