Meet our DC Studio Manager: Stephanie Wheeler

We’d like to introduce to you our new DC area Studio Manager, Stephanie Wheeler! 

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We asked her a few questions to help you get to know her better. Here’s what she had to say: 

Tell us about Stephanie: I recently worked in retail management for a family-owned specialty running store.  Prior to that I worked as a fitness coach and group exercise instructor at various studios in the DC Metro area. I am a late-life athlete (that means I was artsy and kind of a book nerd growing up) with a background in exercise science and a healthy respect for adrenaline-producing sports.  I’ll run any distance from 5k to 50 miles — if it can be covered by foot I’ll likely give it a go.  And I’m currently working on qualifying for Western States 100.

What are you excited about bringing to the Revolve community?:  My enthusiasm for fun fitness and my head full of ridiculous pop culture and obscure trivia.

 Some of your favorite things:  Dogs (I will stop in the middle of a run to say hello to a dog), circus aerials and pole dance, chocolate (its cliche, but I would perish without it)

 Three words that describe you:  Adventurous, crunchy, goofy

Instructor Reveal: Kate Karafotas

Meet the newest addition to the DC Instructor team, Kate Karafotas! 

Tell us about yourself! 
I was born in Connecticut and raised in New York City. After high school I took a gap year (and a half!) snowboarding in Aspen, CO. I couldn’t bear to leave Colorado so I decided to go to the University of Colorado at Boulder. While there I would snowboard in the winter and mountain bike in the summer. After college, my boyfriend (now husband!) and I moved to DC, and other than a brief stint in the Chicago area, have stayed here since. We have two beautiful daughters, Maya and Zoe. I spend a lot of time shuttling them around to activities and school, but my fitness time is MY time to zone everything and everyone else out and find my center. Making time for fitness has made me a saner, happier lady!

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How did you get into Indoor Cycling?
A few years ago I was visiting my mom at the beach in NY and was trying to find an exercise class since there isn’t a traditional gym there. I had seen a studio the previous summer, but had been too afraid to try it. This time I had more courage! I had spent the last 6 months working hard to train for a sprint triathlon in an effort to shed those final pounds from my second pregnancy. I signed up for a class and 45 minutes later was totally hooked.I  loved the music, the motivation, and that I was drenched in sweat when I left – it was a cathartic experience! I went every day when I was there and when I came home I decided I wanted to pursue getting certified so I could bring my own energy and playlist!

What are you excited about bringing to the Revolve community?
I am excited to bring my enthusiasm for indoor cycling and music to Revolve. In terms of music I play a lot of current stuff, but sometimes you need a little Whitney or Michael!! I’ll push you hard and remind you that you are stronger than you think. I’ll help you reach your fitness goals and then help you set those standards higher!

Three words that describe you.
Outgoing. Relaxed (mostly!). Shopaholic.

What are some of your favorite things? 
Kale, lululemon, and Bravo TV. Seriously – I wish I was kidding. I like to fuel my body, be comfortable, and rot my brain ;) I also love spending time outside; whether it be biking with the kids or walking the dogs. I used to love winter, but now I am spring/summer gal through and through!

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12 Days of Revolve Success: Kate Beller

Day 12! There you have it! 12 stories, 12 reasons, 12 inspirations to get you going and keep you going in 2014. Here is the final story of our series featuring DC Rider, Kate Beller.

I had never been to an indoor class before my husband bought me a package as a gift in December 2011.  I’m now completely hooked and usually make 4-7 classes a week.  I had struggled adjusting from the life of a student – which left me ample time to workout on any given day – to the attorney lifestyle.  I had a hard time motivating myself to workout in the limited free time I had.  Revolve filled this void perfectly – it provided with a fun community, motivating instructors, and a great workout that only took 45 mins/an hour from my day.  Since joining, I now have found a way to balance work and working out, and have seen all sorts of results in my health and everyday life.

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12 Days of Revolve Success: Heather Mumaw

We are almost there! Here is our 11th installment of the 12 Days of Revolve Success! Meet DC Rider, Heather Mumaw:

Bike #14 and I have had an on and off again relationship since the first week Revolve opened its doors.  I fell in love with Revolve during my very first class, but as often happens in life, I let work, relationships, and other commitments overwhelm my personal time, and my workouts fell by the wayside for far too long. 

