As a coach I have the pleasure of meeting thousands of people within the Fly Feet Running doors and every conversation, glance in the mirror, or sloppy high five has had a lasting impact on me. But if you know how to work hard and crack a joke in the midst of a crushing workout then I know the connection is real, which is why we are featuring two of Minneapolis’s finest teachers and partner workout phenoms, Ashley and Teresa. I was lucky enough to sit down with these two and get real about Fly Feet, being a “runner”, teaching in Minneapolis public schools, and the pains of parking downtown. Here are some highlights.
How would you describe Fly Feet?
“The ultimate equalizer.” In any given class Teresa and Ashley run at different speeds, they lift different weights, but they always leave class with the same feeling. They love that it’s not about the numbers, but always about chasing a feeling (even if its a super uncomfortable one).
You are both teachers and regular flyers. How does your profession affect your Fly Feet experience?
As members of Fly Feet we are privileged to workout on the best treadmills in the industry, with experienced and educated coaches, and then be able to leave the studio and carry on with the rest of our lives. Ashley and Teresa have a greater understanding of this one hour of our day because of how they spend the other 23 hours of their days as teachers. Every time they walk into the studio they recognize the privilege it is to be a part of a strong community and cherish it as the most important part of their self-care routine.
The job of a teacher requires so much investment in their students that it is absolutely necessary to seek solace in something for yourself and that’s how these two turned to Fly Feet. Ashley and Teresa wake up every day attune to the fact that they have students with struggles much greater than their own. They carry this with them every day, but especially reflect on it in the midst of their own struggles in the studio. When Teresa is crushing a tread efforts she picks one student she has been struggling with in the classroom and will use that to help her get through her own temporary discomfort. Overcoming even the smallest of challenges has better equipped these teachers to help their students get through their own.
How many times have the two of you taken class without the other? (It is a truly rare occasion to see them apart!)
They look at each other, chuckle, and respond, “Maybe 10 times?” That is 10 times in almost three years. Amazing. In fact they have both been to the studio over 430 times. 431 visits for Teresa and 433 for Ashley, not that it’s a competition or anything… They like to think of it as a you go, I go type of situation because you never want to bail on your bff and accountability buddy. Plus, no one wants that $10 late charge.
It was unanimous, partner workouts. Ashley loves having to be accountable to someone other than herself because it challenges her beyond what she can do, even during 4 minute efforts (which “&!%*ing blow” according to Ashley). Teresa likes that Ashley can do more of the running for her ;) One of their all-time favorite memories was at the end of a partner workout when some groups had finished the work and others hadn’t. The coach made everyone get back on their treads and help each finish out the volume of work! It showed them true camaraderie that they will never forget.
Dream up your ideal post-workout meal.
Ashley - Revival chicken and gelato!
Teresa - Any or all of the following: tater tots, nachos, mango blondes from lift bridge, brownie and ice cream with hot fudge and Oreos.
How did you first hear of Fly Feet and how has it changed running for you?
They found Fly Feet in the very first opening weeks after having gone to CorePower and being coached by Heidi! The two first met 6 years ago as teachers opening up a new Minneapolis school and had used running as their bond and emotional stress relief (and as a carpool buddy). They would wake up before the sunrise and run 4 miles and even tackled a couple marathons together.
So, you both don’t consider yourselves “runners”?
Teresa quickly proclaims that this is not her strength! She cheated in the mile at gym, avoided the sports that involved running, and overall wasn’t a fan. She has always been really good at school, but it was important for her to identify something she is not the best at, and won’t ever be the best. She finds herself pondering what this really means to her.
Ashley’s background is in karate, which has helped her learn to push herself. She is totally fine with doing a workout alone that gets her swearing and on the verge of throwing up, but doing it publicly? That is a new challenge for her. Even though she is experienced getting outside her comfort zone she still finds herself learning to fail in other areas of life. It is hard to do things you’re not good at and showing up to a workout knowing that you’re not a good runner makes is hard to step on the tread. She knows that when you really listen to the directions from the coach then there is a chance that she might not be able to finish the workout.
Now you are Stride regulars! How did that happen?!
“It’s scary because it’s the runner class. It’s way more mental. You can’t tune out.” This is the perfect example of how these two embrace the difficulties of failure both physically and mentally.
What is it like being a student in the studio versus the teacher in a classroom?
They are both really critical as teachers walking into the studio because they know what good directions look like, they notice when other people are talking during class, and they know the importance of reading the room. It is so important and valuable when a teacher seems them as a person in class rather than just walking by and saying good job.
BFF’s and twins?
Outfit twins! They have a sweatshirt addiction (pictured above). They have at least 6 of the exact same Fly Feet apparel and possibly more to come…
Who is one person you admire?
Ashley’s first and only response was Teresa. She admires her for her ability to get to know people, the whole person and not just the superficial stuff. In the classroom her passion for reading comes across to all kids. She sees all kids, especially the tough one. Her strength are nailing down the challenging kids that other teachers cast off and she scoops them up and believes in them. Teresa’s rebuttal was just as admirable, praising Ashley for her abilities as a teacher. They both find mutual respect in the way you treat people, not the accomplishments of an individual.
One final thing we should know about each of you?
Ashley was once ranked #1 in the world for karate and is, in fact, a world champion.
Teresa won a contest through Starbucks and now gets a free Startbucks item every day for the rest of her life!
We want to honor our students and teachers by extending our summer special indefinitely! If you’re a student or a teacher you are going to want to check out all the details here.