by: Jess Fracalossi
Intense, motivated, and tough.. in all the right ways. Ashley Wagner has been a staple on our team since she started at The Handle Bar almost 3 years ago. With a refreshed class schedule just now in effect, Ashley’s giving riders 6 opportunities to catch Ashley in her element. Read on to learn more about this impressive woman and what makes her tick.
Tell us about your fitness background – have you always been active?
I have always been active, I grew up in a very fitness-oriented family (you should meet my sister if you think I am intense). I was a three season athlete in high school and went on to play field hockey in college. Post college I started to focus in on types of fitness that get me outside or into the woods. I am an avid skier, hiker, and really enjoy riding my bike outside. If it’s active I’ll try it.
What is your biggest motivator?
I feel like this is cliché but, the riders at HB. There is nothing more motivating than seeing a room full of people push themselves to the limit. When I see riders working hard it makes me want to work harder for them. It’s this constant give and take but once you get the formula right it is perfection. In that room we really are one team working together to reach our goals.
You’re so adventurous – always outdoors, hiking, biking and enjoying. Tell us about some of these passions – are you a thrill seeker?
I wouldn’t say I am a thrill seeker; I just like to be outside as much as possible. Living in a city I try to make it a top priority to get outside and away from the craziness. I love the physical challenge of hiking up a mountain then getting to sleep at the top. It’s a cool way to explore the world and what your body can really do. Luckily I have HB to keep me in shape so I can keep pushing to that next level!
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Definitely when I signed up to ride a bike across the country with only 30 miles under my belt. That was a big jump. That was the most incredible trip – I got to explore the country and ride my bike all day. I was in heaven.
What can we find in your gym bag?
Number 1 top priority is snacks. I have a full time job and teach 6 classes a week at HB so Monday-Friday I am usually flying by the seat of my pants. I make sure to have something with me so I can always grab something on the go – it’s usually some sort of bar or an apple, easy and quick. Sunglasses and sunscreen…doesn’t matter if it’s January, you never know when you are going to have a sunny day! A Tide-to-go pen….that one is always a life saver. It’s essential. Headphones. I walk to work and there is no better way to get some pep in your step than some good commuting tunes.
What is your favorite HB memory?
Back when I was a rider at the HB I remember coming to a class where I had had a miserable day. I had broken up with my boyfriend, I had had a few major things fall through and I was feeling really lost. I went into the class wanting an escape and get some endorphins. I was in the back (thank god) because there was one really emotional song where I just lost it. Just riding and crying I am sure the girl next to me thought I was crazy. But then the next song came on and it was a perfect juxtaposition and pulled me right out of that funk and right up that hill. I think I really realized how special The HB was in that class, and also how cathartic a dark room and some heavy hills can be.
Three words to describe yourself, GO!
Excited, enthusiastic, tough!