This is How We Spin


Howdy y’all!!  It is time for a new ride post!  I put together a ride full of all the new hits!  Well, my definition of new hits.  Smile  I’ve been know to be a bit behind on the latest hits.  I once played a song, Uprising by Muse, in class for the first time for a heavy hill with surges, and I told everyone before the song began that I had this totally awesome (yes I said “totally”…It’s my inner surfer coming out) song for our climb.  Right after the song started one of my regulars kindly pointed out that the song was about 2-3 years old.  I think I lost some of my totally (yup said it again) “hip” factor at that moment.  So, now I make sure I’m more up-to-date on my “newer songs.”

Quick question to all my spinners/cyclists…What are your favorite songs to do Jumps to? I’m putting together a post full of my favorite songs for jumps, and I wanted to add yours in too.  Thank you for your input! 

Here is a fun filled Interval ride that will have you sweating and burning calories the whole time!!

This is How We Spin

This is How We Do 3:24 & People Like Us 4:19

  • Warm up

Time of Our Lives 3:49

  • Add that medium hill 70-75 RPMs
  • 15 sec seated
  • 30 sec standing jog
  • 1 min 3rd
  • Repeat but on a heavy hill 60-65 RPMs

Break the Rules 3:24

  • Seated climb 60-80 RPMs
  • Gradually increase cadence through the song

Can’t Hold Us 4:18

  • Standing runs on a light hill 80-100 RPM
  • 30 second run/15 sec recover

Uptown Funk 4:30

  • Standing climb in 3rd 60-80 RPM
  • Gradually increase cadence through the song

Celebrate by Pitbull 3:13

  • 4 count Jumps 80-110 RPM

Outside feat Ellie Goulding 3:47

  • Jumps on a hill 60-80 RPM
  • 15-10 sec rounds

Something Big 2:41

  • Recover 90-100
  • Or a standing flat

Sledgehammer 3:52

  • Seated climb 60-80 RPM
  • Gradually increase cadence through the song

Geronimo 3:38

  • Standing runs on a light hill 80-100 RPM
  • 30-45 sec run/10-15 sec recover

Something New 4:09

  • Standing climb in 3rd 60-80 RPM
  • Gradually increase cadence through the song

Shake it Off 3:41

  • 4 count Jumps 80-110 RPM

Break Free 3:35

  • Jumps on a hill 60-80 RPM

Just Amazing!


I’ve begun my 200 RYT Aerial Yoga certification!!  My trip down to CircuSoul in Florida for the beginning of my training was amazing!


I was in heaven from the time my flight took off!  I had to share this picture with you of the two empty seats next to me on the flight down to Orlando.  That’s right!!  I had the whole row to myself!!  Woo Hoo!!  Never has this happened to me before.  Our flight didn’t have very many passengers, so many of us were spread out and really enjoying our flight!  I even got to finally watch Maleficent during the flight down.  Totally loved that movie too!


Once I arrived I headed over to my favorite mall in Orlando, Mall at Millennia, and did some shopping!  Ya know…a few more workout pants and tops.  A fitness instructor is always in need of these…At least that’s what I tell my husband.  The credit card company just calls him and tells him I’m at it again.


I was up early Saturday morning and ready to begin my Level1 aerial yoga at CircuSoul.  Not to mention I was excited to finally meet Kerry Tice in person.  We have talked on the phone quite a bit over the years, but never talked in person.  In person Kerry is an amazing instructor/teacher/trainer, and is beyond dedicated to aerial yoga as a practice.

The beginning of our training (Level 1) focuses on teaching you a lot about aerial yoga with emphasis on safety and postures.

Level 1 Training includes:

  • Flying Yoga A series
  • Fundamentals of Aerial Yoga
  • Safety
  • Rigging
  • Inversions
  • Spotting
  • Sequencing I
  • Flying Yoga C Series
  • Fundamentals of Flying Yin Yoga
  • Yin
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Tricks & Flips

This YouTube video is a quick snip of Flying Yoga A.

