It’s the holiday season and we’re keeping spirits bright by introducing you to one of GritCycle’s greatest: Ashley Wheeler! As a very familiar face down in Monarch Beach, we wanted to spotlight Ashley’s tenacious energy here! Check it out!
Hi! Tell us a little about you.
Thanks so much for asking! I’m Ashley (I didn’t put the “rockstar” next to my name (thanks, Jess!)), Wheeler. First, I’d say a mom. I have a hilarious, sweet, goofy, giant-hearted, full of love daughter named Lilly. She comes with me to Grit on many Saturdays and Sundays, so a few people have met her.
My husband Steve and I have been married for 11 years. He is a fitness trainer but also does voice work. His passion (OBSESSION) is golf. He travels as often as he can; always seeking new courses and new challenges. He is working on a book of his travels and time on the fairways.
I run a company that designs packaging and crating for, primarily, military and aerospace companies. I do graphic design on the side, keeping my creative-self happy. I’ve lived in Southern California for 16 years. I’m from New Hampshire but have moved quite a bit. Before California, was Florida (where I met Steve), Colorado, and Hawaii for three years where I worked as a SCUBA instructor. I was a theater major in college and do NOTHING with that except give loud, silly readings for Lilly before bed.
What was your first experience at GritCycle like?
My first Grit experience was a year ago, just after GritCycle in Monarch Beach opened. Not my first indoor cycling experience, but I had been on a hiatus from spin for a little over a year. I’ll admit that I don’t remember the class – just feelings; joy to be back the bike, relief when the lights went out during motorcycles, “holy shit,” and that feeling you can’t quite name, but you know that whatever the hell just happened was a game changer. I’ve been in the Saddle Room often as possible since.
What is your favorite time of day to get Gritty?
5:45 baby! The absolute BEST way to get the day started!
I started at 5:45 out of necessity but, oh my gosh, I love it so much. I’m up before my alarm most days excited to get to the studio. Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, I get Jessica‘s loud, passionate, joyous push and on Tuesday’s and Thursdays, Matt‘s subtle earnest coaching inspires me. They teach in very different ways but they complement each other. They both drive me to do and be my best every day – even when no one is watching. Plus- the amazing group that I get to ride with at 5:45 is BOMB!
How has GritCycle affected your life outside of the Saddle Room?
It’s hard to find an aspect of my life that has not been affected by Grit, so I’ll pass on the obvious health benefits and go with relationships. You hear the term “Grit family” often and it couldn’t be more true to me. I am so grateful for the friendships that have been created through Grit. The connections made here follow me throughout the day. Every day I am surrounded by such incredible individuals- examples of passion, graciousness, integrity, drive, and humor. We all share our energy and ourselves in class and in the studio and I go about my day carrying that with me.
What is your favorite move on the bike?
All of them! Push up/ tap backs, figure eights, motorcycles…I get most excited and pumped about the ones that I struggle with. Goals to get better.
What is your best memory at GritCycle?
No one memory in particular. Adam’s welcoming smile. Jessica’s twerking. And comments like “I hope you don’t die.” Matt‘s hand, telling me that someone’s there. Lisa’s form – reminding me to focus on my core. Steph’s dancing. Friends hugs. The list goes on. I just love the place.
Ashley, we love you to the moon! Thank you for making our mornings so bright! Cheers to YOU!
Know anyone else with a great Grit Story? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.