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Southern California Edit

Meet New Instructor Kelsey!

We are winding down November, but before we close out this month we wanted to introduce our Anaheim Hills instructor of the Month: Kelsey Jackson. Although she’s technically the IOTM for Anaheim Hills, Kelsey also pulls double duty by wowing riders with her mad skills at the Costa Mesa studio too! Newly married, Kelsey is bursting with energy first thing in the morning {those 5:45am crack-of-dawns} in Anaheim Hills, and taking us into Happy Hour on the weekends in Costa Mesa. She stopped by the blog to give us the 411 on how she got to the GritCycle podium and how she likes to de-stress:

Give us the nitty gritty on you!

Born and raised in Orange County, I currently live in a little beach shack in CDM with my new husband {married in October!} and our adorable rescue pup Sherman. He’s actually our child and goes almost everywhere with us. When I’m not in the saddle room or hanging with my family and friends, I’m working full-time for Vans in merchandising at the corporate office. Yep, the footwear company founded right here in Costa Mesa! I love the beach, traveling, and sitting on a patio while enjoying a solid craft beer here and there {IPA’s or sours are the way to my heart}.

What brought you to the grit podium?

A goal of mine ever since I took my first GritCycle class {almost 4 years ago} was to become an instructor. I can be pretty introverted when I’m not around people I know well and this was something that would totally put me out of my comfort zone. I knew I would have to push myself and work hard to get there, but it was something I really wanted to do so I wasn’t going to give up. Multiple auditions, training, teaching jobs at other studios to gain experience, and here I am two and a half years later. I can’t freakin’ believe it. I knew it would be fun, but I didn’t realize how rewarding it would really be and how many amazing people I would meet out of it.

What was your first experience in the saddle room?

Oh my. In January 2015 I had just taken my first rhythm riding class at another studio and was talking to my friend about. I thought it was a decent workout and fun, so she told me about GritCycle. Verbatim she said, “Oh, if you liked that class, you NEED to try GritCycle.” She told me where to sign up, we showed up for class together, and once the lights when down and the music started, I got chills. I’ve never been a dancer {I played soccer and basketball growing up} and I’m actually not super coordinated {I trip ALL the time and tend to look like an idiot}, but something about this class made me feel like I was a stud. Sure, it kicked my ass and I couldn’t do half the moves right off the bat, but I never felt so confident. It was crazy. My body and mind craved it from that moment on.

What motivates you/inspires you?

It’s incredible what the body can do and how everything that we do on a daily basis directly effects it. When you do something positive for your body, you feel better and it’s almost like a domino effect. When your body feels good, your mind feels good, and your day usually improves because of it. The endorphins are half of the reason why I do it! It’s said all the time because it’s so true, you never regret a workout.

What sets you apart from the rest of the GritCycle instructors; what makes your class unique?

I try to switch up my music quite a bit. I play a lot of EDM and Pop, but I throw in at least one throwback, at least one rap or hip-hop song, and a little rock. The end of class is always my favorite. I have one song of class right before the last sprint that I call ‘Therapy’. It’s your time to reconnect with your mind and body, or maybe let yourself go. It’s whatever you choose to do, but it’s all about making it your own and your choice.

What’s your favorite “move” on the bike and why?

I’m a sucker for a good jog that gets your heart rate up, either handhops or motorcycles. I like a move that requires you to use your core and keep your body steady out of the saddle, a lot more than just moving your legs.

What is your favorite food?

That’s hard because I like a lot of different types of food, but I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between Indian and Mexican. I LOVE rice. And Naan. And chips and salsa. And curry. And guac… should I keep going?

Who is your celebrity crush?

David Beckham has always been at the top of my list. A superb athlete, pretty dang handsome, and have you seen photos of him with his family? Come on. It’s like he gets better looking with age.

What song instantly gets you dancing?

‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ by Michael Jackson.

What was the first concert you went to?

I’m embarrassed to say but I think my first real concert without parents was Jesse McCartney. Or Dashboard Confessional. Very different genres, but I was big fans of both. And fun fact, the first dance song with my husband at our wedding was a Dashboard Confessional song, ‘Heart Beat Here’, so good.

In high school what were you most likely to….?

Not sure if this is one of those yearbook questions, but my senior year I was voted ‘Cutest’ with three other people. Blame it on the dimples.

Who would play you in a movie?

Probably Reese Witherspoon. I love her and I occasionally get her as my doppelganger – so I’ll take it.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?

I always end up doing karaoke at work events, does that count? ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ by Whitney Houston is always a crowd pleaser.

When you’ve had a long day how do you de-stress?

Whenever I’m stressed, I’ve got to sweat it out. Any kind of workout helps me clear my mind a little and get my spirits up. Then spending time with my family always grounds me and makes me happy.

Favorite quote?

‘The journey is the reward’

What three things are always in your grocery cart?

Pineapple, cheese {basically any kind}, and sparkling water.

What’s the best piece of advice your parents ever gave you?

My dad has always said, you’re only as old as you feel. And that’s my mentality to how I’m going to be in my 80’s and still riding that bike!

Beauty products you can’t live without?

MOISTURIZER! I have combination skin and my nose is always peeling, so I have to moisturize. I’ve also recently become obsessed with essential oils, so I’ve been adding those to my routine – tea tree, grapefruit, and frankincense.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Always do the right thing and be in control of your own happiness. Everything will work out how it’s supposed to.

Do you do any other forms of workouts?

I really like to mix it up. Cardio {indoor cycling} is definitely my number one, but I also like to incorporate yoga and pilates/lagree. RA Yoga is one of my favorite yoga studios because they offer a lot of different types of yoga and have a lot of class times that work with my schedule. My go to classes are RA Strength 2 {heated and incorporates weights} and Yogalates.

Do you have anything else of interest you want your riders to know?

When you walk into that Saddle Room I want you to be happy that you made the choice to be there and to do something for yourself. Don’t worry about what you have to do when you leave class, be present and be open. You never know how much 45 minutes can change the rest of your day.

Thank you so much, Kelsey, for stopping by the blog. If you’d like to check out one of Kelsey’s fantastic classes you can catch her at both our Anaheim Hills  AND our Costa Mesa studios. She teaches the 5:45am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at our Anaheim Hills location, and she teaches the 4:15pm on Saturday and the 5:30pm on Sunday at our Costa Mesa; you do NOT want to miss out on the hot, new GritCycle talent!