What it's like to hike the Pacific Coast Trail 770 miles: Interview with Barrett Pall

Oh man you guys!

I've wanted to do this one for a while now. 

An interview with my friend, Barrett Pall.

So first, one of my favorite Barrett stories before I do a full introduction.

When I was living in NYC I would take the 9 PM Barry's Bootcamp, where Barrett is an Instructor.

Barry's is MY JAM, by the way, I love it. 

So in the middle of a full class, Barrett would literally CALL ME OUT during things like, a bent over row (when I'm basically doggie style) and yell to the entire class

"YEAH KRISTA YOU'RE USED TO THAT POSITION".

Crying.

In addition to the class call outs, it always struck me me how Barrett would be so honest and encouraging to me about launching my blog. 

Whenever I'd make an excuse, or say something about a fear I had around it - Barrett would be the first to encourage me, and bring me back to reality. 

"Just do it Who cares." Was enough of a reminder. 

Fun, funny, kind, caring, compassionate, honest, smart, real, aware, and driven.

He's unapologetic and unafraid.

A true gem, who I am thankful to know!

This interview is so DOPE because this is coming from a man who wears a multitude of hats.

Including Celebrity Fitness Trainer, Writer, Model, Blogger, Life Coach, YouTuber and overall multifaceted, thoughtful and loving individual.

You can read his super deep, thoughtful and (sometimes controversial posts) on Artisan King, or browse the latest on his instagram (with over 178k followers, he knows a thang or two about social media too!)

His latest adventure though, had him leave life in New York City, to hike up the coast starting from Mexico 350 miles.

(Remember Wild by Cheryl Strayed?)

Oh and instead of 350 mikes, he did 770.

Yes, 770 miles, hiking, camping, meeting strangers, and enduring all types of weather, people and experiences along the way. 

All of this, while disconnecting from social media, embracing nature and home, and absorbing all the lessons nature allows. 

This interview is the first he's done since his return, and I have so many questions about his MAJOR life changing trip. 

So i get them answered, and get to share them with you! 

HOW DOPE. 

So here we are, my interview with Barrett is PCT Adventure and more:


Can you share a brief recap on the trip for us?

I can't believe that my trip along the PCT has come to a wrap.

It all started 5 years ago when my best friend Stacie Tiftitsoglou, who I've known for 20 years, mentioned the PCT to me, and I coincidentally read Wild. We knew it was something we had to do, and 5 years later we found ourselves committing to actually doing 650 miles along the trail. Stacie was in a crossroads in her life, and I found myself needing a break from the life I so enjoy in NYC, so a month before the trip, I told Stacie I was doing it with her. 

45 days later we ended up going past our goal of 650 miles to 770 miles, where we capped off our trip by climbing to the top of Mt. Whitney, which is the highest mountain in the US behind Denali in Alaska.

My big motivation for this was to get out of my own comfort zone. have the experience of a lifetime with one of my best friends, who I undoubtedly know is a soulmate, and inspire others to live their wildest dreams.  


How did you prepare? What did you bring or physically what did you do to prep?

I'm beyond lucky that all the logistics were taken care of by Staci. She packed all of our food, made all of the packages that her mom would later send to our stopping points to resupply, and mapped out our itinerary, which we pretty much stuck to.

Physically I got myself ready by making sure I got properly fitted for the right backpack at REI, and walked all over the city instead of using public transportation.

I'm super lucky that my life organically prepared me for the trip as I am always doing something active, and usually have a 17 lb backpack on while running around the city living my normal life. However, you truly can't be fully prepared for what your about to embark on as it's like nothing else I had ever done.

Was there a time when you thought you couldn't make it?

Everyday.

As you usually end up hiking alone during the day, your main activity besides walking is thinking. It was a constant mind game of pumping yourself up, and reminding yourself that beyond the constant discomfort and physical pain was a life changing experience that will stay with you forever.

Going up and down 3 mountains that are higher than NYC skyscrapers everyday is taxing, but the views you see, people you meet, and lessons you learn are beyond worth it.

What was the best memory from the trip?

Everyday came with so much fullness that it's hard to pick one specific memory, but the kindness from strangers restored my faith in humanity, and just seeing clean water to drink was a miracle that it's hard to describe unless you've been on the trail.

A few memories that stand out though are: my 1st shower after hiking a week without one, drinking an orange soda for the 1st time as I craved anything orange at one point, getting to the big stopping point where you meet a lot of hikers, and coming across a pool at a KOA ( Campgrounds of America) after being in the desert for a month. Officially becoming "Sweetheart," which was my given trail name, and seeing the sunrise from the top of Mt. Whitney are also very high on the list.