Both days we began our day with an amazing aerial yoga class that both stretched and strengthened my body.


Our beginning warm up flow had us flowing between cat and cow with one leg extended in the hammock.


We did several flows using the hammock.  My favorite being a basic Warrior flow moving you from Warrior II, to Reverse Warrior, back to Warrior II, and then into extended side angle.  This is all done with one leg resting in the hammock.  It felt amazing!  I’m the one on the yellow yoga mat, using the green hammock, and wearing the blue tank top.



Then, it was on to working on inversions!  Sorry there are not more inversion pictures from the training.  We were just so busy the whole time.

IMG954793The best part is when you get to “cocoon” in your hammock at the beginning and end of class in Shavasana.  Sadly I’m always one of “those people” who always get up right at the end of a yoga class and barely spend any time in Shavasana.  Well, with aerial yoga that has changed a ton.  Even in my hammock at home I have a hard time willing myself to come out of Shavasana.  You feel so safe and relaxed in your hammock.

After our morning classes on each day we began to break down the poses we learned and are learning in Flying Yoga A.  Then, we would break for lunch.  After lunch we came back and went over the anatomy and how it applies to aerial yoga with Dr. Britt.  For our first two days of training we went over the structure and make of our bones, the pelvis, psoas, and shoulders.  Dr. Britt was and amazing anatomy teacher, and has us all engaged in the muscle and bone structure.  I’m looking forward to learning from in her in our future trainings!


Here we are discovering our iliopsoas and its length by monitoring our ischial tuberosities for movement as the leg extends! It was such an exciting and informative weekend!

After our anatomy lesson it was on to practice teaching with others in our class.  I’m one of those dorky people who love the practice teaching parts of our certifications.  Since I’m a perfectionist when it comes to instruction, I want to make sure I’m cueing correctly and correctly fixing any form issues that may arise during class.

All in all it was an amazing beginning of our training.  I’m looking forward to our next weekend of training in February!

New Year New Beginnings

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope your new year is starting out with smiles and fun!  My new year has started out with some fun new beginnings!  I’m now teaching spinning at SOS Image in Minot!  What happened at the YMCA got around Minot in less than an hour after it happened.  I had several job offers from other gyms before the day was out.  All of them were amazing offers, and I was beyond flattered to know I was a valued instructor.


Sara, owner, at SOS Image called me and asked if I would like to come to her gym and start a spinning program there along with aerial yoga classes which would begin in the summer.  Of course I jumped at this opportunity!  I’ve been dying to teach aerial yoga.  (click here to check out just some of my aerial yoga adventures.)  It was like one door closed for me and a whole entire garage door opened!  I couldn’t be more thankful.  Within the week Sara had ordered 11 bikes, and I was back to teaching spin in December!  I have 6 classes each week with 1 Saturday class each month.  We will be adding more spin classes on as we add on more instructors.  For now, check out our monthly schedule here.


We are riding on the Spinner Pro+ bikes.  We are also using the Star Trac group cycle computers.

Holiday Ride

I’m loving my new adventure at SOS Image!  Some of my amazing friends came over to take my classes at SOS and I have a new set of regulars that are already hooked on spinning and the awesome workout you get!


Now for a new spin ride for y’all!

I’m heading to Florida for the weekend to work on more aerial yoga training at CircuSoul!  I already have one certification in aerial yoga, but I want a full 200 RYT Yoga Alliance approved aerial yoga certificate.  Kerry at Circusoul has put an amazing 200 hour aerial program together.  I got to know Kerry over 2 years ago when I first really got into aerial yoga, and I finally have the excuse/chance to train with him!

Sara will be subbing my Friday classes.  I put together this ride for her to teach, and I wanted to share it with y’all.  There isn’t a playlist to go with it, because I know Sara will want to choose her own music.  She is totally hooked on the 90s just like me, so my guess is it will be an awesome 90s rockin’ playlist.  I’ll get her playlist for ya when she puts it together.

