Soul Cycle

Yep. I did it. I had too!! First class is for Free and I've heard so much about it!!

Surely, you've heard of this craze taking over the gym-cycling world!! Two women, with babies in tow, started this amazing company. What's not to respect ?!

No one I asked could "sum up" what the difference between soul cycle vs. a regular spin class was....they'd say, "it's just feel different." or "your heart rate is up there the entire class and you feel so good!" (Say what?!)

So, I dragged my great friend Mary Jo. And when I say dragged....I mean, DRAGGED. It was Sunday at 8:30 AM and MJ has warned me numerous times she's not a morning person.

Anyway, as soon as we crossed the threshold of the Soul Cycle doorway, it felt like Friday night at 5:00 pm. The staff was smiling, the music was pumping, free gum at the front desk was flowing and the class before was just letting out ---- so the smell of sweat and hard work were permeating the room. (not in a bad way). read that right. There was a class BEFORE ours --- 7:30 am Sunday and there were at least 20 people rolling out of that room!

It's a bit awkward with so many people trying to stuff their things in lockers (provided) and change into spin shoes....lots of shuffling and moving about. And when you get into the room you realize you are about to get real cozy with your neighbors. There isn't more than 30" between bikes which is a little tight for me. MJ was in front of me and I was worried she might impale herself in a delicate area on my handlebars. (she was fine BTW)

So, there are a couple things you should know. First off, classes start at $30.00 each. um. yep. $30. You can get "packages" which do help reduce the cost a bit, but not much. Out of shear frugality, you're not leaving this class until you get your full $30.!! Motivation?

Secondly, there are no fat or even moderately chubby riders. This class was filled with mostly 30 to 40 somethings. There were three young girls. They could NOT have been over 14/15. There were some not-in-perfect-shape folks. But no one who was in need of dropping serious weight (like say 50 lbs.).

Our instructor, Matthew,  who had just taught the previous class, came in and walked around giving some motivational words. The soul cycle staff also came around to check on our bikes, if we needed anything etc. (nice touch!)

Then Matthew went to the raised platform where his bike glowed under the lights. He hit the music button and stated to whip his head up and down to the beat, stomp with one foot and swing wildly with one arm. All the while his eyes were closed and he stared "whooping".

I thought, What have I done? Am I on SNL?

Matthew hopped on his bike and we were off --- it's fast paced music and it's a fast paced ride. We adjusted the resistance but never went super steep. Matthew would do some crazy arm work on thehandle bars ---- I hadn't done that in a long time ---- and when he went "double time" he was not kidding. He'd dim the lights....he'd turn the lights on.....he'd turn them off with just a spotlight on him. He was saying some affirmations. Unfortunately, the music was pretty loud and I couldn't make out everything from his headset mike. It went kind of like this:

static....static...mumble..."OPEN YOUR HEART".....static....static....mumble....."YOUR ARE WORTH IT"......static.....static....mumble....."THIS IS WHY WE DO...."......static.....

You get the idea.

About 1/2 way through the class, dripping with sweat, I began to feel like I was falling into synch with this new-age cycling. Instead of waiting for Matthew to present me with an Amway deal, I was letting his nonstop energy sink in. I mean, he would bounce (not just get off, but BOUNCE) off the bike to clap, stomp, jump and whip his head to the music!!

Every time the lights dimmed I had to talk myself out of cheating and taking all the resistance of the bike! I was feeling the burn!

Close to the end, Matthew looked us all in the eyes ---- don't ask me how he looked 40+ people in the eyes, he just DID, b/c at this point I'm convinced Matthew is some kind of ethereal cycle spirit ------ and he said "This is Sunday" and he brought this hands to his chest and then threw them out to us. He did it three times. Yes, I couldn't help containing a smile that this was more SNL material.

But I loved it. I felt invigorated. I get how this could get a little addicting!!!!

It is hard to describe this class!.....when someone is pounding their great energy at you, you can NOT turn it away. Your defenses are down. You are tired, you've given it all in your workout, and you are in semi-darkness so if you started to cry no one would notice. It's therapeutic.

How can I win the Lotto so I can do Soul Cycle?