The worst or toughest part of the trip?

The heat, the flies, the physical pain your feet feel. Blisters inside of blisters are a real thing. Flies and gnats test your sanity. The sun is unforgiving.

How physically demanding was it?

I live a very physical life, and had read about the trail, but had no idea how hard it actually was going to be.

I can 100% say this was physically the hardest thing I've ever done. Anyone and I mean anyone could do what I did, but it's all about listening to your body at every step, learning to take breaks, and just hiking your own hike as they say on the trail.

How was it to be disconnected from social media and your phone, email...for that long?

So welcomed. I am someone who makes a big effort to not be living through my phone, and this was the biggest push to get even farther from my phone and the "matrix."

If you have Verizon you pretty much have service everywhere, but I have Sprint, which wasn't everywhere, and I'm grateful that I simply didn't have service, so I couldn't even be on my phone if I wanted to be. When you remove yourself from living through a digital world, you end up living a truly incredible way, which isn't to say that I didn't take lots of videos and pictures, but being on the side of a mountain, not knowing what day or time is was, and no one knows where you actually are is supremely powerful for finding clarity. 

Can you talk about the people you met along the way?

They were the biggest surprise and gift from the trail. I thought it was going to be quite solitary, and that it would be just Stacie and I. However, the trail is so much more social than you can imagine. Yes, you hike during the day most of the time by yourself, but at the resupply points, camping grounds, and random places here and there you meet some of the most diverse people. It's almost like traveling Burning Ma in the sense that there is a full hiker culture and collective mindset to not just exist, but truly live. I ended up hiking with 10 of the most incredible people, who in the "real world" I probably wouldn't have even met. We named ourselves the Rainbow Tribe, and became pretty well known on the trail as it we were the biggest group that stayed together. These people became family in the matter of days, and I will forever take things that I learned from each one of them with me. Smokey, The Bandit, Clicker, Rapunzel, Snacks, Dime, MVP, Suture, Sponge Bath, Ants, Pogano, Fabio, Monarch, Cupcake, Mozart and a few others along the way are hikers (these are their trail names) that changed my life, and I love so deeply.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do a big trip or take a big leap like you just did?

Just do it.

Do it now.

Stop waiting for something else to happen, or someone else to go with. 95% of the hikers on the trail start alone, and end up meeting friends along the way.

There will always be reasons why you can't or shouldn't do something crazy like this, but once you do, you can't ever imagine not doing it.

Your life will change in the most incredible ways, and you'll be so much more apt to keep living out your dreams once you start.

What was it like being in the wild the whole time?

It was soul healing. Many religious teachers and spiritual gurus talk highly of nature in the fact that it connects you to your deepest self, and it's so true. It's also very challenging at moments because you just want your bed, running water, a bathroom, but what you learn is that those are all luxuries to be grateful for. You also do end up in towns here and there, where you take zero days, stay in hotels, and regroup, so that you can feel like a "real" person again, but the craziest thing is, you start to miss your tent, your sleeping bag, and just being under the stars.


What is the biggest lesson you learned that you could share with others?

To "Hike your own hike."

There will always be people and things that influence you, but you have to do what feels right for you, not anyone else, so if that means you leave the group and keep hiking then do it, or if that means you stop and stay behind while everyone else keeps going, you have to do it.

Live your life for you, and everything else will work out.

You just have to keep walking.


Has it been hard to adjust back to 'real life', off the trail?

Yes.

I knew it would be, but I didn't realize how overwhelming normal life would feel. I've never felt overwhelmed by NYC, but my first real day back in NYC was rough.

However, as I learned the trail magic never stops, and just when I thought I couldn't deal with NYC, a random girl stopped me on the street because she had followed my hike on social media, and she was about to embark on her own 20 day hike on the John Muir Trail, so we chatted on the street for an hour, and I even went back to REI with to help her be fully ready. It was exactly what I needed at the exact moment. Again, life always works out, you just have to be open to it.

What was the first meal you had when you came back?

The first thing I had when I came back to NY was actually nothing crazy. It was just like a salad, which is something most hikers crave because you miss freshness after eating dehydrated food nonstop. I also stopped being a vegetarian while on the trail, but am happily phasing back to this as I just feel better eating this way.

Whats next for you?

I'm not sure, and I'm the most at peace with this than I ever have been. I've created an amazing life for myself, and I know that more amazing opportunities will pop up, so right now I'm just doing me. I head to Germany in September for 2 weeks with another best friend, and I'm excited for that. At this point, I just want to keep seeing the world, and inspiring others to do the same because it truly is how you learn and evolve in the most organic and healthy way.

