At Grit Cycle our goal is for your experience to exceed the 45 minutes we spend in the saddle room together. We hope the energy, support, and good vibes you feel with us transcends into all areas of your life. It’s so much more than the physical fitness for us at Grit; it’s about community, family, friends, and mental + spiritual health. On an hourly basis, our clients inspire us with their grit.

Hands down we have the most dedicated and devoted fitfam around.

Which brings us to our new, favorite feature on the OUTPOST: “A Story of Grit” where we spotlight a Grittie who displays an extraordinary amount of that tenacity and fortitude that binds us all.

Today we are honored to share Kara Demostene’s “Story of Grit.” From the back row to podium super star, Kara has won the hearts of all of us here at Grit Cycle. She is an instructor’s dream and a friend to all. Here is her story:

What brought you to Grit Cycle?

Gilly Smith, Kelly Cabal and Betti Bliss. I was doing cross fit at Gilly’s CrossFit Second Chance. Prior I had taken a long exercise hiatus. The girls asked me to go. Actually, the girls made me go with them… it wasn’t an option. So glad it wasn’t! Mike Angelo was my first class. I was an haute mess, still prob am. BUT I loved it! So…I kept coming back and still am! It’s the only exercise I have stuck with continuously! It’s like a dance party / concert every class!


Do you remember your first class at Grit? What was that like?

Mike Angelo’s 5:30 class! I was tucked away in the back row! No clue what I was doing…left right what? Tap what? Climb? I left drenched and loving it and signed up for another and another and another!

What about Grit kept you coming back?

The positive energy…I was going through life, you know how that can be, and it was the one place where I was happy. Always. I don’t know if Matt, Marisa and Dani know how much they affect our lives in such positive ways. And what a community they have created. It’s nothing I have ever experienced. Unless you’ve been to GRIT, I don’t know if you can completely understand. I’ve tried to explain and I sound crazy or co-dependent?  Then I finally say to people who don’t understand is “it’s cheaper than therapy even with a PPO.”  


Describe how your life {physically, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, professionally, etc} has been affected by your time spent at Grit.

I have met the most amazing group of women and men. I have never felt such a sense of community. I can’t wait to get up and spin! I love that texts are sent making sure everyone’s coming to class or if not at class, where were you? It’s changed my life literally. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. How many times have I just cried during the climb song? It’s so cathartic. After spin, especially a “dooblay”{double class,} thank you Niki Banuelos for coining that word, you feel you can accomplish anything. Or you need a nap.

Have other people in your life noticed these changes? What are their thoughts?

People have noticed the weight lost the most. AND I’ve maintained it and continued to lose. Also people notice the non-baggy beer t-shirts. Yeah, I don’t think it was a good look.

What advice would you give to a first-timer coming to Grit, who’s a little unsure about the whole experience?

As Leigh Beach says, “Yes YOU can.” Come early! As you need to find parking, fill out forms, get your shoes and a grab a GRIT Babe to get your bike set up. You don’t want to rush your first GRIT experience! Savor the moment!


 Who is your biggest inspiration or motivation?

Cassie Piasecki {former grit instructor, now pilates and wellness guru} and our fitness / lifestyle and wellness group have given me so much support on this journey. Also, she has given me so many tools to help me with life, so the wheels don’t go off so much in life! Cassie has been such an inspiration / cheerleader. She has helped me understand the importance of meal prep!!! Set up for success! This is one year from the start of my journey! Nothing November is where it all began!!! “You can’t out exercise bad eating habits.” Actually that might be my mantra!!!!!  So true… so true…My jeans are also my motivation! Jeans don’t lie and aren’t forgiving! If they’re mad, they’re mad!

Do you have a mantra that inspires you?

You never know till you try. Try once. Always. You may surprise yourself! You may like it. You won’t know till you try.


