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A Grit Story: Dina Francis

Everyone knows the foundation of what makes GritCycle amazing is the people who fill our Saddle Room every week. Their stories are the single biggest motivator we keep in mind while we’re planning, scheming, and creating. One such story comes to us from Dina Francis! We asked her to share a little about herself with all of you just to make this big community feel a little smaller. Check it out!

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Dina Francis and I am 55 years old, but feel like I am 30 haha. I have been married for 29.5 years and have 3 adult children: one daughter and two sons. They all have turned out great. All three of them have launched and are doing well on their own. Two are in the communications field and one in Law Enforcement. My husband is the Assistant Director of John Wayne Airport so I feel an extra connection to Grit as Marisa is a namesake to the airport. I am very proud of him, as he finished his Master’s degree this year amidst empty nesting!


What was your first experience at GritCycle like?

I have loved sports and exercise my entire life. I played three sports all through high school. I loved running long distances, but as I have gotten older and developed a bad knee, I needed to look for an alternative. I discovered spin through a friend at another studio and that is where I met and fell in love with Jess. She pushed me to be better and to work hard. She reminds me of many of my coaches I had in high school.


How long have you been riding at GritCycle?

I have been spinning for four years, but at Grit for almost two.

How has Grit affected your life outside of the Saddle Room?

 I truly am lost mentally during the day when I don’t exercise. Grit is my energy, my family, and definitely what I need in a spiritual way. Through Grit, I have met some awesome people that have extended their hand and support to my mission trips abroad and have welcomed my endless nosiness and talkativeness, haha.


What is your favorite time of day to get Gritty?

My time to get Gritty is 5:45 am. Nothing like waking up and knowing that first thing I will be on fire. Jessica is the battery to the crew that spins at 5:45 am; she charges and recharges us each morning! 

What is your favorite move on the bike?

I love tension. Hills are my favorite and a figure-eight is the move that pushes me with a tough gear. I typically am not a hardcore music listener, but the beat is what pushes me in the morning! I also like the occasional Olivia Newton-John or Bee Gees. Bike 20 is my favorite. If I cannot get bike 20 I feel betrayed, lol! 

What is your best memory at GritCycle?

My favorite memory at Grit was the first day of 5:45 am class and how we all showed up to support Jess and Grit. I love the heart of the spin fam That’s when I decided I would travel every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to Dana Point from Costa Mesa. I love birthday and Karma Rides too! I have pulled several doubles, starting off in Costa Mesa and then moving down to one in Dana Point. Sometimes 3 classes. My record is 4 classes in a day. I almost died but oh how fun it was.

Anything else you want to share?

Thank you to Grit for making every class an experience that feels more like fun than an intense workout. Honestly, 45 minutes sometimes isn’t long enough. GritCycle is a special place and I am not surprised that it is growing once again. 

Thanks for sharing with us, Dina! We can’t get enough of your amazing energy!

Know anyone else with a great Grit Story? Email us at katie@gritcycle.com.