Just feel very peaceful, which is what I want everyone to experience.

Where can people connect with you?

My blog is artisanandking.com. All my social media channels are @barrettpall, and my email is artisanandking@gmail.com. I always love to hear from people and answer questions about anything they may be curious about, and that I have knowledge on.


If you could tell people one last thing, what would it be?

Just go for it.

If you aren't happy, you have the power to change this. It may be scary, but fear is simply the unknown, and once you know something it usually isn't scary at all.

Also I listened to the Power of Now while on the trail, and it was the perfect thing to hear while hiking.

This book will change your life, and I encourage everyone to listen or read it!

Lastly, love is everything, so if you approach all areas of your life with that in mind, your life will be more amazing than you could ever imagine!



My favorite YouTube's from his channel:

A video before the hike, 'I'm walking 652 miles in 45 days'

Honor your Truth

Getting Sober in 2016


Such a cool story, right? Honestly there's so much I can share from Barrett. Advice on love, building a business, social media...but this was truly a feat and I am absolutely so proud of him for it.


You can donate to Global Citizen, a charity that Barrett raised money for during this adventure. 

It looks to “help fight extreme poverty and inequality around the world, and support approaches that will make life more sustainable for people and the planet.”

100% of the money that is raised will truly go to so many important issues around the world.


Let me know what you think. Would you ever do a major adventure like this?

I would really love to embark on a major life changing adventure. Maybe not 770 miles, but I like the thought of disconnecting and getting away to really be in nature. 

Looking forward to chatting, and if you have questions for Barrett you can write below! I'll have him answer.

Thanks for this, B!

Loving you! 

Krista

FITNESS MODEL TIPS and TRICKS: Hundred Blog Interview with Christi Marraccini

I LOVE DOING THESE INTERVIEWS!

Like, seriously. I am obsessed with them. I'm SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS ONE! It's got SERIOUS tips, tricks and insights from a fitness model and mega babe, Christi! 

I met Christi through Justin, she dates his good friend Severin in New York City. Many dates and hang out's later, I became inspired and excited to meet such a DOWN TO EARTH, laid back, sweet, kind and smart girl, that's also giving back, volunteering, family focused and stunning. 

I mean you guys should seriously see her hair for one thing, it's INSANE. Thickest, longest, most voluminous hair ever. Her bod is like, crazy fit, and you can see from the Fitness Cover she's got the cutest bum, ever.

For me, that's like my goal for fitness, it's the super toned, strong and sleek look that I love. I'm never going to be tiny and little (I'm 5'8"), so strength and tone are everything. Fitness models are more my ideal.

Christi here is super open, super clear and super helpful providing information on fitness, beauty tricks and just what it's like being a model in NYC. She breaks it down for us below.

I really really loved this one, it felt right, honest and good to read. These tips are INVALUABLE.

I know you'll love it! Enjoy the interview with Christi Marraccini, Fitness model, smart and sweet, do-good babe.


Tell us a little bit about you (who you are, where you're from, what you do :) )

I am a wild child, a dog lover, a coffee addict, a fitness aficionado, I enjoy a cheesy joke and a good graphic tee but most importantly I am a daughter and a sister. I was born and raised in Westchester, New York. I grew up surrounded by a big Italian family (Italian as in traditional Italian, not jersey shore Italian). I am one of three girls, God bless my dad for having a house full of women, but don't feel too bad for him - I was his little tomboy. I was the kid carrying a toolbox instead of a doll, digging for worms instead of digging through dress up clothes and I always wanted to be the dog when we played house.

Family is a huge part of my life and I am extremely lucky to be able to work and still be close to them. My work is anything but typical and includes a few different jobs. I am currently a track and field coach, an event coordinator for a cause called the Tales of Reese and am a model signed with Wilhelmina Models. Sports were a huge part of my life growing up and I am so grateful now that I am able to coach. The Tales of Reese benefits kids and their families and began as a children's book series for children with major life set backs or illnesses. The founder and author, Sparkly Ray, began organizing events to raise money for sick kids. That's where I come in. I help to plan events, select gyms and even run their workouts. And finally, modeling with Wilhelmina which was never in my life plan, but here I am!

Have you always been a babe? How did you get into modeling? When did you get signed and to which agency?

Definitely no! I went through “phases” – having braces in high school was definitely a highlight but glasses came first. Let's just say my life was a struggle until 9th grade. Like I said, I never saw modeling in my future growing up, probably because I was a mess. However, after 9th grade and with the discovery of makeup, a straightener and obviously velour and terry Juicy jumpsuits, things began to change.