In February 2013, I decided to end a long-term relationship.  I was sad, lonely, and intensely angry. Then one day, I remembered bike #14, and how on the bike, in a darkly lit room, with the music pumping, you can tune out everything else in your life and just focus on peddling and sweating for an hour.  Immediately, I threw on some workout clothes, and ran (actually ran!) to Revolve.  The first ride back at Revolve hooked me.  I became addicted.  Dorothy’s mantra “more gear less fear” resonated with me, and became MY new mantra.  I started going to class every day. I peddled so much, I’m surprised bike #14 didn’t fall apart on me mid-ride!  

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I’m not sure when exactly I converted from anger-peddling in a darkly lit room to cycling for pleasure in a room full of friends, but somewhere in between Francina’s Beyonce theme ride, James’ “Best Monday Everrr,” and Saturday double headers with Angel (or as I fondly referred to them as “deadly doubles”), I learned not only about the importance of exercise endorphins, but also about the benefits of a fitness community.  

Revolve’s community is something I’ve never experienced in any other gym.  Everyday I’m grateful for and inspired by the Revolve riders, instructors, and staff and I’m so happy to call so many of you my friends! THANK YOU Revolve!  

THANK YOU, Heather, for your commitment, for riding, and for your positivity! See you on a bike soon!

Introducing: NOVA MMA

Revolve DC is partnering with local fitness studios in 2014 and we’d like to introduce you to one of our partners, NOVA MMA, located near Courthouse metro. We asked NOVA MMA owner and instructor, Chau Bui, why she is excited about our partnership, what NOVA MMA can do for Revolve riders, and more! Here is what Chau had to say:

Why are you excited about partnering with Revolve?

One of the things I have not taken advantage over the years was creating partnerships with local businesses that could complement NOVA MMA.  Alliances are good; it creates good energy and it benefits to all.

NOVA MMA will provide an additional outlet for Revolve riders who want to mix it up outside of the studio and get their cross-training in. I hope NOVA MMA members take advantage of Revolve and the many rides offered. I feel it provides them some options to add extra cardio to their training regimen.

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Tell us how NOVA MMA came to be? Where are you today? What do you offer? 

NOVA MMA began in February 2004 as solely an MMA gym, renting space from a small martial arts studio.  We quickly expanded into more space and moved to Virginia Square until our landlord kicked us out and we ran our gym out of a church basement before we moved to Courthouse where are today!  The first year, only two programs were offered (Jiu Jitsu and Thai Boxing), offering approximately four classes per week. By the end of the first year, NOVA MMA had barely 30 students.

Since its inception, the offerings at NOVA MMA have grown from a handful of classes per week and 30 members to six full programs, 100 classes per week, and 600 members. Programs currently offered at the gym:

  • Our Women’s Program with cardio kickboxing, strength and conditioning and boot camp
  • Grappling program (Judo, Jiu Jitsu, and wrestling)
  • Striking program (Muay Thai Kickboxing and Boxing)
  • CrossFit
  • Self defense with Krav Maga
  • Kids Kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu, and Judo.

Our partnership is focused on the Women’s Program. Tell us about it, its benefits, and offerings? 

Our Women’s Program is unique and one of a kind in this area.  We offer female only kickboxing, boot camps, plus strength and conditioning. Class of all women and always taught by women!  Kickboxing has so many benefits – fun, stress relieving, a challenging workout, and builds confidence.  Some may be deceived because it’s a women’s program, but we work hard to get fit. The workouts all depend on how much a woman wants to push herself; Any person can make their own workout more intense if they chose to.  We cater to all levels and abilities and its fun to watch someone start as a pure beginner to being kick-ass.  We offer lunch and evening classes, with package and unlimited classes available.  Anyone without any kickboxing experience we require taking our Sunday Introduction to Kickboxing class, so they can receive their crash course to surviving our regular classes!

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We hear you have an anniversary party coming up? What can we expect? 

Our 10 year anniversary event is on Saturday Feb 22, 2014 from 9 am to 2 pm.  It doesn’t feel like 10 years has gone by, which is frightening, because time does move fast when you are busy trying to grow and build something from ground up.  We hope many people stop in just to say hello and enjoy their visit.   The event will have food, drinks, fitness contests, prizes, martial arts demonstrations, and entertainment.  This 10 year event marks a celebration of the members and staff who made it possible.  It didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen with just one person doing it.

Chau, tell us about yourself and your fitness history!

