In honor of announcing our instructor lineup in just two weeks, we thought we would highlight two of our most inspirational stRIDE instructors, stRIDE’s co-owners Tori DeSimone and Jess Borzelleca-Vierow. Both of these women are not only badass business owners but some of the most inspirational women out there, they stride to be the greatest versions of themselves and work to lift and inspire everyone around them to do the same.
We started by asking Tori a few questions to get to know her a little bit better. Tori is not only a twenty-year-old business owner but also is beyond motivational. Tori’s passion for fitness and empowering others has grown into a community of badass women who work to create the greatest versions of themselves, we asked her a few questions about her journey and how she got where she is today.
When did you start your fitness journey?
I began my fitness journey during my senior year of high school when I moved back home from Los Angeles. I put on a few pounds in LA and for the first time in my life, I felt very uncomfortable in my own skin. I never talked about it because I was really the only one who could tell I put on weight and I was very insecure about this. My best friend, Halle, and I were sitting in class one day and she recommended I read the book "Skinny Bitch" so I did and it was everything I needed to hear about food and nutrition. The book made me go vegan immediately and in March of 2016, I started my journey as a vegan for about a year. Around this same time, Halle was going to a local spin & barre studio, SoulBeat. I decided to try out their spin classes and I instantly fell in love. Before I knew it, the extra pounds were falling off and I had never been healthier and happier in my life. Ever since then I knew I wanted a studio of my own to give others the exact same feeling I got from spin classes, I wanted to change people's lives through health and fitness.
What is your favorite way to sweat?
Spin class! I used to try a bunch of different workouts but nothing really stuck until I started spinning. I used to run in middle school which I enjoyed and I used to box in sophomore and junior year of high school which I loved! However, spin is what kept me interested and ultimately is my passion.
What or who inspires you the most?
A couple of things inspire me, first off, the clients. When a client tells me that my class helped them, spoke to them, or made them fall in love with spin, it gives me tingles!! All I have ever wanted out of being an instructor and now co-owner, is to change someone's life for the better and make an impact. If I can do that with one client, I did something right because when a client is happy, I'm happy. The clients inspire me to continue doing what I love so very much. I also remember what it felt like to be in their position since it was only a little over 2 years ago, I think that helps me a lot when connecting with them.
Not to sound cheesy, but Jess inspires me. I remember when I first started taking spin classes, I never connected with an instructor UNTIL I took Jess's class. It was like something I never experienced before. I was able to follow along in her class and feel empowered, I left that room feeling strong and I was proud of myself every time I left her class. I remember two things about my first class with Jess - I texted Halle right after class and said "ok I LOVE Jess", second thing is I went to my boyfriend's (at the time) house right after class and said "I took my shirt off and rode in JUST my sports bra tonight!!!" To me, this was a big deal because I was finally comfortable enough in an environment to not feel judged for my few extra pounds I gained over the past summer. I felt comfortable, motivated, loved, and at home in Jess's spin class. A few weeks later after I was taking her classes more, Halle and I wanted to ride next to each other in class one day. There were no two bikes together in the back row and I had never ridden front row. I looked at Jess with terrified eyes of the front row and she says "ride front row, I watch you in the back and you're good, “you can do the front come on." So I did, I rode front row and Jess cheered me on every single song. She is the reason I have the passion I do for spin, I owe that woman everything! I started as her client, then her co-worker, and now her co-owner. I will forever be in debt to her and all she has ever done for me, I wouldn't want to open this studio with anyone else because she inspires me every single day and is the definition of what stRIDE embodies.
What is the best piece of advice you can give to stRIDE clients?
Keep coming back and get involved. I know how tough it can be your first couple classes, but keep trying it and be open to it because you might just find that it changes your life! Get involved meaning make friends, “woohoo!” in class, chat with the instructors, this place can be your second home if you let it. We want nothing more than for every single client to feel like family here. I've made my absolute best friends in the world through spin, be open to it, talk to people (they WILL talk back, I promise), and get involved!! Seriously, you might just change your life.
What does stRIDE mean to you?
Oh god, stRIDE means everything to me! When Jess and I built stRIDE there were 3 words we kept coming back to; passion, badass, and empowerment. We truly believe those are the core values of stRIDE.
We want you to be passionate about every single class you take. Our instructors have passion pouring out of each of them, we made sure of it. You have to love what you do and stRIDE has plenty of that.
I want you walking out of that spin room (or any room) feeling like the most fucking (excuse my language), badass woman or man living. You should be proud, you should feel challenged, and you should feel like you conquered every single class. I say "badass" in all my classes at least 100 times.
It's about lifting one another up. It's a team. Yes while as a client, you are a single rider, it's every single person in that room coming together to be one. To be one strong, uplifting, motivating unit. It is so special when a room full of 32 determined clients "woohoo" and ride together as one. It's about sharing love and happiness.
Are you getting excited? You can start booking classes with Tori on July 15th for stRIDE’s August 4th opening.
We CANNOT wait to sweat with you.