To make a long story short, my Italian teacher had signed me up for a pageant my senior year of high school. After three rounds, two titles and placing fourth overall when competing in Italy, the experience had changed my “life plan” of being a college athlete. After returning from Italy, I reached out to other people in the industry and was able to set up a meeting with Wilhelmina. I officially signed with them in August of 2009.

You've been on the cover of Fitness Magazine (!) and in so many other publications, how did Fitness come about and what was that like for you?

I was lucky enough to work with Fitness Magazine several times before being on the cover. Magazine cover shoots are different than regular shoots. When shooting a cover, it is called a cover try and the shoot goes on like any other shoot with the exception of a few shots being devoted to potential cover looks. When I shot with Fitness Magazine, we shot multiple cover variations; however, I had no idea if I was going to be on the cover. It wasn’t until a few months later I found out that I got it. I didn’t see the actual cover until a few weeks before it was out on the stands. I have been in magazines before, but to be on the cover was surreal, an honor and an amazing opportunity.

What's it REALLY like to be a model? The media portrays it as both glamorous and also challenging and superficial. Can you shed some light into the industry and people in it?

 It is not your typical nine to five job and is very unpredictable. No two days are ever alike and your schedule can change at a moment’s notice, which is both good and bad. Set life can be a lot of fun. You get to work with talented people and are able to learn a lot about all aspects of the industry. There are opportunities to travel to places you may not otherwise have gone. The agents are wonderful people; they are constantly juggling my schedule and trying to pack it with as many jobs as possible. I wouldn’t say otherwise in case they are reading this ;) but in all seriousness they are great. They have your best interests at heart and are very understanding.

For the most part, the girls that I work with are very down to earth and “normal”; going through the same every day chaos of traveling, bookings, shoots and working additional jobs outside modeling like I am. Like in any professional environment, there can be a sense of competition, but the girls I am surrounded with are very supportive, smart, fun and kind. I meet some of the most entertaining and interesting people on shoots, it’s like each time I get to meet someone new and hear their story.

There are certainly different challenges, I can spend my whole day going to castings and seeing new clients and not book one job from it. Also, having a strong social media presence can be beneficial when it comes to booking jobs. There is the pressure to maintain your image and measurements, but it all becomes routine, and like anything else – nothing is guaranteed.

It is not for the weak. You can’t take anything personally; rejection becomes constructive criticism.

Of course you need to stay fit, and you are SO in shape. What's your workout regime like? As detailed as you can, because it's all in the details here!

My workout regime is much like my life which is all over the place. I am also one of those people that becomes slightly grumpy if I don’t workout. I try to workout 4-5 times a week and it consists of mostly classes. Being based in NYC provides me with plenty of options – choosing which class is the hardest part. Every week, I try to combine weight training, cardio and a class similar to Pilates or yoga. I love weight focused/conditioning style classes like Tone House, Fhitting Room, Barry’s Bootcamp and Kore where I can combine my weight training and cardio. Classes like SLT, ACCESS, Flex Studios and any Pilates reformer class allow for a lower impact and bodyweight or lighter weighted workouts. And then the more cardio based classes like Soul Cycle.

My background in sports combined with my certifications allows me to maximize every workout, whether I am in a class or on my own. I find that balancing weight training, body weight and cardio works best for my body. My recommendations for anyone looking to get in shape or maintain a healthy body would be to first educate themselves. By knowing your body and proper form and technique, your workouts will be more beneficial, yield more results and most importantly prevent injuries.


But half of the battle is working out, the other half is proper eating habits and nutrition. I have tried every “diet” and fad out there. I am not a vegan or vegetarian, typically don’t drink juices, I don’t always buy organic, I cook with butter and drink whole milk. I found that healthy eating, portion control and a cheat day every now and then works best for me. Again, by educating yourself you will get the most out of what you eat and better results from your time and efforts at the gym. Your eating habits should be maintainable and don’t be afraid to treat yourself every now and then. Everyone’s body responds differently to different foods. The best way to know what works best for you is to break down your meal to the essentials; a source of protein, vegetables and healthy fats. Every ten days to two weeks, add back in a food group and see how your body reacts.


When I need my body to look extra lean, I live on lean proteins and vegetables, cut out salt, remove the milk and sugar from my coffee and drink plenty of water for the days prior. I am also crazy about eating post workout. If I am not able to have a proper meal after my workout, I will resort to a protein shake or juice with protein. But it is super important to eat after you workout and eat foods that will help to replenish your body – make sure it includes protein (if I haven’t stressed that enough)!

