Iain McKendry was named Health Champion of the Year at the Edinburgh Evening News Local Hero Awards 2018. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 15 months old, Iain has defied the odds by getting on his bike and leading Club McKendry Spinning® classes at Danderhall Leisure Centre. He teaches classes seven times a week, which have proved hugely popular with fitness enthusiasts of all ages.
It's safe to say it's been a bit of a whirlwind for you over the last few weeks! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Iain McKendry and I am 24 years old. I was born seven weeks premature and was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when I was 15 months old. At first doctors thought I would never walk, and throughout my life I have had various surgeries to help me walk better. I am a Certified Spinning®️ Instructor and teach seven classes per week at Danderhall Leisure Centre in my very own Spinning®️ Studio, Club McKendry, which launched on 29th March 2018. Outside of teaching Spinning®️ I enjoy Personal Training either outside in the fresh air or inside the gym.
What inspired you to teach Spin®️?
I took Spinning®️ classes as a student while I lived with my family in Florida. It was the one exercise I found that when I was on the bike I could commit to participating fully in the classes. Growing up with a disability meant that I could not really be involved 100% with sports but when I discovered Spinning®️ I found that I could truly commit to every class.
My Spinning®️ instructor at the time knew I had a passion for Spinning®️ and she told me to look up Josh Taylor, International Master Spinning Instructor online. I was inspired with watching Josh Taylor and knew one day that I wanted to take the stage and teach Spinning®️ myself.
My Instructor contacted Mad Dogg Athletics and told them my story. Mad Dogg Athletics contacted me and invited me to go through training to be a Certified Spinning®️Instructor at WSSC in Miami, Florida.
In 2013 I took the big step of getting my Spinning®️ certification and I am loving every second of it. My passion is growing more and more with every class I teach. Being on the bike is my way of zoning out and not worrying about challenges that have held me back.
I always wanted to show the world that Spinning®️ is for everyone whether you are able or have a disability and want to improve your fitness. It is you and the bike and you can go at your own pace - nothing should hold you back to improve on your fitness.
Spinning®️ has made me stronger both physically and mentally. I am honored to be part of the Spinning®️ team and family of instructors from all corners of the world and to be an ambassador for anyone who is unsure if they could be part of a Spinning®️ class - I tell them, well if I can do it...
When you hear the words ‘This Is Edinburgh’, the first thing that springs to mind is?
A bustling and lively City where there is always something happening throughout the year - best part of living in Edinburgh is of course we have seasons... fantastic in the summer but as wonderful in the chill of winter. For me, Edinburgh is truly home!
What makes you particularly proud to work in the city?
I had a dream of having my own Spinning®️ Studio and I am particularly proud of the people from Edinburgh and the Lothians who have helped me establish our small Spinning®️ studio - proud of the friendly people of Edinburgh.
As a local, what is a hidden gem that most visitors to Edinburgh may miss?
Visitors flock to Edinburgh Castle and enjoy the views of the City, some even enter into The Scotch Whisky Experience to sample Scotland's finest whisky - visitors of the area may not know that there is a small restaurant downstairs at The Scotch Whisky Experience called The Amber Restaurant which serves fantastic Scottish food with the friendliest service to boot.
How would you describe your perfect day in Edinburgh?
Teaching my Spinning®️ class at Danderhall Leisure Centre followed by a personal training session out in the sunshine or in the gym followed by a meal in Nandos for great food with friends.