Audio Master Class: Maya’s Courage

In late May of this year, the world lost a very special woman: Maya Angelou. Billy Coburn, a Star 3 Spinning® instructor and longtime ICA member, posted on Facebook about doing a special journey ride devoted to Maya and her inspirational writing. He called it Maya’s Courage. I asked Billy to send me the ride and I would consider posting it on ICA. We haven’t done a journey profile in a while, and I know Billy well enough to know he cares very deeply about the success of his riders and that it could potentially be a very motivational profile.

I was blown away when I read it. I think you will be as well.

In fact, when I did my audio interview with Billy, there were times that I was overcome, speechless. I just let him talk, as if he was coaching the ride.

Billy has created a masterpiece with this profile. Be prepared for lots of emotion; be prepared for students who hug you and won’t let you go. Be prepared to deal with some of your own doubts and fears. Be prepared to change some lives—maybe even your own.

Those who have been at a journey ride at WSSC or other conferences know how amazing they can be. I realize they aren’t for everyone, but I hope you will at least listen to the interview with Billy, and imagine what it would be like to inspire people in this way.

If you have never taught a journey ride, then I would suggest perhaps starting with The Ride of Intention or The Delicious Ride. They are profiles that focus on the connection with the bike, with your breath, and with your surroundings, using visualization as a tool. They are not quite as much of an emotional journey ride like Maya’s Courage, or even How Big is Your Why, but they are great stepping stones to move towards an inspirational style of coaching.

If you do teach this ride, please let us know how it goes. What are your students’ reactions? How did it affect you as you coached it? What emotions did it stir in you?

If you would love to be able to teach a ride like this, but are filled with doubt and fear, then close your eyes as you listen to Billy’s coaching in the audio, then listen to Maya’s words on dealing with fear. She is, after all, the master!


  1. Hi billy,

    I wanted to share my experience today as i presented your very beautiful and inspirational journey of Maya’s Courage to my first class of the week. One awful moment that i wasn’t prepared for and other instructors may want to give pause to think about before they embark on this journey, is the comments and cue about the #1 reason of courage to… commit suicide. This really threw my class off and the worst of it was one woman broke down, looked up and said “my son committed suicide.” I needed to have been better prepared to respond to that situation. Riders got off their bikes, hugged her, gave her tissues and thankfully she rode on and said the rest of the journey got her through that terrible place which is your journey is so beautiful. It was awkward, yes, and took courage from all of us to comfort her. I just want everyone to know that if you include this please be mindful that someone in that room may very well have dealt with that dark hole and be prepared to comfort them accordingly.

  2. one question and snag up i’ve had with the Djay app… one of the songs that is in the playlist you suggest will not show in the app when i pull up the playlist in DJay. any tips?

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