I get a lot of emails about my rides and questions about breaking down how I teach and cue my classes.  When I typed up this ride, I added more details to it.  Keep sending me your questions if you have them!

Enjoy your ride!

Sara’s First Ride!!


  • My warmups are always 2 songs in length
  • Make sure you remind all the riders that this is THEIR RIDE, and to please do what you can do. Here is what else I usually say: “If you need to sit at any time please sit. If the resistance is too much for you please take some off. I’m just here to guide you on your ride, and help you get a great workout. I don’t expect you to do everything I’m doing or what others are doing. This is YOUR RIDE! So let’s ride and have some fun!”
  • The first song is usually 3-3:30
    • Stay seated and warm those legs up 90-100 RPMS
  • For the second song I choose a song that is about 4-4:30 in length.  I have everyone alternating between standing and 3rd on a standing flat
    • For beginners I ask them to work between 70-75 RPMs on their standing flat
    • For intermediate I ask them to work between 75-80 RPMs on their standing flat
    • For advanced I ask them to work 80+ RPMs on their standing flat

Section 1:

  • 1 min Climb in 3rd medium hill 70-75 RPMs
  • 15 sec Seated Sprint 2x (take 15 sec to recover between sprints)
  • 1 min Climb in 3rd heavy hill 60-70 RPMs
  • 15 sec Seated Sprint 2x (take 15 sec to recover between sprints)
  • 1 min Climb in 3rd medium hill 70-75 RPMs
  • 15 sec Seated Sprint 2

Section 2:

For this section you will again be working on a medium hill. Beginners add resistance till you are at 75 RPMs. Advanced and Intermediate riders add resistance till you are at 70 RPMs.

Note: When they are sprinting if they can go over 100 RPMs they need to ADD more resistance.

  • 15 sec standing climb in 3rd
  • 45 sec seated climb
  • 15 sec sprint
  • Repeat
  • 30 sec standing climb in 3rd
  • 30 sec seated climb
  • 15 sec sprint
  • Repeat
  • 45 sec standing climb in 3rd
  • 15 sec seated climb
  • 15 sec sprint
  • Repeat
  • Take a 1-1:30 recovery
  • 60 sec standing climb in 3rd
  • 15 sprint
  • Repeat 3x
  • Take a 1 min recovery
  • 45 standing climb in 3rd
  • 15 sec seated
  • 15 sec sprint
  • Repeat
  • 30 sec standing climb in 3rd
  • 30 sec seated climb
  • 15 sec sprint
  • Repeat
  • 15 sec standing climb in 3rd
  • 45 sec seated climb
  • 60 sec sprint/run
  • Repeat


  • Seated 90-110 RPMs

Section 3:

For this section you will be doing a loop. For each round of the loop you will progress up a hill. For the first round you will be on a light hill. Everyone begins by adding resistance till they are at 80 RPMs. On the second time though I have Advanced and Intermediate at 70 RPMs with Beginners 75 RPMs. For your final round of the loop Advanced and Intermediate at 60 RPMs with Beginners 65-68 RPMs

  • 20 sec seated climb
  • 20 sec standing run
  • 20 sec climb in 3rd
  • 20 sec sprint in 3rd
  • 20 sec seated climb
  • 20 sec seated sprints
  • Repeat on a medium and then heavy hill

Cool Down

A Grandfather’s Legacy


Everyday I’m beyond thankful for my grandpa McEwan, and the wisdom he passed down to me during my youth. He was an amazing man who lived through the Depression and served in World War II.

My grandpa McEwan was never one to lecture, scold, or posture about anything. He always had a smile on his face and that glowing smile made you smile too. The first major life lesson he taught me is the one that has stuck out and stayed with me my whole life, and here is that story…

I was 4 years old and spending part of my summer with my grandma and grandpa McEwan in upstate New York. Everyday my grandpa and I would go for a walk to the post office and library. If I was lucky we would take a little detour into the local pharmacy and get some candy. Lucky for me my grandpa had a huge sweet tooth, so these detours would happen more often than not. However, grandma couldn’t know about them, or we would get lectured about ruining our appetite, and something about me getting hyper from all the sugar.


