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FLYHoliday: Instructors Share Their Holiday Traditions

By December 19, 2014 No Comments


Elf on the Shelf, drinking egg nog and unwrapping presents under the tree. Every year we look forward to certain family traditions. From classic seven-course Italian Christmas Eve dinners to family scavenger hunts, see how your favorite Flywheel instructors get into the holiday spirit and how they plan to spend their time this year.


Alicia Miller, Chicago
My holiday traditions: My family has a big turkey dinner, lots of wine and then we all gather and watch “Love Actually!” We also play Five Crowns, which is an epic card game that everyone needs to try.

Adrianne Peterson, Seattle
My holiday traditions: Every year my family has a Christmas Eve bowling tournament. We dress up and even have trophies to display on our mantles, giving us bragging rights until the next year. We sing and dance and are all kinds of merry.

My holiday plans: On Christmas Day, my immediate family (brothers, sisters, mom and dad) goes on a yearly Christmas morning run (not optional, as my mother says!). It’s fun doing something active together, even though my brother moans about it and then is done and showered by the time the rest of us get back! The rest of the day is mellow, filled with movies and spending quality time together.

Karen Maxwell, LA
My holiday plans: This is my first Christmas as a Greek wife so I plan on letting my new Greek family force feed me spanakopita and lamb from morning to night. This Greekmas, I’ll be hitting the slopes in Vail, CO to burn off the ever-flowing wine and baklava. Did you know you can burn between 250-350 calories an hour downhill skiing? Opa!

Lynn Howard, Texas
My holiday traditions: We have four Christmas trees and while the kids are at school we hide one ornament (a glittery glass pickle) somewhere on one of the trees. When the kids come home, they automatically spend about 30 minutes looking for it. The one that finds it get a little treat. The competition always starts December 1!  We also hogtie an “Elf on the Shelf” on the roof of our Range Rover. Yes we are saving up for therapy.

Holly Rilinger, NYC
My family is very non-traditional. My parents moved to the Dominican Republic a few years ago so I will spend Christmas surfing and hanging with my parents on the beaches in Cabaret, DR.

Elena Flores Rector, Chicago
My holiday traditions: We have driven 18 hours to Texas to see my dad’s side of the family every Christmas for the past 20 years. Our traditions include eating WAY too much delicious Mexican food, attending church on Christmas Eve and watching “Christmas Vacation” (we refuse to watch it any other day of the year) as a family.

My holiday plans: This year, my husband and I will FLY to Texas (no more cross-country trip in a church van!) and join our family in Texas for our yearly visit. And if I’m able, I’ll be visiting Flywheel Dallas! 🙂

Erika Carter, Atlanta
My holiday traditions: Every year my family heads to Rhode Island from Atlanta. My mother prepares a traditional Italian fish dinner on Christmas Eve. Stuffed clams, fried shrimp, baked fish, crab cakes, stuffed calamari, stuffed shrimp, smelts, etc. It is something my grandparents did and I am so glad that my kids get to experience what I did as a child.

Danielle Devine Baum, NYC
My holiday traditions:  There is one tradition that has stuck with me. It started when I was about 4-years-old. Upon the first major snowfall of the year, my mom would throw a few quarters into the yard. She and I (and now my brother) have to find the quarters in the snow… barefoot. Once we find them, we have to run around a specified tree three times, before returning into the house. It is cold, hilarious, and the one tradition I hope to pass on.

My holiday plans: In December, I’ll take a few days off to hang out upstate with my family. I am particularly excited because I get to bring our new dog, Titus, with me to meet the clan. I am hoping that it snows so that my husband Robbie has to join in our quarter toss tradition!

Brie Hollingsworth, Charlotte
My holiday traditions: “Chillin’ by the fire while we eatin’ fondue…” Oh wait, that’s not me, that’s Justin Bieber. However, minus the fondue, I am a huge fan of sitting by a fire during the holidays. Our fireplace gets a lot of love during this season, as well as our outdoor fire pit when the temperature allows. The smell of a wood-burning fire, it’s mesmerizing glow, the crackling the sound the logs make, and the delicious warmth the fire provides allow me to just slow everything down for a minute. Holidays can be crazy. Shutting it all down by a nice fire allows me to re-sync, express gratitude, and experience a more mindful holiday season.

Cassie Cresta, Atlanta
My holiday traditions: My husband is 100% Italian. His mother and father grew up observing an Italian Christmas Eve tradition that we are lucky to celebrate each year. Every Christmas Eve we have “The Feast of the 7 Fishes”. We spend the entire day cooking and eating meals with 7 different fish and seafood. The family splits up courses and we all try to impress the others with our seafood meal contributions. It is an amazing day of enjoying family time doing something we love to do – cook and eat! Side note: I have been a Pescetarian for 11 years so I am very thankful I married into a 7 FISHES tradition and not a “7 Meats” on Christmas Eve.

Jenn Martin, Raleigh
My holiday traditions: We go to church on Christmas Eve and then have a nice dinner celebration with our NC “family by choice” (as we call it!). We are all transplants here and have created our own family circle over the years.  On Christmas, we wake up and stay in our pajamas all day. We order Chinese food and watch Christmas movie favorites, like “Elf”, “Christmas Vacation”, and “A Christmas Story”. Then we pack up and head to Cleveland, Ohio to spend a week with our family and friends. Growing up, Christmas was always so stressful trying to see everyone and driving all over the place. I love that we now just sit in our house and take the time to relax and be together as a family unit.

Everett Moran, Chicago
My holiday plans: For the first time ever, I am hosting Christmas at my apartment. My mom is traveling to Chicago to spend the holiday with my cat, Zebrah, and me. We are planning to visit the Christkindlmarket, see the amazing light display at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and maybe go skating on the new ice ribbon at Maggie Daley Park, all of which are staples of this amazing city during the holidays. I also can’t wait for all of my #FLYfam in Chicago to meet my amazing mother and for her to share a ride with us at our new studio in Old Town. Plus, there’s a chance this will be our first-ever white Christmas! Growing up in Texas makes for warm Decembers!


If you are looking for healthy and delicious FLYfuel to add to your post-exercise routine, look no further than the avocado. Click here for five healthy post-FLY recipes.

Stay healthy throughout the holidays – check out these helpful nutrition tips.

You can burn anywhere from 500 to 800 calories per class at Flywheel, so it’s vital to properly prep your body—and replenish with vital liquids and nutrients afterwards. Read about how to properly hydrate yourself both pre and post FLY here.

Curious to know the meaning behind your instructors tattoos? Learn more about them here.


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