Every Monday, I set an alarm for 11:58 a.m. in high anticipation for the online registration of the Thursday night spin class instructed by Peter Gonzalez, who is most commonly known by his DJ name “Peter G.” I log onto IMLeagues, hurrying to click on the “fitness” icon so I can enroll for his class, as if my life depends on it.
Unlike any of the other ones, Peter G’s spin classes fill up four minutes after registration opens at noon; Thursdays happen to be the only day I can go due to scheduling conflicts, but he instructs multiple days a week and it’s the same occurrence every time.
This highly competitive enrollment process only supports my high opinion of him and his classes, suggesting others feel the same as I do. He is an amazing spin instructor and an inspiring individual, loved by Fairfield students.
First-year Erica Adams says, “Peter G’s classes are always so energetic and serve as such a safe space.”
She continues, “It is my favorite way to relieve stress and clear my mind, hands down!”
As a spin instructor, it is important to bring energy and enthusiasm, encouraging those who attend your class to push themselves and have a great time while doing so. This can be challenging as an instructor is also riding a bike and getting a hefty workout. Peter G never fails, however.
Junior Lily Carnicelli, says, “Peter G’s spin classes are the highlight of my day. He brings amazing energy, a hard workout, and the best music.”
From the minute we walk in, to the second we leave there is a huge and exuberant smile on his face. Each attendee is greeted with warmth and comfort, as he approaches us all separately to welcome us. This makes me feel happy to be there and creates a positive environment for all of us spinners.
Throughout the class, he continues to motivate us; he tells us encouraging words and advice, pushes us to challenge ourselves and apply it to our everyday lives. He also frequently checks in on how we are each doing. He never appears tired, even if it is his fourth class of the day, and he never complains. Not only does he work extremely hard, but he loves what he does and it shows.
Sophomore Carina Kortick, a frequent attender of his spin classes, says “He pushes everyone to reach their full potential. You can really tell that he loves what he does.”
When talking to Peter G myself, he expressed that the best part of his career is knowing he has “a positive impact on making people smile, happy, sing, dance and come together.”
He continues, “I love giving, I love making an impact in someone’s life that’s going to change for the better.”
The love us students have of him and his spin classes does not solely come from his great athletic talent and instruction, but also from the mental gain we get from taking his classes. He tells us about his own journey and explains we still have time to figure out and pursue what we love in life; He shares that it took him thirty years to discover his passion for spin instruction and DJing, so for us all to have patience and let nobody bring us down.
Peter G says, “I want people to understand that it was a rough life that I grew up in but I somehow persevered through adversity.”
He continues, “ I want to teach people that you’re going to deal with adversity, but you should thrive on it, embrace it and tap into the better version of you, each and every day.”
He often tells us he’s proud of us for showing up and caring for ourselves by participating in a healthy manner of stress relief or just to stay fit. He wants to help us learn “not to let the little stresses in life get the best of” us, but for us “to get the best of it.”
He strives in each class to not only build our physical strength, but to build our “mental fortitude and resilience.”
This is unique to him as an instructor, as he goes beyond his role of a fitness instructor and transcends into the realm of inspiration and self-motivation. It is not only about physical strength, but preparing us for life beyond college and pushing us to challenge ourselves daily, whether it be academically, physically, or socially.
“We’re all going to make mistakes, we’re all going to fail, and we’re all going through the same things, ” says Peter G. “We’re not alone.”
This has a strong positive impact on me, as well as other attendees, as a safe space is created. College is a lot of fun but it also withdraws a lot of pressure on students and can make us feel isolated in comparison to others. Hearing reminders like these throughout class is sometimes just the thing we need to take a deep breath and keep going, finding comfort amidst struggle.
“I think his classes are uplifting, motivating, and fun!” Elizabeth Decrisanti, a sophomore at Fairfield, says.“I love to go to them after a long week!”
Peter G hopes to help us attendees by connecting with us on a more personal level, something again unique to him. As mentioned before, he does so by sharing tid bits of his own life story and challenges, but he also does so in other ways.
For instance, via his instagram account or in-person after classes, he takes suggestions from us students on songs or themes to do in future classes. Each Thursday, there is a theme whether it be Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa versus Nicki Minaj, One Direction or so on, that one of us attendees most likely contributed to in some way.
This creates excitement in looking forward to a class where an attendee possibly chose the theme or specific songs to incorporate, while also making each of us feel heard. In a way, we get to impact the class and have our voices heard, which is always important.
There is no doubt that Peter G is an inspiring person, with his positive outlook on life and acceptance of challenges. He pushes himself each day and others to be the best they can be. His hard work ethic and strength can be seen by all who encounter him and I for one can say I am thankful to have met him through Fairfield University!