One day we took a detour to the pharmacy to get candy. This time my grandpa handed me one of the bulk bags to fill with candy, rather than just picking out a few pieces. Oh man! I was in heaven when he told me to fill that bag up with my favorite candies. I’m sure my eyes had to be as big as saucers, and my heart rate went up in anticipation of all that sugar that was about to send me into the biggest sugar high of my life. I went to town filling that huge bag up with all the best candy and chocolates in the store all while contemplating how to hide the candy from grandma when we got back to the house.

After our purchase we walked, I skipped, back to my grandparents’ home. Instead of going inside, my grandpa led me to the car and told me we were going to go for a quick ride before we went into the house for lunch. He told me to bring the mammoth bag of candy with me, so I was beyond content. While we went on our quick drive, my grandpa told me a story about his time in World War II.

My grandpa was stationed in China, I don’t know what part. However, I do know it was a mountainous area, because he talked about how pretty the mountains were. He began by telling me he was stationed near an orphanage, and would always take trips to the orphanage with his translator in order to bring whatever food and little toys he could for the children. Then, he began telling me about his first Christmas spent in China, and it became a story that I would have him tell me over and over again for the rest of his life. I’ll tell it to you like he told it to me.

“Things were really hard for everyone in China during the war. There was no food, China was going through many problems of its own, and the war did not help. Sadly, many children were sent to orphanages, because their parents could no longer afford to feed them. They wore the same clothes each day, didn’t have toys like you do, and scarcely had enough to eat. For Christmas I wanted to do something extra special for them to make them smile and be happy. I sent letters home to your grandma, friends, and family. I asked them to mail me any clothing, toys, or items a child might need or like. And boy did everyone send as much as they could! So, now all I had to do was deliver these gifts to the children. Steve (my grandpa’s translator) and I decided that I should play Santa for the children on Christmas. So, Steve went out and found me a reindeer, which was a donkey, and a sled, which was a very battered cart. When I arrived and handed out the gifts, food, and clothes the children were so excited, and their smiles lasted for days to come.”

After my grandpa told me this story I had a ton of questions about all the little children in the orphanage, but I didn’t get to ask them, because we had arrived at our destination, and there were a bunch of kids running around the house we had just pulled up in front of.

My grandpa told me we were going to go visit with the family and to bring the candy with me. So, I got out of the car with the candy, and started heading with my grandpa across the yard full of children to the house. The mom and dad came out of the house to greet us. My grandpa introduced me, and the mom told me how she used to have my grandma as her teacher in high school, and my grandpa was the principal.

At this point all the children came circling around me and started eying me and my candy. I won’t lie; I hugged that bag of candy to my body like it was my very own baby I had to protect. My grandpa gave me a nudge and asked me to give them some candy. I figured this was no problem, I could give each of the children a piece of candy and have a ton of it left over for myself. So, I started handing each kid a piece of candy. Boy did their eyes light up when I did this. After giving each kid a piece of candy, my grandpa told me to give the oldest child the whole bag of candy! I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the ground at that point. All my precious candy was gone! I had been robbed of the greatest sugar high of all time! I turned my head to look up at my grandpa, and I was about to ask him why he wanted me to do this, but he gently took the bag from me and gave it to the oldest child. We then said our good-byes and walked back to the car to head home.

When we got into the car I asked my grandpa why we had to give them all the candy. His response was to have me look at the children in their front yard. He said, “Do you see them? Look at their smiles! They are a family without enough money to buy candy, and you get candy every day. This is a very special treat for these kids. Now, would you rather eat that candy yourself, or would you like to make multiple people smile and feel happy by giving them your candy?” I was only 4 years old, but that lesson sunk into my little brain and stayed there for life. After looking at the children smiling, and showing their parents and each other all the different candies, and realizing I helped make them happy, and gave them something special, I decided I didn’t want the candy for myself at all. I actually asked my grandpa each time I visited them if we could go take candy to the children again.

