In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, GritCycle partnered with one of our incredible riders, Kristy Griggs, who recently started a non-profit called Training Through Treatment in tandem with her own personal journey battling breast cancer. Training Through Treatment believes exercise is crucial to recovery and often a missing component to surviving the uphill battle. The organization purchases and distributes fitness classes and individual training sessions from local studios to provide those who are battling cancer an opportunity to remain active. While we are honored to be a part of this non-profit, we sat down with Kristy and asked her some questions to better understand her journey in this all.
What does GritCycle mean to you? How has it impacted your life?
GritCycle has become my family. My true family. The people who check in on me after every treatment, who are always asking about my scans, and the people who lift me up when I’m in my darkest moments.
Can you talk us through your GritCycle journey?
I started to ride at GritCycle in 2016. Jenny Farrell, whose been a Grit rider since the beginning, is a friend of mine and convinced me to come. I was always convinced that cycling wasn’t for me, but I finally caved in and joined her in class (thanks, Jenny!)
I showed up to class, which in my mind was going to be the only class I attended. I was wrong. When class was finished, I walked out and immediately grabbed my phone to book more classes. The deep and powerful connection I felt to the movement, other riders, instruction, loud music, and lights made me feel good and drew me in. I was hooked.
What’s your favorite movement on the bike?
Who has inspired you at GritCycle? Instructor or fellow rider?
I am endlessly inspired by new riders who come back after their first ride. Not many people are good or feel great after the first class. Showing back up takes a tremendous amount of strength and courage, and that to me has always been inspiring.
As far as instructors go, Lisa Mikelson will always hold a special place in my heart. She has a way of pulling out emotions that I have buried deep down in my soul. She dusts us off and reminds us that no matter how we are feeling at that moment in time, it’s okay and that we will probably feel similarly again at some point.
What goals have you accomplished since joining the GritCycle community?
One goal I accomplished was in Lisa’s class when I first started riding. Gail Gray was on the podium. Whether the lights were on or off, Gail never sat down. She powered through class with an immense amount of strength. I immediately set a goal for myself that one day, I was going to ride next to her and keep up. Well, it happened. I did it and it will be forever what I’m most proud of.
What are your future goals and accomplishments at GritCycle?
To be there for as many second-time riders as possible. Especially through Training Through Treatment. I want to bring women together who are fighting really intense demons. Grit is a place where you can feel, cry, and lean into the people around you.
If you were to use one word to describe GritCycle, what would it be?
Life. Gritcycle has in every way given me life.