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In addition to her crazy-fun classes at Grit, our instructor of the month for June, Cassie Piasecki, is also Orange County's premier pilates guru. She knows the body better than anyBODY and is always giving great tips on how to restore, rebalance and preserve our muscles, tendons + bones.
One of the best ways to recover from indoor cycling is on a foam roller.
Cassie was kind enough to stop by The Outpost to give us her favorite and most useful exercises on the foam roller that target areas which tend to get irritated, tight or need extra attention after a Grit Class.
Foam rolling is one of the best ways to loosen up the muscles that get used during a Grit class.  Here are my top tips for using a foam roller and my fave exercises.
 
*Do each exercise at least 10-15 rolls or one-two minutes.
*Make sure you are drinking enough water to help flush out the toxins released during your foam rolling session.
*Aim to foam roll at least every day that you take a Grit class.
*Make sure you aren't holding your breath.  If you find a tender spot, inhale and exhale deeply to help the muscle relax.

All of you who come ride with us are family to us, our "gritties" as we affectionately call you; we know that each of you have a glorious story that deserves to be told and sometimes we're fortunate enough to share it.

Today we are thrilled to offer our first Monarch Beach studio "Grit Story" with Heather Bonnani.

 Heather is a Saddle Room favorite who embodies everything Grit offers: enthusiasm, joy,

Instructor Cassie says it best: I first met Heather about a month after we opened.  She thought she was hiding out in back!  I would talk to her for a bit before each class and got to know her.  Things like "off-road racer" would come up.  I knew she was a dynamo!  In just the short time that we've been open, I've watched her get stronger both mentally and physically.  She totally gets that GRIT is more than a workout for the body.  I always get excited when I see her face walk through the doors."

Here is Heather's Grit Story:

I currently live in Laguna Niguel where I work from home as an Esthetician so my schedule allows me to try all the different instructors! I am married and have 4 adult children. Only one still at home until the Fall, wooooo whooooo! (Just kidding Kalani) We also have two fur babies, Charlie a Golden Retriever and Koda a Maltipoo. I’d love to add chickens and goats to the list of pets but that’s where my hubs puts his foot down. In my spare time I race cars. 

What brought you to Grit Cycle?

A friend from the Costa Mesa studio {Gary Williams Jr.} kept telling me I HAD to try a class. Trust me, he kept saying….you’ll love it. Me loving it is an understatement. I only miss a class when I am out-of-town!

 Do you remember your first class at Grit? What was that like? 

My first class was an intro with Marisa. I was like, “What the F is this??!!! Motorcycle??? HUH??? I couldn’t even ride out of the saddle for the bounce! BUT, she was so encouraging I knew I had to come back.

What about Grit kept you coming back?

The instructors… their words after weights really spoke to me. Everyday I went I was up a little longer so I was getting excited to do better in the next class.

 Describe how your life has been affected by your time spent at Grit.

Physically I am definitely stronger. I’ve actually lost 15 lbs since I started in January. It would probably be more but I do love my vino! Mentally it helps to believe more in myself, which also falls into the emotional part too… I am really trying to make more time for me this year and Grit has really helped me accomplish that.

Have other people in your life noticed these changes? What are their thoughts?

Everybody has noticed the weight loss. I actually came home from a weekend of seeing people I hadn’t seen in a year and all they kept saying was “Wow! You really look great!” It felt good to hear but after so many of them said it I thought to myself, “Damn, I must have been freaking way out of shape!”

 What advice would you give to a first-timer coming to Grit, who’s a little unsure about the whole experience?

STICK WITH IT!!!! You’ll get it and when you do it’s such an amazing feeling!!!

 Do you have a class or ride that has been your most memorable or favorite?

The first time all my Crossfit girls came to Matt’s class. They were hooked so now Girl’s Night out has a whole new meaning! Wait until they take Dani’s class now that she is at Monarch Beach!!!

What is your favorite song to ride to and why?

 I love music and really pay attention to the lyrics. I never really have a favorite, it just depends what is speaking to me that day. Although when I hear “Bend Ova” after motorcycles, I do cringe a little! 

What was your “aha” moment, experience, ride, situation where you realized Grit was more than a spin class for you?

One day I was walking out to my car after really “getting” a lot of the moves. I was in such a great mood not only because of that but also from Lisa’s inspirational talk after weights. That’s when I knew this was more than just a workout for me. It was good for my soul.

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When she's not tearing up Wednesday afternoons with her bangin' music and killer moves you can find our newest instructor, Molly, whipping up the most delicious treats in the kitchen.
A vegetarian for most of her life, Molly eats H-E-A-L-T-H-Y!!! but that doesn't mean she sacrifices taste for her healthful ways.
We begged Molls for one of her tasty recipes, and she more than complied with her delicious protein balls.
These sweet snacks are super popular these days for their combination of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Easy to transport and nutrient dense, protein balls deliver a satisfying snack in between meals or after a workout without a ton of sugar, preservatives and other junk usually in snack bars and processed foods.
We like them because they're satiating, easy to make, and delicious.
Here's Molly's take on protein balls:

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For the month of March we're bringing back one of THE best!
Ladies and Gentlemen, for 31, beautiful, soulful days, you get Kaitlin Honeycutt as your Costa Mesa Instructor of the Month.
Never one to disappoint us with her fabulous interviews and q +a's, Kaitlin generously agreed to supply The Outpost with an intimate and thorough glimpse into a day in her inspirational and non-stop life.
Just like those 7am classes of hers, her day is non-stop action, grind, HEART and SOUL!
She is pure love and authenticity.
Let's go for a ride:
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