I try to shop along the perimeter of the supermarket and limit my alcohol intake to once a week or for special occasions only. But, if you have a sweet tooth, like I do, buy individually wrapped sweets or fun size. Having to open one at a time will force you to eat slower, but you are still able to satisfy your craving in moderation.

Life loves to throw you curve balls so things don’t always go as planned. It is okay to get off track every now and then – it happens to me all the time. The hardest part is getting back into a routine; once you’ve done that, the hard part is over.


Any skin and beauty tips that you swear by? Any that you've picked up during photoshoots along the way?

**All the products here are linked too babes!**

One of the best things about this industry is meeting people and working with individuals that make their living off hair and makeup. Being a “natural” blonde, I love Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo & Conditioner to help with brassiness and keeping that natural color. I use that at least once a week as well as Dove and Pantene. I have a lot of hair and it is super heavy – so it can be hard to get that added lift on top. Amika Undone Texture Spray is great to add volume, (use small sections, tease and/or low heat) and that beachy look to any style. Dry shampoo is also great to use in place of a hair spray. My hair can also get super dry and have crazy static. Kerastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique makes a huge difference and a little goes a long way. I apply it wet or dry if I need it. You can also dampen your hands or use a littler moisturizer to rid of static while you’re out.

With my skin being slightly red, Avene Antirougenurs Fort helps to calm it or you can use any green primer/concealer before applying your face makeup. Coffee can only do so much. Any eye creams that contain rose hip or rosemary Like Yon-Ka Phyto-Contour and Kat Burki Instense Recovery Eye Serum is great for dark circles, puffiness and aging. My saving grace is REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. I use this after I exfoliate about once a week. It leaves you with a new face. During these colder months in New York, my skin is extra dry, so layering on the moisturizer at night as well as spraying your face before or after applying your makeup helps to keep that dewy look. Evian Mineral Water Spray or any rose water spray are great to hydrate as well as set your makeup. To keep my nails and cuticles hydrated, I would recommend Eve Lom Cuticle Cream. It changes them overnight.

Space NK and Sephora have any product imaginable and are great for providing samples before having to commit to anything.


Are there any routines that you do that you think attribute to looking so fab? (Like, every morning you drink warm water with lemon or no carbs after 8... HA)

I wish I could say there was! I am one of those people that would rather workout 3 times a day just to eat what I want.

The one thing I do, or try to do, consistently is drink a lot of water, and since I'm in this wonderful New York cold I try for more than the recommended 11 cups or 2.7 liters. What helps me is always carrying a water bottle with me. I know that I have to drink three or more of my water bottles to reach this goal.

Things are easier said than done but getting enough sleep is also huge. Do I get 8 hours every night? No but my body hates me when I don’t.

I think that eating healthy is enough and diets and cleanses do more harm than good; your body will take care of maintaining itself on its own.

One trick I do use, not sure if it works or not is taking two teaspoons of Angostura Bitters before any shoot that I feel bloated. I let myself have cheat days and eat four to five times a day, but smaller meals.

The most important thing is listening to your body. Some days or even weeks you need a rest. TAKE IT! Your body will thank you.

What's one of your proudest moments in your career?

Fitness Magazine cover was pretty huge for me. I also just had my first commercial air. You only see me for like .3 seconds but I’m on TV in a Tommie Copper commercial. I also have two more projects that I am working on that I am unable to talk about, but will let you know as soon as I can!

What was a difficult or challenging moments for you in your career?

I like things done a certain way and always try to plan. Having my schedule in the hands of someone else forced me to give up control. It is also challenging trying to balance life and not worry about missing work or opportunities. I have been working for more than half of my life. I have to remind myself that a day of doing nothing is okay or taking a long weekend will not end my career.


When I met you, it was at a Crossfit gym for a charity workout that you are highly involved in called Tales of Reese. Can you talk about that charity and how it's impacted you? 

The Tales of Reese began as a children’s book series for children with illnesses and developmental delays. The founder and author, Sparkly Ray, is a saint. She has the biggest heart and would literally give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. She is so creative and I am forever thankful to her that she brought Reese to life. The books feature a Mouse, Reese, who helps children understand the challenges they are facing and makes their wishes come true while teaching them about health, fitness and nutrition. One of the goals of The Tales of Reese is to help the children find a character that they can relate to. The Tales of Reese partners with gyms nationwide to host events for a child with a major life setback and in some cases life threatening injury or illness. Tales of Reese puts my life in perspective. I am so lucky to have healthy family and friends but others are not so fortunate. Hopefully we are able to alleviate some of the hardship that comes with having a sick child

I'm going to continue about Tales of Reese because I LOVE IT…but why is it important to you to give back? How do you think someone can get more involved in charities and 'do more good'?

