FIND YOUR SOUL
"... An amazingly energetic,
motivating and fun atmosphere.
That I was excited was an understatement.
All Ready. Already. "
Every year I book a trip for my birthday. It helps make turning a year older a little less depressing and more fun. This year it was New York. Long overdue. One of my favourite cities, and I hadn't visited in years.
As an avid gym-goer and absolute workout fanatic, I wanted to try out the latest fitness trends from across the pond (I know, 'hard core' on a weekend break right?). Given that I had read so much about the famous SoulCycle, which has spread like wildfire across the US, this was top of my list.
I have to say the whole online booking process was pretty cool in itself. Definitely to the liking of my inner control freak. Not only does each instructor have their own profile page (a real show & tell, even their playlist is shared), when you actually book a class you get to reserve a specific bike. Perfect. I love being 'FROW'. Stand out. As standard.
Given SoulCycle's popularity, taking a ride with them comes at a price. Top $ Man! In NYC one class now sells for ‘34 bucks’. Not including tax! (Luckily they had a special offer. Newbies get their first ride free). I booked the studio closest to the hotel, (there are a total of 20 studios! In NYC alone) and after setting up my online profile, they kindly added my free class. I chose a bad ass instructor called Trammel. 'Loves a bit of RnB and hip hop'. A Michael Jackson Fan.
My first impression of the studio was amazing. All soothing in white, yellow and grey. Neon mantras scaled the walls. It definitely had a vibe. Music pumped out of every pore. It was funky. Cool. And then comes the sales pitch (it is NYC after all). The proper cycling shoes are $3 a class (free for first class) and SMART water (is there any other kind) is $2. Are you digging this, you’d be shelling out 40 bucks now! ($34 +$4 +$2).
The time came. The gates opened. Trammel was psyched. RnB was pumping. I could feel the vibrations rippling through my body. Not only did the instructor dance away on the podium, but other SoulCyclers got in on the action and were busting out some moves while setting up their bikes. Overall, an amazingly energetic, motivating and fun atmosphere. That I was excited was an understatement. All Ready. Already.
SoulCycle is not your average spin class. They market their classes as a 'whole body workout'. That’s right, you have weights. The bikes felt easy to ride and the dumb bells were cleverly tucked into hooks attached to the saddle.
Lights out. Candlelight only. Four positioned around the instructor. And we’re off.
Right from the start the instructor has mega pace. It’s almost impossible not to follow the beat. Before long we’re turning those wheels while doing 'push-ups' on the handlebars. All to the beat. This is the signature move of SoulCycle. Spinning while pushing your upper body. Keeping that promise of a ‘whole body workout’. Some other moves are thrown into the mix. Testing your stamina. Making sure you are soaked in your own sweat. Throw in some hill climbs. Some standing hill sprints. The perfect combination to keep that heart rate pumping!
We do get to sit in the saddle and peddle at a slower pace. But only when it’s time to work those dumb bells. (Sorry. Upper arms!) Trammel changes tack. Becomes more ‘roaming drill instructor’. ’Push Harder’ bellows amongst other encouraging mantras.
" Sweat is dripping.
Heart is pumping.
Muscles are burning.
I hardly notice. Swept away by the music.
The atmosphere. The high.
This is G-R-E-A-T. "
For the last couple of tracks. The candles go out. We ride in the dark. Encouraged to let your legs run freely. Focus your mind on your achievements. Tasks ahead. Future goals. Then a heart pumping track kicks in. Accompanied by 'whoops' and 'cheers' from the crowd. And we’re done. What a rush!
The energy in the room is awesome. I even got a cheer for having completed my first SoulCycle experience (again, we are in NYC - they also called out those who had birthdays or achieved a milestone in terms of the number of classes attended.
#feelgoodfactor #sense of achievement.
I felt 'In The Team'. PROUD. The slogan on the wall. The T-shirts rang true. I felt like a rockstar!
When I left the studio. On a totally legal high. My thoughts were of my next SoulCycle class.
It was like a cult. Or an addiction. I was hooked! Needless to say it wasn't the only class I attended while in NYC. I will certainly be back for more on my next trip.
BTW I succumbed to the branded merchandise (that up-selling thing again!). Think bragging rights. It certainly isn’t a cheap experience. But worth every penny! Why else do I work so hard if I can't spoil myself with experiences like this.
By Laura, Adrenaline Junkie