"The intention behind everything I do is to bring light to everyone who steps foot in here. When you come in for this ride, it's challenging, but our intent is to have you become something bigger than yourself. Never coast. Who is a never coaster? Someone who refuses to give up. Refuses to settle for the easy route. Accepts any challenge. Is REAL. We gear our life towards the never coaster."
Meet Kristina Girod.
Head Instructor of Flywheel Scottsdale, and Lululemon Brand Ambassador. Have you seen those abs? Clear to see why! However, Kristina's allure is far deeper than just physique. She is also the most inspiring instructor I've ever met. After my first class, I told her I'd be writing a letter to HQ because she belongs at the master instructor level, she is just THAT good at her job.
As you know, I recently moved to Arizona and when I arrived I made it my mission to try out all of the top rated gyms and of course, visit one of my favorite East Coast studios - Flywheel Sports.
Flywheel is a competitive spin class. They are HQ'd in NYC and I became addicted to them while living in DC. Fortunately for me, a new studio popped up in Scottsdale a few months prior to my arrival and thus led me to Kristina.
There are so many fitness professionals in the world, it can be hard to stand out - so when you find someone who does, you just want to learn more.
How old are you and where are you from?
"33, Flagstaff Arizona."
How'd you wind up in Scottsdale?
"I am one of six siblings, I moved after college, and now my entire family is also here."
Tell us about your path into fitness.
"I was an athlete growing up, I tore my ACL at age 19 playing volleyball and got out of sports. Gained weight and after college, got into working out. I lost 20lbs and got shredded. I started working out at 24hour Fitness lifting and doing turbo kickboxing classes. I then became a turbo kickbox instructor and taught for two years. That was too intense on the knees which is what led me to spin.
I started teaching cycling in 2014 at Lifetime Fitness, then moved to Fit Republic, and then the Madison Improvement Club. Spin was just my side gig. I was working full-time for Yelp in their franchising division."
So how'd you land Flywheel?
"I was very popular the The Madison. Waitlisted classes, I knew everyone and then Flywheel came to town and was very persistent. Owen the regional director came and took my class, the CEO of Flywheel took my class, and they just kept recruiting. I kept saying no because I loved my gig with The Madison and Yelp.
Finally, Flywheel offered me the full-time management role. Then The Madison offered me the same...I spent an entire month with sleepless nights, not knowing what to do. I finally said no to Flywheel again.
When that sunk in, it hit me that I'd made the wrong decision. I decided I needed to leave my comfort zone. I had hit a ceiling at The Madison, there wasn't room for nationwide growth or the ability to travel and teach. I was the badass instructor at The Madison but with Flywheel, there was a plethora of badass instructors that I could learn from. I still really wanted to grow so I called them back and took the job. Now, here we are!"
WOW! That must've been such a difficult decision to leave behind a full-time corporate job AND your flourishing side gig for a new studio that nobody in Arizona has heard of. It takes courage to start over.
How has the growth been at Flywheel Scottsdale? I tell people I spin here and nobody has heard of it! (Which is why we are writing this post now)
"It's been a slow start. We are 1.5 years in and we have had a lot of changes. Our original instructors got promotions with their full-time jobs, one took the position I was offered at The Madison. So now our team is fresh, around 8 months of experience and we are evolving."
Has Flywheel been supportive?
"We are the 40th of 42 studios, a baby in their business and they've been very supportive."
Talk to me about your partnership with Lululemon.
"I had no idea they were looking for ambassadors. When they asked me in September 2017, I'd been teaching at Flywheel for four months and it came completely out of the blue. The best part is, it's not about what I can do for Lulu it's about what they can do to elevate me in the community. I started crying when they said that, it spoke so true to me and that is my mission - to touch people in the community. They've been so supportive of me as a woman, a fitness professional, and at the studio. They are so professional and I am incredibly loyal to them now."
I saw on your Instagram that you were the face of a Lululemon store?! How did that happen?
"I had gotten tagged on facebook by a Lululemon employee. Someone in Arkansas had posted a photo of their new window. It is such a fluke I even found out! They didn't tell me! The manager said, they had stacks of ambassadors to choose from and could only pick four, and they chose me. So my husband was in Arkansas for work and drove three hours to the store just to get a photo of it for me. It was an amazing, amazing moment."
What are the top three things you want people to take away from your class?
"1. Feeling is everything - I want them to feel accomplished.
2. Feel better - whatever that means to them.
3. I want them to wholeheartedly want to come back."
How do you self motivate?
"By being authentic with people. I try to always be honest, if I'm authentic with people around me, it gives me permission to not be perfect. Gives me permission to have real talk with people. I love being authentic. I can't pretend I am as high as a kite all of the time, I'm not. I'm human."
What are your personal top three goals?
"1. Be happy.
2. Always be selfless with the things I know - with my knowledge - I want to share ways to thrive. No one is going to do something the way Kristina Girod does it.
3. Wholeheartedly support people in my life. I am really bad sometimes if someone is going through a tough time...I need to call more, let them know I love them, they can't read my mind.
The intention behind everything I do is to bring light to everyone who steps foot in here. When you come in for this ride, it's challenging but our intent is to have you become something bigger than yourself. Never coast. Who is a never coaster? Someone who refuses to give up. Refuses to settle for the easy route. Accepts any challenge. Is REAL. We gear our life towards the never coaster."
If this doesn't inspire you to get to Flywheel Scottsdale ASAP, IDK what will! Luckily, right now you can take a class at ANY Flywheel location for FREE by using the code - FLY-KRISTINA-G
(DC, LA, MIAMI this means you too!)
THANK YOU KRISTINA! I am so thankful that you are now a force in my life and I look forward to watching you grow and thrive in your new role and beyond. You inspire everyone you meet and that is an amazing quality.
Follow Kristina on...
Find her at Flywheel, here!
Cheers to Never Coasting.