She may be tiny, but she brings BIG heat to the saddle room!
Who are we talking about?
None other than our gorgeous February instructor of the month for Costa Mesa, Alex Vallejo!
Coming fresh off her teacher training in the Fall, Alex is already selling out those bikes with her killer playlists and super sweet demeanor.
Let’s get to know the newest rockstar!
So tell us a little bit about you miss Alex. Give up the nitty-gritty please!
I was born and raised here in Newport Beach! I’m the oldest of 3 girls (poor dad right?) and I married my high school sweetheart! My hubs and I have only 4-legged children; a horse named Rosie, a dog named Bruno, and a cat named Oliver. My day job is definitely not as ‘cool’ as being an instructor at GRIT: I work for Southern California Edison as a Senior Analyst; which is funny because my degree is in Psychology – but I tell everyone I use that degree every day interacting with people!
What brought you to the Grit podium?
Well…. The spin queen (Dani) asked me one day if I’d ride with her sometime, and without hesitation, I was like “um hell yeah!!” and minutes after that conversation I remember thinking: “what the heck did you just agree to you lunatic! You barely ride in the front row!” Just a mere days later, I rode up there with her; it was a Tuesday morning at 5:45am – a morning I’ll never ever forget, and one I’m so grateful for. Being her sidekick that day was truly one of my raddest GRIT memories to date! Getting to experience class from the podium is truly such a cool opportunity. Watching 56 people move together, smiling, and sweating is so inspiring!!
What was your first experience in the saddle room?
I was lovingly brought to GRIT by a family friend – she swore those eucalyptus towels would change my life. I remember it was a rainy Friday evening, at 5:30pm. I chose that class because there were two back row bikes – it was a deal breaker if I didn’t get a back-row bike!
The sweet instructor greeted us at the door (who looked remarkably like Carrie Bradshaw), and helped me set up my bike. She then proceeded to tell me we’d have a sweaty dance party for the next 45 minutes. I had no idea what I was about to get myself into, but 45 minutes later I was hooked!!! I tell everyone that Cassie is a game changer – I am beyond grateful our lives collided that day!
It took me about 5 months before I got brave enough to try the other instructors; I was quickly mesmerized by this pink haired, tattooed spin goddess, who yelled profanity, played the most badass music, and left me breathless for basically the whole class… and somehow, I fell deeper in love with that place! Once I figured out the right 30 second window for booking bikes, I figured it was time to brave Matt Bourne’s class…. I guess the rest is history after that!
What motivates you/inspires you?
This community inspires me! Every person who walks into the saddle room has a story. We know some stories, and we might never know others, but just being in a room with 56 strong, courageous, driven and hard-working people is a feeling that will never get old. It’s not even something you can describe – it’s something you just have to experience.
Do you have any pre-class rituals?
Well – this probably makes me seem really OCD, but here we go:
An hour before class, I listen to my playlist top to bottom, and practice my cueing. I put on my gym clothes – and out the door I go. Once I get to GRIT, I set up my iPad, get my mic volume set up, arrange my puffies and towels, set up my bike, put my shoes on and then listen to Krewella (Beggars – because that song makes me feel like such a bada$$). Oh, and I have two mints. Then the doors open – and the fun starts!!
Yes, it’s in that order.
What sets you apart from the rest of the Grit instructors; what makes your class unique?
I haven’t been teaching long enough to answer this question fully – but I hope that people leave my class feeling strong and empowered. And more than anything, I hope that each client knows I truly leave a piece of my heart in that room every single class. I love GRIT and the happiness this place has brought to my life can’t be quantified. If I could ‘pay it forward’ that would be my greatest gift I could give to GRIT!
What do you do when you’re not getting gritty?
There’s life after GRIT? just kidding! When I’m not at GRIT, you’ll find me spending time with my family, my hubby, my girlfriends or riding my horse! I have ridden and shown competitively since I was 5 years old – that’s definitely my ‘first love’ and something that brings me a tremendous amount of joy outside of GRIT.
What’s your favorite “move” on the bike and why?
I genuinely never thought I’d see the day I’d say this, but I LOVE a fast motorcycle song! It’s funny because I HATED that move for months when I first started going to GRIT, merely because I could not ‘get it’. I’ll never forget the first-time I ‘got it’ – it was in Cassie’s class to Jay Z’s ‘Empire State of Mind’.
What is your favorite/trademark song to teach?
What is your favorite food?
Well… is wine a food group? – it obviously is, it’s made of grapes. When you love food it’s hard to choose. I’m a carb monster – so probably pizza. or Mexican food, or pasta – get the picture? That’s why I work out so much!
Who is your celebrity crush?
Charlie Hunnam is definitely easy on the eyes.
Do you have a secret talent?
I’m a classically trained flautist!
Last book you read?
What would your last meal be?
Oh boy, this is hard. This little carb monster can’t decide what her last meal would be because it would be somewhere between pizza, pasta, wine, and dessert. That covers basically all the good stuff.
What was the first concert you went to?
New Kids on the Block – yep, I said it.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?
Trader Joe’s cookie butter and a banana (and the TV show The Bachelor.)
When you’ve had a long day how do you de-stress?
GRIT – is that even a question?
Is black a color?
What three things are always in your grocery cart?
Apples, Kale, avocados
What’s the best piece of advice your parents ever gave you?
“Bust your ass for thing things you want in life – nothing worth having will get handed to you.”
Beauty products you can’t live without?
I’m a diehard PCA Skincare fan – that’s the only products that touch my face. I’m also a sucker for Kerastase hair product, and cannot live without their hair oil. As a spin junkie, one must always carry dry shampoo – right now I’m loving the Moroccan Oil Dry Shampoo!
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Most people probably don’t know this – my eyes are two different colors!
Do you do any other forms of workouts?
You can get YOUR butt kicked by this tiny dynamo at a discounted rate every friday night during the month of February at 5:30pm; those dates being: February 3rd, February 10th, February 17th, + February 24th.
See you in the saddle room Gritties!