Near the top of my (extensive) list of reasons why I (Cassi) love RINSE so much are the regulars I get to see week after week during my Monday night shift. When I decided to take on working the desk, I knew my main job was to be helpful and take care of our riders. I knew I’d probably make some friends and give out some energy here and there, but what I never could have predicted is how much I’d get in return. I could have never known how much I’d be changed by the people walking through our doors. The bond that’s created when you get to see someone show up in the way many people do to RINSE, both emotionally and physically, has become a classic example of “you get what you give”. Two of those regulars, Debbie Nagy and Dani Estridge, are no exception. Debbie and Dani started coming to RINSE just before we moved to the gas station, so they have been a fixture in my Monday nights from the beginning. They have this extremely genuine and calming presence to them, one that makes you feel more comfortable just by being near them. They always have a funny story to share and they always have a spare laugh for my (sometimes terrible) incessant jokes. Neither of them are strangers to adversity but you’d never know the immeasurable amount of challenges they’ve faced when you’re talking to them, which is kind of part of their magic. Being able to be that strong in who you are and how you show up for the people around you in the face of chaos is so special. They both are heroes in their own right, and I mean that literally and figuratively – we’re talking about a firefighter and a nurse here. They love hard and they ride harder. Debbie and Dani, thank you for relentlessly showing up for yourselves at RINSE each week, because whether you knew it or not in a lot of ways you were showing up for us, too.
Knowing them is truly a privilege – and we are super excited to share them with you today. Here are Debbie and Dani:
What do you do for your 9-5?
Debbie: My 9-5 is 24/48. I am a Lieutenant/Paramedic for the Dayton Fire Department.
Dani: It’s more like 2p-12:30a, or whatever hours they need me to work. I have been a registered nurse for over 20 years, I am currently a team leader for the 24 hour nurse advice line at CareSource.
If your bestie were to describe you in three words, what would they be?
Debbie: Funny, Caring, Loyal
Dani: Introvert, obsessive, and organized.
How long have you been coming to RINSE?
Debbie: Since April of 2018 with 2 small breaks.
Dani: April 8th of 2018 was our first class (this is really easy for me to remember because it is my son’s birthday).
What motivates you to get your ass to class?
Debbie: My wife! (jk) Really its the desire to get into better shape and shed some of this weight that is holding me down. I know at my age I will never be calendar ready but I need to get to a place where I feel healthy and fit.
Dani: My health and the health of my spouse. I have had high cholesterol since I first had it checked in my early 20’s. My blood pressure has been high for the last 2 years. My family doctor told me in 2017 that it was time for me to take these risk factors more seriously, and if I couldn’t improve my numbers on my own, I needed medications. Both of my parents have heart disease, and I am not getting any younger. I knew that if I didn’t make some meaningful changes that I could maintain for the long-haul that I was headed that direction.
How has RINSE impacted your life?
Debbie: I am interested in exercise again and motivated to work on a healthier, better me.
Dani: The people and the classes keep me coming back week after week. Every single class is challenging and fun at the same time. And my BP and lab work was so much better at my physical this past November that I don’t have to start meds!!
Outside of your 9-5 – tell us about all the badass things you’re up to:
Debbie: 24 hour shifts occupy a lot of my time, but in the fall my family’s foundation works with my union to design and sell breast cancer T-shirts that my department gets to wear all of October. Other than that, I spend my time trying to fix my house, going to RINSE Cycle, and taking care of our families. We also like to take yearly ski trips.
Dani: Right now we are working on remodeling our house. My favorite pastime is cuddling my dogs. I am a Costco addict. And, I love to snow ski in the winter. I’m really a boring homebody when I am not at work or at RINSE, and I like it that way.
In your opinion, what makes RINSE's community so unique?
Debbie: I feel that this community's support is second to none, and what I call the judgment free zone. The cycling room is always full of support and energy.
