I left for college about two weeks ago. This means that I haven’t been to Soul Cycle in over 14 days. I am having serious withdrawals.
Now, I know this sounds dramatic. But bear with me, and at the end of this article, I hope you will understand the true impact SoulCycle has had on me.
I was a swimmer for a long time. However, after I got sick my freshman year of high school and had to stop swimming competitively, I actively sought for another outlet that would bring me that same joy.
After trying out many different activities, my two favorite being Zumba and Cardio Barre, I still felt like I was missing something. Don’t get me wrong, Zumba and Cardio Barre were fun, in fact, the only reason I know how to dance is because of Zumba. That said, I knew something was missing…
until my friend dragged me to Soul Cycle.
Unlike most SoulCycle fanatics, I did not have a memorable first experience at SoulCycle. I showed up late to my first class, struggled to get on a bike, and had to pee the whole time. I left having little intention of coming back.
I don’t remember what prompted me to go back to SoulCycle years later. All I remember is one specific class that completely shifted my perspective. However, before I can share that story, I need to give you some background as to how the structure of Soul Cycle works.
Soul Cycle is an indoor cycling workout class where you ride to the beat of the music. There are no monitors or tracking devices. There is no competitive aspect. It is a completely individual experience that is enhanced by the positive atmosphere that SoulCycle instructors cultivate.
Each class is 45 minutes with the exception of hour-long SoulSurvivor classes. The class starts with x amount of songs. The amount of songs depends on how long each song is and how many remixes the instructor chooses to include. Once that amount of songs is played, there is a water break. This water break is followed by a few songs dedicated to arms. After arms, there is a single song that plays, and the instructor usually goes silent. The lights are turned off, and each rider is able to have their own individual experience. They can ride however they want. After the song’s conclusion, there is a final song, and then class is over.
Now that you know how each class is structured, let me get back to my story.
I showed up to a class one day when I was having a really bad day. I strapped on my shoes and climbed onto the bike. I really let myself feel the music and took the instructors inspirational messages to heart. At the start of the individual song, I closed my eyes. A spoken song blared through the speakers, sounding like a speech. To be completely honest, I couldn’t even tell you what the exact content of the speech was. What I can tell you though is that it brought tears to my eyes. It was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment in time.
During that last song of the class, I rode hard. I felt really good. And that’s when I was hooked.
I’m a big believer that are minds and bodies are inarguably connected. If our minds are healthy and in a good spot, we will do things that make our bodies feel good too. And vise versa.
What makes SoulCycle unique is that is doesn’t just focus on the physical aspect of working out. Classes are filled with positivity not just between the rider and instructor but between the riders themselves. As riders we are encouraged to high five our neighbors and let out an occasional “wooo” when the workout gets challenging. The energy inside the room is palpable. It is truly incredible.
Imagine riding really hard, really fast, while doing pushups, and having your instructor yell over the music, “Keep going Gabby, you got this!” I can assure you, if you go enough, the instructors will shout you out. It is truly the best feeling, and this positive reinforcement makes you want to work harder.
Imagine wanting to give up and hearing, “You’re unstoppable as long as you don’t give up. Keep going!” or “There’s a reason your windshield is bigger than your rear view. Keep riding!” I know that on their own, these quotes don’t seem extraordinarily important. That said, when you are having a rough day or are doubting yourself, they can be exactly the thing to put that pep back in your step and prompt you to work harder than you thought you could.
Quotes that I have heard in SoulCycle have honestly become some of my life mantras, and for that reason I feel obligated to share them with all of you! Here are a few of my favorites:
Don’t stretch yourself so much that you break for someone else.
Don’t wait for life to be perfect before you start enjoying it.
Welcome change like an old friend and soon that’s what it’ll be.
If you take anything from this article, it is that SoulCycle is just a good vibe. While it is a hard workout physically, it also provides mental healing. I personally never feel better than right when I finish a hard workout, when sweat is pouring out of every pore in my body, and all I can do is smile, knowing that I worked my butt off to get there :)
P.S. If you ever want to try out SoulCycle, I highly recommend going to Cat (She teaches at Calabasas) or Joey (He teaches at Westlake).
My name is Gabriella. Join me on my health and wellness journey as I discover foods that not only please my taste buds but my stomach as well!