Later in life I learned that the couple who lived in that house could not have children of their own. Instead, they chose to foster children in their home.

In that lesson and many other examples my grandpa set for me as a child, I learned that if you can help someone in any way, or if you can just make them smile that you should do it, and I always have.

Sadly, I was fired from teaching at the YMCA in Minot recently for teaching free classes in another community.

I teach free classes to people in my community, which is over an hour drive from the Y in Minot. I started teaching these classes for free, because people in my community do not have the ability to join a gym over an hour away, take classes, and I needed fitness volunteer hours for some of my certifications. Once I completed my yearly volunteer hours, I kept going with the free classes. I teach them for free, because I don’t need the money, I love seeing everyone feel good about themselves after class, and hear them talking about how much fitter and stronger they feel.

I was told by my superior at the YMCA that I had to quit teaching free classes in my little town, or they would have to fire me. She explained that they saw my classes (in a town over an hour away) as competition to their classes at the YMCA. I didn’t and still don’t understand this. Especially since the YMCA is a nonprofit organization. If anything I would think they would want to help people in the community. Especially since I’m helping those in a community where there is no access to fitness.

My grandpa’s voice and teachings came right into my head as I sat there in the office being given this ultimatum. I told her that I would not quit volunteering my time and helping others. I was taught better than that from my grandpa. Plus, I really believe that in order to make the world a better place you need to be generous, kind, and helpful whenever you can.

So, I’m no longer teaching my classes at the YMCA in Minot. I’m beyond sad about this, but I’m going to keep my head up, and be proud of my morals and values.

To all my wonderful friends and regulars in class…I love ya all, and I feel like I’m abandoning you. Each one of you has become so much stronger both inside and out since the first time you wandered your way into class. As a group we have seen each other through cancer, infertility, loss of loved ones and pets, terrible horrible no good very bad days, weddings, births, and so much more. Please keep supporting each other, cheering each other on, and most of all…Keep making each other SMILE and LAUGH! Your smiles will always stay with me!

On the Menu

I find it odd that this is our last weekend in September.  We have had record breaking highs in the 90s for a few days now, and before that our highs were in the 80s.  Shouldn’t it be fall/winter and snowing by now!?!  Trust me when I say that I’m not complaining about the heat; however, the mosquito infestation that has come along with it is killing us.  I swear when I run out to grab some produce out of the garden I risk getting West Nile!  Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating on that one, but our poor furbutts get covered in mosquitos each time they go outside.

How is your fall going?  Any heat waves in the other states?

On to this weeks menu.  This week/weekend I’ve picked easy-to-put-together meals that I know my family will love.  I’ve linked each recipe title and picture to the blog/website it came from.  Happy Cooking!!

Saturday: Slow Cooker Chicken Parmigiana Sandwiches


New Pin!! Cat Davis at Food, Family, and Finds is a GENIOUS for coming up with this recipe.  I can’t believe we have never thought to try something like this in our home before.  When I told my husband this our dinner tonight, I swear I saw him start to drool.  I’m thinking about using one of my frozen Parmesan cheese rinds in the crock pot with the chicken to give it an extra boost in flavor and maybe dice up some mini bell peppers too.

**Recipe Changes** I added 6 chicken breasts, 1 Tbs of sugar, 1 tsp of fresh rosemary, and a rind of parmesan.  I’m thinking about adding fresh thyme next time.

Monday:  Grilled Fish on Pineapple Bark

My husband and son have been fishing nonstop, and they have brought home a ton of fish to cook up.  I love the idea of infusing pineapple flavor into the fish.  I’m going to make a glaze using soy sauce, brown sugar, sriracha sauce and reduce it on the stove.  Then, you can brush the glaze on the fish once it is finished.  Check out Make the Best of Everything for this recipe and more!