Most charities just need your time and attention. I want to make a difference in people’s lives and be able to help those who need it so being a part of Tales of Reese is a reward for me. To be able to give back, teach kids or watch a kid who has an illness smile and forget about their treatments, if only for an hour, does as much for me as my time does for them.

Time and attention is just as meaningful to a charity as money is. It is so easy to better someone’s day simply by doing the smallest things. For some people, just knowing that there are people that care and are there to support them is enough.


What is your favorite quote or life mantra?

Don’t confuse efforts with results.


Do you have any resolutions you've made for 2016?

Just go for it. Spend more time living in the moment. Making time for things other than work. Travel more.

What's one of your life goals? 

My life goal is to be a mom; to be able to put my career aside and be a stay at home mom. I think the world needs more of these.

Where can people connect with you further?

Either Instagram @christimarraccini or my website christimarraccini.com! I am an open book and happy to chat with anyone to answer any questions!

 I also loved this article from Racked about the most in demand fitness models featuring Christi!


So okay, I have so much to say here. About fitness and working out, all of the yes. The realness about modeling and her job, the PRODUCT tips! Which are things I have never heard of, the point about charities needing your time and attention (SO TRUE) and the quote, 'Don't confuse effort with results' - is everything.

Mic drop.

Any questions here for Christi? What do you guys do now to stay balanced with eating and working out? Any favorite mantra's or places you relate to this? I definitely felt like it!

Always love sharing goodness with ya! Have the best week.

Love, 
Krista

xo

Interview with a MAJAH babe and SOULCYCLE instructor Lindsey Simcik

So this needed to happen, and I'm SOOOOO excited it did. 

I've been thinking for a while I need to interview Lindsey for The Hundred Blog.

I mean, she's got mad credentials. She's a BADASS SoulCycle instructor here in L.A. teaching at studios all over (with riders that are obsessed with her). She's a model for some of the best brands, like Nike, Carbon38, Pointestudios and Goldsheep clothing. She's also an actress who has big goals and dreams and lives for encouraging others. The bonus (besides the abs) she's thoughtful, smart, funny, beautiful...and on the daily, inspires and motivates everyone she meets. 

My people, no?

Plus she also works out in just a sports bra so that's pretty much #goals.

I met Lindsey through my friend, another LindsAy (girls lol) a few months ago, and began attending classes with her at SoulCycle to first introduce myself when I was new in L.A. My girl crush is going to show in this post, but her MUSIC IS SO DOPE. Obviously we all know how important music is in a SoulCycle class, but this girl plays like Phil Collins and Future in the same 45 minutes.

Phil Collins is seriously the greatest of all time, btw.

So for those that haven't done Soulcycle, you may have heard a little bit about the spiritual and soulful aspect of it, where instructors motivate, inspire and encourage you throughout the class as you drip sweat and essentially dance as a team on the bike. Dads go to class too, and try to STUNT on the bike. It's fun but I also make sure that they know what's UP. Hehe.

But anyway, understanding the dynamic of the room, and flow of WHAT to say and WHEN to say it - is a freakin' art. There's a fine line between corny and inauthentic, and those instructors that I go to, that can speak in the 'flow' are modern day Buddhas. 

Lindsey does that. Knowing her now as a friend, I hear her kind and encouraging words, but in class am able to see the truth and believe that she offers to her riders - which is nothing short of amazing. It's like, shit that makes you leave class believing in yourself and ready to take on the day. To be someone who can motivate an entire room of diverse people from different places, you have to also be LIVING in your truth and being your most authentic self. 

So okay that was deep, but leaders and visionaries need to be represented, ha.

 

 

So I HAD to interview her. Just needed to know (and share) where she gets her dope music, her beauty tips and tricks, about her journey into fitness and what it's like being a professional sweaty person, in front of a room of 60 or so people 3x a day....

 

I am so excited to introduce you to Lindsey Simcik.


Can you tell us a little bit about you? A quick introduction:

I'm originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, very close to where Washington crossed the Delaware! COOL, right!?  I'm a nerd.  It's beautiful--lots of cornfields and deer.  I'm a daughter and a sister, the eldest of four kids, a performer, a SoulCycle instructor, and a big dreamer.  

Tell us a little bit about your journey to becoming a SoulCycle Instructor...