I’ve been in fitness for about 15+ years now.  Growing up, I played a lot of competitive tennis and always enjoyed running.  I started lifting weights in high school and really liked it, but also because it was part of a requirement for my physical education class.  I really didn’t get into lifting again until my mid-twenties and the gym I went to had kickboxing so I got hooked on that as well.

I was approached by a bodybuilder to try out these “figure” contests they just started to promote which was supposed to attract women who had a softer look than bodybuilders.  I gave it a shot because I wanted to see how much I could transform my body.  I had an aggressive goal, having to change all my current habits where my diet and training was very strict for two years straight.  I was happy with the results, but more satisfied with understanding how food, supplementation and exercise affected my body.  It took a lot of patience and experimentation.

After awhile, I shifted my interest towards something that required more activities other than being a gym rat.  I started competing in female obstacle course events and I met a lot of incredible athletes.  My training shifted towards developing more strength, power, speed and agility.  In the meantime, I was still doing kickboxing, and when my gym opened in 2004, I wanted to share this passion to others.

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For details on the partnership discounts, please refer to the Revolve DC Metro Facebook page or email the DC studio.

12 Days of Revolve Success: Dana Tarricone

Meet NYC Rider, Dana Tarricone, and her story how Revolve hooked her to be better and stronger! 

I have been an athlete my whole life and started getting into indoor cycling a few years ago at the local gym.  I first came to Revolve last winter after getting frustrated with the uninspiring classes in my gym. I was looking to get my routine in a different place without “fuss.”  

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My first class was a Saturday morning Body Ride (I’m an early bird) with Christianne – I had zero expectation but was hopeful – what was this new no name studio in my neighborhood?  After the hardest 45 minutes I had ever had in a bike studio I was instantly HOOKED.  I loved that there were no gimmicks just hard work. Push-ups on a bike? NO THANK YOU!

Each teacher is inspiring in his/her own unique way and each class (after almost a year) still pushes me to work harder and get stronger.  I love that Revolve has become an important part of my life and I thank each and every instructor for making me a better/stronger version of myself both inside and out!

Dana, THANK YOU! Your words have captured what we strive to create and achieve for our riders everyday! Keep up the great work!

12 Days of Revolve Success: Monica Kohn

DC Rider Monica Kohn got healthy this past year mentally and physically. Here is her story:

I had always been pretty healthy, but after two kids and a year away from turning 40, I was at a crossroads. I had gotten away from regular exercise (aside from chasing toddlers), had not been sleeping well, and had the habit of eating what I could, when I could. I did not feel week – I was tired and brain fogged most of the time.

I happened to walk by Revolve one day, and curious, I stopped in to ask what it was about. I had never taken a and indoor cycling class before. I gave it a shot. The first ride was very challenging but I was hooked.

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It took me 2 months of hard work and sticking to it to be able to ride and do the class completely. I have asthma so I took it one class at a time. Now, I feel better than ever. When I turned 40 this year and when I went for my yearly check up all my numbers where in the right place. I have more energy, sleep better, and just feel stronger.  

Like I said I was at a crossroad. Thankfully, I found Revolve and it put me on the right path. I realized you have to put yourself first and say no to other things so you have time to exercise and take care of yourself.

Keep it up, Monica! We are very happy to be part of your success! Wishing you continued triumphs in 2014! 

12 Days of Revolve Success: Karen Diener

In September 2013, DC Rider Karen Diener set out to climb Mt. Baker in the North Cascades of Washington state. When Karen came back, she attributed much of her success to her cross training at Revolve. Here is her story:

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What led you to tackle Mt. Baker? How did Revolve help you make it to the top? 

In July 2013, I attempted Mt. Rainier, and unfortunately, I did not summit like I had hoped.  I had to stop short of the top and make a decision to come down as I was too dizzy and out of breath.  It was then that I searched for something to add to my training regiment that would build my leg strength and lung capacity to tackle these much harder climbs.  One of my successful climber friends said she did indoor cycling classes several times a week.  So, when I came back I asked people where the best class was in the DC area and a fellow rider, Sarah DuFrane, told me about Revolve and how much she loved it.

I started at Revolve DC in August 2013 and came about three times a week. In September, I successfully summited Mt. Baker (which is next to Mt. Rainier and also a glacier climb) and I could not believe how much stronger I felt and how much better my breathing was on this climb.  Indoor cycling gave me the ability to control my exhaustion as I got closer to the top.  Deep cleansing breathes to push out the Carbon Dioxide in your lungs is required during climbs, I get to practice this on the bike when we go breathless on a ride and have to continue our pace and learn to breath through it.