Wednesday:  Rachael Ray’s Super Scampi

Super Scampi

This recipe comes out of Rachel Ray’s Look and Cook Book, and I HIGHLY recommend you add this book to your collection.  She has so many wonderful, healthy, and clean recipes for you to choose from.  Plus my son loves the recipes in the book too.  You’ll love this recipe for the fact that it only uses 1 pot to cook everything, and is easy for even the beginner cook to put together, and will feed a good amount of people.  Food Network has kindly posted this recipe on their website too, so click here to check it out.

Friday:  Grilled Thai Spice Chicken Sliders

Grilled Thai Spice Chicken Sliders with Sriracha Mayo | #FathersDay #July4th

New Pin!!  I love anything relating to Thai food, and when I found this recipe I started drooling immediately.  I’ve made several recipes from Family Fresh Cooking, so I know I will love these sliders!  I’m making Sweet Potato French Fries with Smoked Gouda and Black Beans as a side.  I’m cheating and using frozen organic sweet potato French fries for this recipe to cut back on meal prep time.

Did Someone Say TABATA?

Workout Wednesday 2

I love tabatas!  I may be in the minority with this, but I love the way my body feels after a tabata workout.  For those of you who have never done a tabata I’ll break it down for ya.  You do a specific exercise for 20 seconds, and then you take a 10 second break.  Repeat for a total of 8 times, so your whole tabata equals 4 minutes.  It is 4 minutes of sweat and you feel awesome afterwards!

Below is a tabata and strength based workout.  It is a great introduction to tabatas, since each tabata is broken up with weighted moves.  This will bring your heart rate back down, and give those lungs a chance to recover.

I taught this workout a few weeks back, and only a few swear words were thrown my way.  Winking smile

**Instructor Note**:  If you are going to teach this in one of your fitness classes, make sure you give alternatives to the burpees, mountain climbers, etc.  Also, at the very end I gave the option to just hold a plank in the last tabata.

Upper Body Tabata

Spinning Time!


Had to share that little quote with ya.  I’m thinking I need this quote on a workout tank for the gym.  I know it would make everyone laugh.


Thought I would share the outcome of yesterdays ravioli lasagna with ya.  It was delish!  This recipe is a definite in the “make-again” department.  Plus it was fast and easy to put together.  I’m thinking about switching out the chicken sausage next time with garlic roasted chicken breasts that I can shred up.  Definitely make this recipe.  It is perfect for those days when you don’t want to come home and have to spend a ton of time cooking in the kitchen.

Just wanted to get a spinning ride out to all you enthusiasts.  I know it has been awhile, and I have been getting emails requesting new rides.

This playlist was created by my son, and he had some input on what the riders should do during each song too.  I must say that I’m pretty proud of his creation as a rider and a DJ.  My classes really enjoyed and sweated their way through this ride.  When I told him this, he asked to get paid.  Little bugger! 

W’s Creation

If We Ever Meet Again & Right Round

· Warm Up

Sweet Emotion 5:10

· Seated Climb 60-80 RPM

· 1 min Standing Climb at end…feel free to really attack this hill with some speed during the last minute

Beautiful People 3:46

· Standing Run on a Hill 80-90 RPM

Where Them Girl’s At 3:15

· Maintain Resistance from previous song

· Alt. 1 min seated 1 min standing

You Can’t Always Get What You Want 7:37

· Climb…add resistance every 2 min

· Rotate between all 3 positions every 20-30 sec

Stronger 3:23

· Sprints on Hill

Candyman 3:14

· Standing Run or Seated 100 RPM

21 Guns 5:15

· Climb 70-80 RPM

· Add resistance but maintain same cadence (seated or hover)

Jungle 3:09

· Standing climb in 3rd 60 RPM

· Do a series of attacks on your heavy hill 60-80 RPM

Thanks for the Memories 3:26

· Come down hill