“Dedicate the precious days of your life to the betterment of the world.”


ONE thing that motivates me:

The desire to make people happy. I can see how happy people are when they’re sweating and feeling fit. This has such a positive effect on many areas of their life.

ONE song that gets me going:

Hip hop, especially old school hip hop!

Elmira Barry is the sort of person you imagine when you imagine what the owner of a fitness and wellness business may look like.

She is rarely seen without lycra and advertises the body one gets from doing spin and yoga and words like organic and kale and positive energy flow easily and authentically from her mouth. But other, more unexpected words flow from her mouth too, like raunchy hip hop lyrics. “I use a variety of music to challenge and motivate my class and I also use inspiring quotes and words to get them pumped rather than yelling. I’m not a yeller.” yells Elmira (just kidding).

Elmira moved to Calgary 18 years ago from Persia (“I would say Iran but it sounds so violent.” she jokes) where she met Paul Barry and they eventually grew into marriage and business. Together they own, operate and instruct at One Cycle Spin. In addition to One Cycle the couple also owns Hot Yoga on 17th and Hot Yoga and Spin on Crowfoot. “I am also mom to 2 gorgeous girls who keep me on my toes daily! Oh - and I’m also the most amazing wife ever – I remind Paul of that daily!” laughs Elmira.

So by now you can get a sense of what Elmira’s class may be like. Serious. Very very serious. “And if you aren’t as sweaty as me but the end of my class then you’ll have to stay for the next one!” says Elmira breaking out into a very unserious big smile.

So where did the idea come from to create a business where spin meets night club? Bike meets bass? Saddle meets swagger? “I have a Business degree from the prestigious University of Lethbridge," says Elmira cheekily, “and am described as being energetic and ambitious so I suppose I saw the opportunity to introduce Calgarians to a fitness concept that was incredibly successful in the United States.” The whittling waistlines and heartier hearts of Calgarians are ever so appreciative!

Instagram: @elmirabarry