March 2023 RISERs of the Month
For a while RISE had been on Stephanie Hazinski and Valerie Lajb’s radar. As Glen Ellyn residents with kids at Ben Franklin Elementary, Stephanie and Val knew a lot of people that worked out at RISE and loved. So, when they saw an Instagram post for the Back to You Challenge in the fall of 2021 and they felt it was a sign. “After spending the summer talking about how we really needed to get back on track after a long, long break from working out due to Covid, we decided to go for it, really knowing nothing about the Challenge or RISE classes,” says Stephanie. “We just signed up knowing we needed a change.”
While day one of the fall 2021 Challenge was there first time working out together, the duo hasn’t looked back since. They say its Katelyn and ALL of the instructors that keeps them coming back. “We've never ever had a bad class,” says Val. “We always leaving feeling so, so good. We love the positive energy, variety of workouts and great music!”
Val and Stephanie know they can count on a killer workout at RISE and each other to get there. “It helps that we live across the street from each other and drive together,” says Stephanie. “We FORCE each other to go, even when its 4:40am and we are texting each other that we can't get out of bed.”
Today Stephanie’s short-term goals are to keep this consistency in her workouts and getting stronger each time she works out. “I would like to do another triathlon and WILL eventually talk Stephanie into doing it with me,” says Val. “And, we both really want to stay active long term, getting stronger and being healthier all the while. We want to be good examples for our kids.”
Val and Stephanie, your commitment to each other and your workouts is a great example for us all! We love having you both as RISE. We promise we’ll be here to keep getting stronger with you both! Congrats on being named our RISERs of the Month.
Read on the learn more about Val and Stephanie and why they choose to RISE.
What specifically, other than format or schedule, do you like about Rise?
We love the energy. We have both worked out at other gyms over the years and there is nothing like the RISE community. Both the instructors and the fellow RISERs make it truly a special place. (Trust us, if it wasn't, there is no way we would be going regularly at 5am!)
What RISE class gets you feeling the most mentally and physically amped?
No brainer, hands down Carin's outdoor bootcamp. It's the first class we did together and by far the toughest yet our favorite. Carin's energy is unmatched. Her encouragement and support is truly amazing. We could barely get up the hill the first class, but she stuck with us to make it happen and make sure we will come back again!
What’s your biggest challenge in getting to class, and how do you combat that challenge?
Too much wine...hahahaha. In all seriousness, we both NEVER ever thought we would be early workout people. But schedule wise, that is when we can both actually get a workout in and we have definitely adapted. Two years later we still laugh that we are "those people" who get up to work out early. But it really does feel so much better to get it done early and then the rest of the day feel those good endorphins. Even we when we feel like we don't have anything left in the tank, we get there.
What’s your athletic background?
Stephanie: I played soccer through high school and took dance for 6 years. which is why I love barre class. Val: I swam competitively from when I was 7 through high school. I also did track and cross county, but never loved running as much as I loved swimming. I've ran many 5k and 10ks, but nothing longer. In my 20s my sister and I competed in an Olympian distance triathlon. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and want to do another.
What’s your best healthy living tip?
Living our best lives every day, AND everything in moderation! Exercise and eating clean most of the time is key, but it is also important to have wine and indulge in sweets at times. Most importantly always keep laughing!