#REVtribe: Michelle Gifford

Posted on September 17, 2018 in REV Community

WE asked. YOU answered! The #REVtribe submitted stories on how REV inspired them to step out of their comfort zones. Turns out, the #REVtribe is what makes REV so freaking badass. Tune in each Monday as we share one of YOUR stories in hopes to inspire the entire tribe to dig a little deeper and most of all to give you the courage to live the life you love! 

As we sweat, we become. We become: One Team. One Heart. One Tribe. 

On Monday July 24th, 2017 I had a meltdown that changed my life. That “rock bottom” feeling was all too familiar, I had been living it for months. Panic attacks were the norm, and my self-confidence was at an all-time low. I wasn’t happy with myself at all, physically, mentally, or emotionally. I didn’t see the good in myself, I didn’t have a solid workout routine, my anxiety was off the charts, and my brain would find reason after reason to just beat myself up way more than necessary (i.e. being single when it seemed like Facebook was just a highlight reel of engagements/weddings/baby announcements, or living on the bottom when everyone around me just seemed so happy).

Rewind… My birthday in February of 2017. One of my best friends Becca was already a member at REV and knew my love for spinning that I had in the past. She said for my birthday she’d buy me a class at REV so I could go with her and see what it was all about. I didn’t take her up on this right away, mistake #1. I put it off time and time again when Becca would ask me what I was doing this week or that week, never making time to essentially take care of myself by coming to class. Mistakes #2, 3, 4, etc.

July comes around and I still had never set foot in REV, cue the meltdown. In the thick of it, I texted Becca and explained how I was having such a rock bottom day and how I had to do SOMETHING. To which she responded, “Let’s spin tomorrow. Spin does such wonders for my mental and physical health. Whatever is going to make you happy and make you the best you, I will help in any way I can!” We booked bikes together and I just had to get through one more work day before my life truly changed.

Tuesday, July 25th, 5:30PM with Sean was the class that started it all. It might have just been another class for Sean or the 49 other people in that room, but it was the start of true love for me. I’ll never forget sitting down on that bike, the lights going out, me looking at Becca wide eyed, and her saying, “oh yeah, we spin in the dark!” I came out of that class feeling like I was on top of the world. This was the start of a new me, the discovery of my “happy place,” and the eternal gratitude I felt toward Becca for introducing me to REV. Shortly after this class, I cashed in on Becca’s birthday class and after rediscovering this love all over again, I signed up to be a REV unlimited member. I stand by the fact that this was one of the best things I have ever done for myself to this day.

REV has become my home. From proving to myself that I CAN do a crunch or arm workouts on a bike without falling off, to spinning 5 days in a row for Nightmare at REV or 20 classes in 30 days for the 30/20 Hustle. I finally learned what it feels like to set goals and then crush them. Going to spin class crushes my anxiety, helps me sleep better, motivates me to make healthier food choices, and the list goes on. The classes where people are whipping their towels around and screaming when the beat drops put a smile on my face that I just can’t wipe off. REV was there for me in the worst of times, family losses, stressful days at work, my move across the harbor and I was still always able to go to class and spin all the shit out. REV was there for me during my company weight loss competition, where I clocked in at a full 20 pounds lighter by the final weigh in. REV has become a common question in my home, on a bad day you might hear my roommate ask me, “Well are you going to spin tonight?” It is always the light at the end of the tunnel for me, and it is evident.

Every single instructor I have taken at REV (which I think by now is almost all of them) has taught me something in their class that I still think about daily. I crave Esther screaming at me to “harden the f**k up, because I CAN and WILL give more than I’m giving right now.” I crave Barb telling me to “honor the climb, because the view from the top is incredible and to have gratitude for every step you had to take to get there.” I crave Kelly telling me to “dance with me, because working out should be fun and not something you dread (and telling us “you’re alright” when I’m seeing spots from giving my all on the last song).” I crave Sean pushing me to give more and telling me to “sink those hee-yups (hips)” and “follow me.”  I’m pretty sure one time I told Becca I’d probably follow Sean through the gates of hell to get that post-spin high, but that was probably the endorphins talking!

So REV, you have shown me how to take a stand, push my limits, elevate those around me as you have elevated me, never give up, and to JUST KEEP MOVING FORWARD, and for that, I thank you.

-Michelle Gifford