Tell us a little about yourself Miss Kara:

I grew up on a vineyard in Alexander Valley (Nor Cal). Went to college the farthest point away from Nor Cal, Emory University in Atlanta, GA, well I guess Florida is farther. While the South was a great experience, it wasn’t my thing. At all. I came back to California and accepted a job in SoCal and have been here ever since. I did have a 1.8 years in Bakersfield where I rescued Lincoln (best thing about my tour of duty there), my cattle dog. He only makes cameo’s in the late morning or afternoon classes. Not a morning dog. If you see him, don’t blink as I’m never sure when he’ll make it back! Not a lot of people know about the chiway-way I have. We don’t talk about her much. Her name is Ms. B., Ms Bitch, brindle, buttercup…etc. Found her on the mean streets in Santa Ana, CA not Santa Ana Ave. Lincoln tried to smother her at day care so they’re not allowed conjugal visits.

For fun? Don’t laugh…I love going to Sherman Garden’s and their events. I dig the ID channel and Hallmark Christmas movies.

I love going to concerts, baseball games and watching sports, GO COWBOYS! Go Halos! Fight on! (sorry Katie and Richard).

I feel like this portion of the GRIT story is like filling out the eHarmony questionnaire. Should I also include that Lincoln and I like long walks on the beach and sunsets? And snuggling with him on the couch watching the Hallmark channel with a box of tissues? 


Do you have a class or ride that has been your most memorable or favorite?

My first podium ride! What a #goaldigger! Trust me! I never thought I’d ever be on the podium! And, of course, my first GRIT class with Mike Angelo, was up there too. 

And how can I forget Eric Beach Birthday ride? Dani’s Halloween 2016  class was pretty epic too!

What is your favorite song to ride to and why?

Jason Derulo, “want you to want me” because everyone sings along! But I have to say “Man, you make me feel like a woman” after last Saturday’s Marisa’s class, may be my new fav!

Please note: “Lightening Crashes“, I have never heard before in a spin class and lost it. That was beyond a religious experience. A great release fest and purge of everything. Katie Osumi has the best remixes. It’s a non-stop party!

What was your “aha” moment, experience, ride, situation where you realized Grit was more than a spin class for you?

It was subliminal, I finally decided to order shoes after a month or two, and Matt Bourne, was looking at his phone, and didn’t look up and just said, “about time”. And I almost cried. I felt Matt believed in me when I didn’t  in myself……I know sounds crazy.


What are some other fun facts or stories? 

I had no idea what “my core” was the for the first six to eight months of GRIT! Dani and other instructors would say, “tighten your core” and I’m like what core????????? Pull my stomach where? What? Finally, I found my core and yikes! Those motorcycles, I know what people were talking about!

The first time I wore a girl’s lululemon tank on my birthday podium ride with Marisa, I wore it inside out! true story!

Wearing my first pair of jeans in FIVE (5) years! Yes FIVE (5) years! Liberating and yes Jeans are the fat police!

I wouldn’t be caught dead on a regular bike. I have no coordination and I’m sure I’d end up eating it as I tried to do single, single, double to the Chainsmoker’s down 17th Street.

I used to be the girl on BIKE 29, was always scared to sit up in the middle or the pit and not in shape enough. Finally, after over a year, I sat up front with Leigh Beach, (goals – thank you Leigh and don’t tell Leigh but Eric also encouraged me!) and then Gi Jess. I was still wearing my baggy beer t-shirts., which looking back were horrible to look at and even worse to spin in. Last year, I did the Nothing November challenge with Cassie Piasecki, and then in the beginning of the year had the opportunity to join her program, and, by my birthday in July, I rode the podium with Marisa!

Since July I have only been in the pit! (if I can…that 12:30 bike reservations can be tricky) No more baggy shirts under the threat of death! from everyone! YES I’ve thrown out the “OLD Kara”! And the shirts!!!!!


Kara it doesn’t matter what you clothes you wear, you are goddess who lights up any room or deck you walk in to.

We love you so much Kara. You are what Grit Cycle is all about, thank you so much for sharing your “Grit Story”!

Gritties if you have a Grit Story you’d like to share, or if you think there’s a Gritty out there that needs to be recognized please email us at: theoutpost@gritcycle.com

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