Who raised the bar in May?

Regulars since our opening a year ago in June 2013, riders Jeannie Kampas and Katy Mezaros who are both moms-to-be have been committed since the very beginning. With due dates just one day apart, the duo looks forward to inspiring and motivating each other throughout the entire 9 months. They’ve been medically cleared to keep riding with us, and their persistence and commitment to their health and fitness inspires all of us to keep #RaisingTheBar. Congrats, ladies!

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Everyone has their own unique fitness journey. What has your experience/journey been like with spinning?

Katy: I had done a handful of spinning classes before becoming a regular at The Handle Bar.  I thought they were fine and a pretty good workout, but there was nothing that really kept me going back for more.  That totally changed when I took my first classes at The Handle Bar during its Grand Opening weekend last summer.  The energy was incomparable to any other group exercise I had done before and I felt amazing (yet pretty sore) afterwards – I was hooked.

Jeannie: I used to work at a gym in college, and frequently attended spin classes. However, after college, I turned to running, and then boxing. I gave spinning another try after Katy convinced me to try a class at The Handle Bar last summer. I really enjoy the camaraderie among the riders, and of course the instructors and the music.

How do you [expect to] keep up with your fitness during and after your pregnancies?
K: From the beginning of my pregnancy, I was motivated and determined to maintain as much of my normal fitness routine as possible.  Regular workouts are a mainstay in my life, so I didn’t want to give that up as long as it posed no danger to the baby!  I spoke with my doctor more than once about keeping up with my regular spinning classes during pregnancy.  She was extremely supportive and encouraged it, explaining that a lot of the time, regular exercise during pregnancy can actually make labor easier and can obviously help you bounce back more quickly after baby.  I plan to continue spinning as long as I am physically and safely able throughout the pregnancy.  I recognize that it will probably get a little more difficult as my baby bump gets bigger, but there are ways to modify the workouts so that there is less strain on the lower back, etc.   In terms of after baby, I really have no idea what to expect schedule-wise (something tells me that a tiny human is a mega-dictator when it comes to a “schedule”), but my hope is to find a balance between my new role as a mom, work, and exercise so that I can stay sane.  Returning to The Handle Bar post-baby will be a huge part of that!

J: I’ve always been active, and didn’t want my pregnancy to prevent me from working out. Luckily, my doctor told me that working out can really benefit me and the baby, and that I can keep doing what I’ve been doing as long as I’m comfortable. I hope to continue to spin well into my third trimester – the less time I take off, the easier it will be to return after having the baby! If only I can teach the baby to eat and sleep around my workout schedule…

How has fitness become part of your everyday life?
K: I am an extremely routinized person so I feel “off” when I don’t workout.  It is a great way to start the day and makes you feel like you have accomplished something besides getting out of bed by the time you get to work in the morning.  I know that I’ll be in a rut if I don’t “get up and go” as planned – since I hate feeling that way, it makes it easier for me to maintain a regular fitness routine.

J: Fitness has always been a part of my everyday life. I get grumpy if I don’t work out! I also work out so there’s less guilt when I choose pizza and beer (or more recently, candy) over vegetables and grilled chicken.

Why do you come to spin at The Handle Bar?
K:The amazing workouts, the energy, the camaraderie among riders, and the great instructors.

J: When you look forward to a workout, you stick with it!

What did you do for fitness prior to joining the studio?
K: I was a gym rat – treadmill, elliptical, weights.  I was getting extremely bored with it all, so the timing of The Handle Bar’s opening last summer was perfect.

J: I’ve been boxing for a few years now (not real boxing – we just hit a bag). I still go a couple times a week to switch things up, and enjoy the combination of boxing and spinning.

What goals has The Handle Bar helped you achieve?
K: Keeping health and fitness a top priority in my life.

J: It has helped me stay fit and healthy, and sometimes when I’m super busy at work, I feel like it helps to keep me sane!

How has your friendship evolved while riding at the HB?
K: Jeannie and I work together, so it is great to be able to do something outside of the office that allows us to chill out and de-stress.  I truly look forward to our morning rooster rides and weekend classes together!  Plus, we have definitely gotten some questionable looks when people find out we’re still spinning while pregnant, so it’s nice to have someone else in your corner to argue that it’s completely safe to do (and doctor-approved)!  We’re due one day a part the first week in October, so I feel like we will motivate each other to stay spinning as long as possible!

J: Katy and I have been friends since we started working together over four years ago. I like having her in class with me, especially now that we’re both pregnant. We joke about how long we can ride in a class before we have to run out to use the bathroom!

What’s your favorite way to end a long week?
K: A good dinner with my husband, followed by couch time and DVR (this obviously used to include wine for me, but now my husband has to drink alone!)

J: Lately, it’s been pretty lame. It involves eating something that I don’t have to cook, hanging out with my husband and dog, and then usually falling asleep on the couch around 9:30. But I used to be fun!

What is your favorite music to spin to?
K: Top 40 remixes (the John Legend “All of Me” dance remix is currently my favorite)

J: I agree with Katy on this one – top 40 remixes.

What motivates you?
K: My desire to stay happy and healthy.

J: There’s nothing like the feeling you get after a good workout. That alone keeps me coming back for more. Also, for me, happiness and good health go together.

What words do you live by?
K: Being too busy and/or too tired is not an excuse!

J: People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.

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