I was a rider for a little under a year.  I was hooked.  It's hard to explain, so I just let the feeling take me on a crazy ride (no pun intended).  I felt like I just couldn't fit it into my life.  I was a fit model for a well-known designer at the time, while pursuing my acting career.  It was a great gig, but something was missing.  So after a big push from a few SoulCycle instructors, I said f@#$ it, whats the worst thing that could happen!?  So I auditioned with about 100 other people.  It was SO MUCH FUN.  The energy in the room was electric and I just felt myself fall into something special. 

I made it past the audition and the interview process and was offered a spot in the SoulCycle training program.  I'm tossing the ten weeks I ate, slept, and breathed the SoulCycle training program, into the bin of best experiences of my life.  I met the most amazing, hard-working, compassionate, energetic people, and they will be my friends for life.  I was pushed physically and emotionally in the most loving way.  I could go on forever.  Let's just say I came out of the program, stronger in every way, more sensitive, and deeply connected to my intuition and intentions.  

 

You moved from your hometown, in PA, to NYC to now LA to chase your dreams. What advice would you give someone who has big goals? 

TRUST. 

Bumps in the road, detours on your path are opportunities.  I always knew I would live in NYC.  I always knew I would live in LA.  I didn't know how or when I would make it happen, but I really believe that because that intention never dimmed, I manifested all of this crazy, beautiful sh*t!  If you have a vision, it will pull you forward.

What do you love about your job?

Girl, it is impossible to keep this short.  But I will try.  I love the community, the energy in that room and how it's different every single time we ride.  I love forming relationships with riders, watching them grow, giving them permission to let go.  I love sweating.  I love that my uniform includes athletic leggings and a sports bra.  I love being a part of a team.  I love music and discovering how it can influence our movement and mood.  I love how it has given me new perspective on my own health and a new appreciation for my body.  I love food, so I love and am thankful that I can eat, eat, eat!  I love that it never gets old.  I love the Soulcycle front desk staff's and our corporate team--they keep this big, beautiful machine going every day.  I love that I get just as much out of each class as the riders do.

Can you walk us through a day in the life?

Each day is a little different.  In general, I wake up around 7/7:30am and eat something right away.  A greek yogurt with berries and a little bit of granola is a perfect, easy breakfast.  I make sure I drink at least 8-10oz of water as I continue to get ready for my day.  I'm taking lots of vitamins these days, feels good to have a regime that I know will benefit me now and later.  I love to move my body on my own before I teach a class.  So I will normally go to Hot Yoga Sculpt or Barre at HOT8YOGA, a Boom session at Gloveworx (both in Santa Monica), or do my own workout and a steam at Equinox.  If I have time before I teach, I usually have auditions or go-sees, take care of errands, tend to some music research for class, and I absolutely fit in lunch and a coffee (ex: sauteed spinach, good culture sun-dried tomato cottage cheese, slice of rye bread and an egg over easy...and an almond latte).  I make sure to save time for stretching and rolling out before classes.  Before and after classes I'm sure to hydrate and eat equal parts protein and carbohydrates.  If classes bring me to the evening, I take an epsom salt bath into a shower when I get home.  I have a pretty extensive skin routine, so I take weird pleasure in committing to that every night.  I'm approaching 30, which honestly doesn't mean much.  But it's important to me to take care of my health, my skin, my insides and outsides now, so that I age gracefully later!  And finally I light my favorite candle and read for a bit before bed.  Right now I'm reading "Add more ~ing to Your Life" by Gabrielle Bernstein.  I sleep 7-8 hours per night, no less!  

Oh, and WINE.

Besides SoulCycle/fitness, what is your greatest passion?  Acting.  I've performed and studied acting for as long as I can remember.  I am still pursuing my acting career and am so happy to be able to couple it with SoulCycle. 

What is your greatest fear?  That's a tough one.  I don't know.  I know that I am anxious sometimes that I might miss an opportunity because I'm not prepared or paying attention.  I have moments of insecurity that say "Will I ever find a partner for life?", "Will my acting career gain momentum?", "Am I doing enough?"....We all have these thoughts that make us doubt the NOW.  And in those moments i just remind myself to worry less and live more.

What is one of your proudest moments in 2015?

I signed with a commercial agency this year, which was exciting, as it's my first year in LA.  I bought a car.  I had my baby sister live with me while she prepared for, took, and totally kicked a$$ on her nursing exam...She is now an adult with an apartment, a car, and  a big girl job at a Children's Hospital in San Francisco.  I'm so proud, I cry often.