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What inspired you to climb Mt Baker? 

I wanted to climb more technical mountains and Baker is a glacier climb where you learn crevasse rescue, ice skills, snow skills, etc.  It is a goal in itself but also a part of my training to be able to climb Cotopaxi in Ecuador and the Bolivian mountains next year.

How do you keep your head in the game during tough moments climbing?

I stay completely present with myself to get through “scary” or tough parts of climb. When you get discouraged, you look at it in sections and get to the next break.  This is also like our rides when the instructor helps you to get through a heavy climb and you know in a minute you get to recover before you go again.  You learn that you can dig deeper than you thought you could and that your body serves you if you can get your mind to push to your goal.

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If I want to climb Mt. Baker, where do I begin?

It is always best to take a week long training course with the mountain guides for that mountain.  RMI and First Ascents are two companies that take people climbing in these North Cascade Mountains of Washington state.  They send you full training schedules three months ahead of your week with them and if you tailor your daily training to that schedule you will be in good shape.  Mountain climbing takes strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility.  It is one of the most physically demanding as you need to carry weight on your back as you go up on average about 3000 feet a day varying between 25 to 45 degree elevation angles.  You move slowly, but if something happens or you are in a more dangerous zone, you will need to move quickly and respond fast while maintaining balance.

What are your tips to beginning Revolve riders?

What is great about indoor cycling is it can work for whatever your physical goals may be.  You can adjust the intensity to fit where you are today and increase as you go.  It is surprising how fast you get strong if you use that hour to demand things of yourself you might not have in other activities.

 

Instructor Reveal: Jeremiah Baker

Meet the newest addition to our Revolve family, Instructor Jeremiah Baker! 

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How did you get into Indoor Cycling? 

About four years ago there was a major shift in my life.  I was running around like crazy, chasing after things, people, and circumstances – it’s what I thought I was supposed to do! Long story short, I ran myself into a corner. I was exhausted all the time and honestly no fun to be around.

A friend invited me to a cycling class and after laughing at them I finally decided to give it a try. I didn’t think I had time for it, I was too busy creating my future.  Let me tell you, I’m so glad I went.  That first class changed my life.  I came to realize that I had to fill myself up first.  You can’t give what you don’t have.

Once I began focusing on me, my health, and my fitness, every other area of my life changed for the better.  Now I’m the one getting my friends to go to cycling!

Tell us about Jeremiah, the entrepreneur and music lover!

Well, I’m currently finishing a Doctorate in Saxophone at the Peabody Conservatory, the first conservatory in America.  I also recently founded an online music school (harmonyrising.org).  My goal is to provide everyone, no matter where they live, the highest quality music education possible.  We have students in Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Italy, and the United States.  I’m so thankful to be able to spread and improve access to music education.  Just like health and fitness, I truly believe music education is essential to everyone’s growth and development.

What are you excited about bringing to the Revolve community?  

I am excited about bringing my music background and love of fitness to Revolve! By combining my two passions, I want to inspire others to find their inner awesome.

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12 Days of Revolve Success: Ashley L

Another inspiring success story from Revolve NYC Rider, Ashley!

I started going to Kristin’s classes at Revolve with my friend Stef because she was getting married at the end of the summer and swore that this place was going to change my perspective on working out. I was hesitant at first, but knew that if I wanted to stay healthy I should at least give the class a shot. I mention staying healthy because when I was 26 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (known by many as “the good cancer” if you’ve ever watched Curb Your Enthusiasm, but none the less still cancer). Long story short, did my dance with chemo, rocked a pixie hair cut for longer that I would have liked, and I have been in remission for 2 years.

Last spring, I did my first Real Ride with Kristin, and I have never felt so accomplished or motivated. Kristen is one of the only instructors I have worked out with where you will never once look at the clock to see how much longer class is because she has everyone completely focused on giving 100%. Even when I am not in the mood for class, I know I will walk out feeling absolutely amazing after riding with Kristin. This is the first workout class I have ever stuck with for more than 2-3 months and the results of Kristen’s intense classes are paying off.

My doctor says my numbers are better than they have ever been before and I actually feel truly healthy for the first time in a few years. I cannot thank Revolve and Kristin enough for getting me hooked on the Real Ride :)

From ‘Real Ride – Keeping me motivated and healthy’ by 25ToLifer on November 6, 2013