LENA RAKIJIAN

 

SPIN INSTRUCTOR THE HANDLE BAR
by TORI SCOTT, MARCH 27, 2016

WHY DID YOU BECOME A FITNESS INSTRUCTOR?

Being a fitness instructor is one of the greatest gifts I have received in life. I feel honored that people trust me to coach them through 45 minutes of their day – every day. As a young child, I was either on the basketball court or on stage singing in musical theatre/show choir. Being an athlete and a performer were two things I could not live without. I never knew I could combine my love for athletics and love for performance/dance until I took my first indoor cycling class. I walked out of that bike room thinking, “I want to do this…I can do this”. I started riding consistently and taking classes 5-6 days a week. I was a rider for about 3 years before I made the jump to becoming an instructor. In those 3 years, riding made me discover my strongest self.

FAVORITE GO-TO PUMP UP SONG?

Beyonce – Drunk in Love (JayKode Remix). My friend Joey aka “JayKode” is an amazing young DJ who is making serious waves in the electronic music scene. This song gets me EVERY TIME. Check him out on Soundcloud! Everything he touches is GOLD.

FIRST GROUP FITNESS CLASS?

Beginner Hip Hop with Tamar Paul in Santa Barbara, CA. One hour of hip hop dance, sick beats, dripping sweat. Class says “beginner”, but I felt like I was in a room full of ladies who can werk it like J-Lo. It was amazing. I was so in awe of his energy and love for hip hop dance.

FAVORITE MOVIE?

Good Will Hunting.

FIRST JOB?

I sold parking tickets at Legoland, California when I was 15 years old. I had to rock an oversized red polo and baggy navy work pants because they ran out of my size when I first got hired. I’m pretty sure I still have my name tag somewhere in my junk drawer at home solely because it was made out of Legos.

HOMETOWN?

Carlsbad, California! Home of the best beaches and most delicious Mexican food ever.

FAVORITE JUNK FOOD?

Pizza then ice cream. Match made in heaven. If you haven’t tried jalapeño pineapple pizza, you haven’t lived.

FAVORITE RESTAURANT?

Toro South End. Can we please talk about that corn on the cob!?!? Also, I love The Abbey in Brookline since it’s my neighborhood bar, always great food and even better company.

GO-TO WEEKDAY MEAL?

I am a huge fan of anything you can eat out of one bowl. I usually toss a grain, leafy greens, whatever veggies I have leftover in my fridge, sprinkle with cheese and add dressing. My go-to is quinoa, spinach, kale, roasted veggies, tofu, feta cheese, avocado, with tahini dressing. BOOM.

FAVORITE WORKOUT GEAR?

On the bike: lululemon Free to be Wild Bra w/ high waisted lululemon Crops. I also love rocking my Nike Sky Hi’s!

WON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT?

My Macbook Air and an extra workout outfit. I keep both in my backpack every day just in case!

GUILTY PLEASURE?

Karaoke. I’m all about it. I shred emotional pop ballads and just make everyone cry, it’s totally fine. I impromptu karaoke battled a girl at Osaka Sushi Bar one night with Adele’s “Hello”. Let’s just say everyone picked up their cell phones and called their exes after that one. Hello? It’s me?

FAVORITE PLACE TO SWEAT WHEN YOU AREN’T TEACHING?

Equinox Back Bay for strength training. Coolidge Corner Yoga for Vinyasa.

IN TEN YEARS I WILL BE _____?

Doing what I love. Being around people I love. And living life with someone I love.

HAVE TOO MUCH OF?

Workout crops – I counted once and I think I have over 40 pairs. I swear though you can never have enough!

MORE ESSENTIAL: WATER OR COFFEE?

You are asking a Registered Dietitian this question so obviously I’m going to say water! It’s one of the 6 classes of nutrients!

FAVORITE VACATION SPOT?

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua was probably one of the best trips I ever took in my life. I stayed at an amazing boutique hotel on the cliffs overlooking Maderas Beach. I woke up every morning, did yoga in the treehouse, ate a fruit bowl, went down to the beach all day, ate dinner with the community cooked w/ local whole food from Ometepe Island, and stayed up laughing and conversing with the guests over vino tinto, then falling asleep in my adorable casita. I have never felt so at peace.

GETS YOU OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING?

My riders waiting for me at the The Handle Bar for 6:00am class! I teach at 6:00am Tues-Fri so those roosters get me fired up!

IF YOU COULD BE ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE?

My grandmother, Mary. She is the most selfless woman I know. She sacrificed her own wants and needs for the betterment of her family. Without her, I doubt I would even be living in Boston and in my dream career as a dietitian and fitness instructor.

CELEBRITY YOU’D MOST LIKE TO MEET?

Celine Dion. Hands down. She is the REASON I picked up my first hair brush and started singing.

WHO INSPIRES YOU?

Jess Bashelor, owner of The Handle Bar Indoor Cycling Studios. She does it all. And does it extremely well. I’m inspired by her ability to tackle everything she puts her mind to and how she is not afraid to think forward.

Read the original article on The Sweat Concierge!

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