Many of you know our WiO Instructors as the friendly faces that give you the best workouts around! What you may not know is the lives they lead outside of the WiO Studio! Here’s a glimpse into a typical day for our ride instructor, Aliyah. As a triathlete, marathoner (she was the 11th fastest woman at the recent Hamptons Marathon!), ride instructor and journalist, Aliyah is usually working around the clock. Here’s how she keeps it all together:
Morning: 6 a.m. is rise and shine! I am definitely a morning person. When my alarm goes off, my 2-year-old shiba inu, Monster, is rearing to go on his walk. We recently moved to Weehawken from NYC, and love how quiet and peaceful it is along the water. Our 30-minute walk is the probably the only time of the day where I allow myself to completely unplug and not be glued to my phone. It gives me a chance to clear my mind, enjoy my surroundings and focus on what I want to accomplish during the day.
When I get home, it’s time for coffee—which my husband (also an early riser) has likely already brewed. Grounding the beans ourselves is a must. We swear we can taste the difference! Breakfast usually consists of a Greek yogurt or, as of late, a protein smoothie (1/2 a banana, skim milk, 6 ice cubes, protein powder).
I then catch up on the news and pitch stories to my editors (I cover national politics for MSNBC.com). Before going into the office, I’ll go on a 6-mile run along the water. I exercise 6 days a week and pair running 4 days a week with an evening workout (or morning if I can squeeze it in) of strength training, hot yoga, swimming or spin. I always have a race date on the horizon – it keeps me motivated (especially in the winter) to push hard and train. My runs are when I “test out” music I want to use in my spin classes during the week. Music is so important to me – I know it can make or break a spin session. Unless I love the song, I won’t play it.
9:30 a.m – evening.: By 9:30 a.m. I am (hopefully) on a bus from Weehawken to my office at 30 Rock. The day is usually a whirlwind of reporting, making calls and writing. I always have a big bottle of water at my desk, which I am constantly am sipping. Lately, I’ve been into Dasani flavor enhancer water drops in “pink lemonade,” which gets me to drink more H20 than I normally would.
Like a lot of people, I’m at my desk for most of the day. I’m always on deadline – oftentimes I feel like it was two minutes ago. But I always make time to get up from my desk, walk around for a few minutes, stretch out and have a healthy lunch. It keeps me sharp! I try to pack my lunch (leftovers from the night before) – but that doesn’t always happen, so I go to our cafeteria, which luckily for me has an awesome salad bar. I make sure to have plenty of protein and fiber in my salads, usually in the form of chickpeas, egg whites, and edamame. A tiny bit of feta never hurt anyone either. A snack later in the day might include an apple or hummus with celery.
Evening - Night: If I’m not teaching spin (my absolute FAVORITE part of the day – my riders truly motivate me), I’ll try and get a short, second workout in –lifting weights or spinning. Also, you may not know that I always run from my house in Weehawken to WiO and back when I teach. I’d like to say it’s for environmental reasons, but the truth is I’m a TERRIBLE parallel parker. I’m usually home by 8 p.m. if I’m not teaching.
Depending on who gets home first, either my husband or I will make dinner. That usually consists of a protein (chicken or fish) and salad or a vegetable. I grew up in Ohio in an Asian family where rice was a staple -- and my husband can’t go a meal without carbs – so it isn’t uncommon for us to have brown rice, a grain like quinoa, baked sweet potato fries or whole wheat bread. Everything in moderation! Now that it’s cold outside, we’ve been using our slow cooker a ton. It only takes me 10 minutes in the morning to put together one-pot dishes like lentil or vegetable soup or turkey chili, and it’s piping hot when we get home.
My husband has dog walking duty at night, but sometimes I’ll accompany him and Monster (if it’s not freezing outside). Or I’ll work on my playlists for the week and unwind with a cup of tea. I’ll also catch up on any news I may have missed and brainstorm story ideas for the next day. My husband and I will just relax for an hour or two before bed (we try not to do work, which usually doesn’t happen) with about an hour of television, and sometimes some ball-playing or impromptu dancing with Monster. As for TV, we’ve been into Homeland, Orange is the New Black, and The Mindy Project as of late. Then it’s off to bed by 10 or 11 p.m. It’s also possible that I have a piece of dark chocolate before then too!