Dani: The motivational support of the instructors and the riders, always without judgement. Also, the variety of the people: all ages, genders, shapes, and abilities. I have felt uncomfortable, even intimidated, at traditional gyms in the past. I have never felt that way at RINSE, from my very first class. The experience is unique, riding in a darker room, with no mirrors or leaderboards to make me feel uncomfortable or inadequate. I appreciate the modifications that the instructors offer, and the shout out “This is your ride, take what you need!”
Favorite Instructor and why?
Debbie: I would never play favorites lol. I love that each instructor has their own unique way. I don't go to all the instructors regularly but the ones I do I like for their "thing". Abby is so energetic that it is contagious. Kelsy is super sweet and encouraging. Brit is very descriptive and that so helps when trying to figure out how to do certain moves. Kari makes you feel like she is an old friend who has known you forever and is pushing you to give all that you can. I am afraid I have only taken Kara's class once (way too early lol).
Dani: This question is hard because I love all of the instructors; they all bring unique strengths and energy to the podium. I will say I have only attended a couple of Kara’s classes because I am not a morning person – but one of New Year’s intensions for 2019 is to do more weekday morning rides.
Best RINSE memory?
Debbie: Getting that last sticker during the September Challenge. I am slightly competitive, and I always love completing a challenge.
Dani: I loved the RINSE 101 series and the September Back to Sweat Challenge; I did them at the same time, so I was immersed in all things RINSE for a month. I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I was damn sure going to try. It took me far out of my comfort zone. I learned that I love Repeats, I can do an Extra RINSE, and a double.
What other workouts do you do outside of RINSE?
Debbie: We walk 5ks (I only run when chased) and some weight lifting.
Dani: I don’t have a lot of time to do other exercise, but I do occasional 5ks, and I rebound on a Jump Sport trampoline.
Song you’ve got on repeat?
Debbie: Either Carrie Underwood's Champion or Demi Lavoto's Confidence
Dani: Nothing Breaks Like a Heart – Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus
If you could brunch with any male/lady boss (past or present), who would it be?
Debbie: Barack Obama for many reasons, he is intelligent and inspiring. I give him partial credit for finally being able to marry my wife.
Dani: J.K. Rowling. I am a huge fan of her books, and her personal story is inspiring.
If you were to give a s/o to a local entrepreneur, who would it be?
Debbie: Heart Mercantile - I love the products they carry, and their sense of humor they put out front every day on their signs.
Dani: Kari Carpenter, of course for starting RINSE.
Describe your ideal Saturday in the DYT.
Debbie: A warm sunny one would probably start at Riverscape(hopefully at a festival) then doing the walking tour of breweries and shops in the Oregon District.
Dani: Kelsey’s 10:30am RINSE class, followed by brunch at Table 33 or Mudlick. Then home to shower and cuddle my dogs. I work really long hours during the week, so Saturdays are my day to decompress and rest.
Who motivates you?
Debbie: My wife does. She is the one always looking for new ways to exercise and different things to do to stay healthy.
Dani: Debbie, my partner in life. When I feel like I am too tired, or want to stay in my PJ’s with the dogs, she always gives me the pep talk I need to keep going. When it comes to exercise, I have always done better with an accountability partner. Debbie has always hated all of the cardio classes I have made her try over the years until we found RINSE. Finding a class that we both love has been such a great experience.
Fave quote or words to live by?
Debbie: I have 2.. Treat others how you would like to be treated and my grandmother always used to say, If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all.
Dani: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” ~Thomas Edison
Last book you read was….
Debbie: How full is your Bucket by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton
Dani: Becoming by Michelle Obama.
What does RINSE mean to you?
Debbie: I was always active and an athlete when I was young. Then I was a regular gym goer during my early years in the fire service. I was always in shape, so after some medical issues and an aging body, I have found myself overweightwith a negative attitude. RINSE is a chance to feel better physically and mentally. And to quit beating myself up for not being what I once was.
Dani: RINSE is the place that I go to sweat out all of the stress and worries of life. When I connect with the bike, I am reconnecting with myself as well as those around me. RINSE is truly special.