For our first #TandemTribe article, we could not think of a better duo than Annmarie & Kristina. These two have supported us unconditionally and continue to bring their incredible energy into the studio every single day. It seemed only right that we reflect on their past year here at Tandem, a little bit about their friendship, and what they love about the Tandem community. Check out our interview with these two #frontrowlocals:
TC: We love you two! It’s been so amazing watching your growth over the past year at Tandem – seeing your faces in the front row makes our day. Can you tell us about some of the initial challenges you both dealt with when you first started tapping it back with us?
KM: I faced quite a few challenges when I first started at Tandem: I couldn’t ride to the beat, my legs were all over the place, I kept unclipping out of the pedals, I couldn’t stand up, or do a tap back. I kept trying so hard to keep up with everyone else, when instead I should have slowed it down, and listened to my own body. Once I started to do that, I became stronger, faster, and more confident, and now I love pushing and tapping!
AF: My initial challenge was getting in the door at Tandem – I was convinced I would not like spin. I like outdoor activities: riding my bike, walking, and running. I came to my first Tandem class with my daughter, Michele, just to spend more time with her. Once I started riding regularly, I had a very hard time keeping up. It took me a while to feel comfortable on the bike, especially not hurting my tailbone during arms – but MC gave me a few tips, and now I can’t get enough!
TC: What advice would you give to a new rider?
KM: Stick with it! It’s going to take a few rides before you actually “catch the beat”, or master how to work your resistance, all while simultaneously listening to the instructor – but once you do get it (and you will!) you’re going to love it – it just gets better and better!
AF: Don’t give up. These classes are not easy, especially if you’re new to spin, but with the help/motivation you receive from the instructors, you will settle right in! Give yourself time – spin at your own pace – have patience – I can promise you before long you’ll feel like a much healthier/better version of yourself.
TC: Talk to us about moving from the third row to the front row.
KM: I used to really like the third row because I could see what everyone else was doing, and follow along. However, as I got more comfortable on the bike, I was told I should try the front row. I finally gave it a try, and it was a game changer! I like the front row because I am able to see myself in the mirror, allowing me to really focus on my technique, and see how I move my body. Now, I can’t imagine not riding in the front row.
AF: Moving from my comfy spot in the 2nd row to the front row terrified me. I felt that I needed someone in front of me to follow, and to hide behind if need be :). Not true! MC asked us to move one day, so, of course, we obliged. Not so scary up there! In fact, I think having a clear view of the instructor, and the ability to see yourself in the mirror makes for a better ride when you’re speeding along, or huffing and puffing through the class.
TC: Did you two know each other before Tandem?
KM: I never knew Annmarie before Tandem. When I first started here we were both new to spinning, and were going to all the same classes, so we would talk before and after class. As time went on, we became closer and now we’re great friends – I’m really glad I met her!
AF: Kristina and I did not know each other – we met at Tandem. We both started spinning mid-summer. After seeing each other almost every day, we started talking and haven’t stopped since! At first we talked about challenges we both faced regarding spin class. We discussed the instructors and agreed on what our favorite classes were. We moved on from there to everything from mutual friends, children, family, and the challenges life throws at you. We usually find something to text each other about during the day as well. I consider Kristina a special person and a friend, a very important part of my day, and just one more wonderful thing I have gained from Tandem.
TC: In your own words, what makes Tandem different from other gyms/studios?
KM: The people behind Tandem make it different from any other gym I’ve been to.When I first came into the studio, I knew nothing about spinning, and was a bit nervous about starting something new. From the very beginning, I was welcomed and encouraged, and because of that I’ve changed not only my whole look out on exercise and health, but also my life! I don’t feel like it’s a place I just come to workout, you can tell the instructors really enjoy what they’re doing, and want you to reach your goals. You feel like you’re apart of something, and that’s what makes Tandem above the rest!
AF: Tandem is different from other gyms/studios in so many ways. I have joined quite a few of the years, and never felt so at home – such a sense of belonging/inclusive atmosphere. Everyone here is so welcoming and friendly. During class, you can feel the energy in the room – its as if we are all working together, regardless of your age or athletic ability – we are working towards one common goal – to leave everything else behind for that short time, and just do your best.
TC: Thank you both for the kind words! What’s your favorite song to hear in the studio?
KM: I’m loving Indian Summer by Jai Wolf!
AF: I love a lot of the songs that were played when I first started: Cake By the Ocean, Run Away With Me, Try Me, and Ex’s & Oh’s.
TC: Any go-to healthy snacks you refuel with after a class?
KM: I love making a Raw Fit Chocolate Protein shake with 1/2 of a banana, 1 cup almond milk, 1 tsp of almond butter, and 1 tsp of coconut oil over ice.
AF: My go to breakfast after spin is a hardboiled egg with avocado, sliced tomato, and Frank’s hot sauce. I also love to grab a Strawberry Fields shake from Rejuicenation.
TC: We can’t wait to try all three of those! What about outside the studio – where can we find each of you when you are not killing it in the front row?
KM: If I’m not at Tandem, you can find me at work for a for a local dentist in Spring Lake, or enjoying the beach life with my husband and 3 year old twin boys!!
AF: When I am not at Tandem, you can find me at work with my hubby, walking my dog, Sophie, or – when it finally warms up- on the beach! I also love to bake, cook and feed people, so check my kitchen!
TC: Thank you both so much for your time, continued support, and great energy in the studio!
The Tandem Team