Obviously SoulCycle plays a big part of it, but what do you eat to stay energized and keep your model bod!?  

I love my fruits and veggies and give the reign over my diet.  I keep fruits and whole grains (bread, oatmeal, brown rice, etc) to the first half of my day.  The evening is protein and green heavy.  I love snacks on the go--nuts, apples, greek yogurt, clementines, Nut Thin crackers.  And I am absolutely, proudly addicted to La Croix sparkling water--Pamplamousse (Grapefruit) is my favorite.  I allow myself cheat moments.  I love pizza and wine and ice cream and CARBS in all forms.  I try not to deprive because then I just want to sabotage.  So if I want a little something "bad", I eat it and then get right back on track.  

 

What other workouts do you do to cross train? Your abs are AH-MAZING.

Oh jeeeez, thank you!  I take Hot Yoga Sculpt and Barre at Hot8Yoga 2-3 times per week.  The heat and the yoga aspect helps me to prevent injury on the bike.  I have also become addicted to boxing!  Gloveworx offers a small group BOOM session, which I love.  I feel so strong when I box.  And as a "fitness professional" it is humbling because it's SO HARD!!  I've also discovered some pretty awesome classes at Equinox, like their "Tough Love" class, which mixes high intensity cardio and strength training.  I just like to mix it up, ALWAYS.

 

What are some of the most powerful lessons you've been taught in your life?

My dad always told me to do what I love, no matter what.  I take that advice very seriously--So seriously that I find it hard to commit and work hard if I'm not passionate about what I'm doing.  I'm also learning the power of choice, the power of thought, and the power of the ego.  I usually have to notice and then turn down the volume on the ego and negative thoughts, and increase the volume on my power of choice.  I'm learning!  And finally LOVE.  It just works.  

 

In your classes you always have dope playlists, where do you get your music? 

I peruse different music blogs like "HYPEM", "Eargasmic", "This Song is Sick", and "Dancing Astronaut".  I fall into deep music holes on SoundCloud and YouTube!  I also ask friends for requests, which serve as inspiration!  I love to play top 40, hip hop, throwbacks, dope remixes, heavy hitting instrumental or electric sounds, and I've even played country!  It'll surprise you what you could ride to!

 

You also have a really powerful way with words, and speak directly from a really powerful place during class - inspiring and motivating people...where does this come from?

That's a good question.  It's interesting what happens when you move your body to music in a dark, candle-lit room with a group of people who want to do something good for themselves for 45 minutes.  It's freeing and exposing.  I feel pretty vulnerable.  I think what comes out most times is inspired by what I am dealing with in my own life or what those close to me are dealing with.  I read a lot for inspiration, I watch TED talks and YouTube channels...I love Gabby Bernstein, the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, Brene Brown, Mark Nepo, among others!  I'm in this together with my riders.  I'm learning with them and, many times, from them.  

What are your favorites type of workout apparel for day into working out or workout into night? 

Mesh is a great go-to for versatility.  I tend to wear black.  ALL THE TIME.  It's classic, its easy, its sleek, it makes me feel confident.  Give yourself the gift of layers.  It's fun to shlep around in layers and then when you get to the gym for your workout, take off a few.  When you leave, ditch some of the sweatier pieces and layer up again in a different way for your happy hour cocktails.  Stylish sneaks are my newest obsession.  I wear them for a night out, or errands around town.  They're fun and no right or wrong way to wear them!  

What is one of your New Years Resolutions for 2016? 

More presence.  Being okay with progress and not perfection.  Stillness.  Meditation.  More cooking at home.  Deepening my yoga practice.  Travel. 


How about that on a MONDAY RIGHT? A perfect post if you're in L.A. and booking your bike at 12 PM today! For the interviews, I really love just getting into it, seeing the habits and rituals of the inspirational people like Lindsey. Coming from the East Coast, pursuing her dreams, going for it, and now living in L.A. leading the way for chicks like me to get my sweat on to Kendrick Lamar.

She's done a few interviews with SoulCycle which you can also find here. To also know about what she eats check this out here, last make sure to book your bike with her in Brentwood, Santa Monica and Newport Soul's on Monday's.

How rad is Lindsey right? The music spots, I need to check out, the authors she mentioned, and eating tips are KEY. Let me know what you think. Have you been to SoulCycle? Heard of it? Anything you want to know here? 

HAPPY MONDAY! I just came back from Palm Springs this weekend, writing a weekending and guide from it. Feeling relaxed and SO EXHAUSTED from the spa-life, ha.

Lots of love,

Krista 

xx


Shop some of Lindsey's favorite books: