Amy Carlos wears quite a few hats: She's a mom to her 18-month-old daughter Emily Rae, a wife to her husband of four-and-a-half years George, a full-time operations manager for Technicolor, a spin instructor, and a lacrosse coach. She refers to herself as a workaholic, but we at The Sweat Shoppe define her as the real deal.
Amy's dedication to her riders, both on and off the bike, is electric. Her energy in The Hot Room is contagious, and she owns her nickname 'Coach' very proudly. The moniker was created from Shoppe owner, Mimi Benz, during the first round of teacher training in 2013. It has stuck ever since.
"The term 'Coach' to me has always been a term of endearment, a term of respect to some of the people who have had a huge impact on my life."
Whether you're a regular in her class or trying it out for the first time, you'll see quickly that she truly is a coach in every sense.
"I draw a lot of energy from the people in the room, and when I see them succeeding and pushing and working hard—even when I see a rider completely broken down and I get to build them back up—that's where I draw my inspiration from."
Amy treats her classes like a team, and that sense of camaraderie has been a part of her life since growing up in New Hampshire with her two brothers, mom, and dad.
"Sports were a source of confidence for me (growing up). No matter how awkward or dorky I was, sports kept my self-esteem high because I knew I could work hard and play well."
Amy and her brothers were always encouraged by their parents to be active, goal-oriented, and to work hard to get what they wanted. This work ethic began at a young age for Amy. She started playing baseball at 5, competing in gymnastics at 6, and skiing competitively at 7. She played every sport she could, but when she found lacrosse at 12-years-old, it was love at first sight. Her older brother was invited by one of his school friends to play on a lacrosse team, and after Amy saw that the sport wasn't looking for a specific body-type in their participants, she decided she wanted to give it a try as well.
"We were not exceptional athletes. We just worked harder than anyone else and then we found a sport that fit."
Amy joined a local lacrosse team, and her fearless attitude catapulted her to goalie. Amy said her parents were shocked when they arrived at her game and she was nowhere to be found. After asking around, someone told them, "Oh, she's in the goal."
"My mother said, 'Excuse me?!' And then she had another nine years of being a goalie's mom."
From there it was history. Amy went on to receive a full-ride scholarship for lacrosse at Sacred Heart University, and after graduating she began to coach.
Amy is not only an athlete but is equally a sports fan. Watching sports with her brothers has become a bonding experience. Growing up in New Hampshire, she inevitably became a New England sports fan. Amy said fans take their teams very seriously, through the good times and the bad. She is a diehard Patriots fan and said she loves Tom Brady "in a very visceral way."
Through and through, she lives up to her Coach nickname, and her non-stop schedule is something only a true coach could handle. She's a mom, a wife, works full-time, teaches spin, and coaches lacrosse.
Amy first began spinning in February 2012. She had been doing a lot of Bikram yoga and liked the concept of a heated spin room.
"At first, I was such a spaz on the bike. I had never felt so uncoordinated in my life," she said about her first experience in The Hot Room.
Determined that she could do it, Amy made a goal for herself: She decided to become an instructor—and she did.
"It was something that I had to do to prove to myself that I could do—and be a part of a team again."
Now, Amy has incorporated spin into her life four mornings a week, teaching the 6 a.m. class Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and the 6:45 a.m. class on Saturday. Her busy schedule is enough to exhaust anyone, yet she still finds a way to incorporate her workout into her daily schedule.
"Fitness in my life now. It's my sanity. It's my balance. It's that thing I get to do for myself. It's the example that I want to set for my daughter—that if you put your mind to something, your body will succeed. If you want it. you have to work for it."
As a 6 a.m. student turned 6 a.m. trainer, Amy is a Sweat Gangsta early morning riser through and through. Waking up early is not an excuse to slack off in the saddle. Students taking her class should be prepared to do one thing: work.
So, when you go to Amy's class expect to be pushed hard and sweat a ton, and, most importantly, expect to be inspired.