Find Your Soul: The Many Lessons I’ve Learned at SoulCycle

July 24, 2017
soul SMTO

If you have been following me on the internet these past 2 months (or IRL), you may have noticed my increased presence at SoulCycle (you know, that popular indoor cycle studio frequented by Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga). This past weekend marked my 10th SoulCycle class. I took my first class two months ago, when Bay Area blogger/total babe GOFITJO hosted a free ride at the Palo Alto studio. I’m not one to say no to free, and I had to know what all the hype was about. I had been hearing about these classes for years and and I had made a commitment this year to try more new things, especially related to fitness.

I didn’t know what to expect, and if I’m being completely honest there’s a part of me that really didn’t think I was going to like it (but more on that below). But I tried something new and went to class and I was hooked immediately. I have learned a lot since that first SoulCycle class two months ago. In only 10 sessions, I’ve already learned a lot about myself, about my strength, and about life in general.

Stop Being Judgmental

I have to confess something. Before taking my first SoulCycle class, I spent years judging the experience. I don’t think I even realized I was doing it. I try to not be judgmental of others because you never know someone’s full story. For some reason in my mind it was okay to judge SoulCycle—I had decided it wasn’t for me before I had even taken a class and I had decided studios were exclusive and classes where reserved for people of a certain class and who had certain body types.

Fam, I could not have been more wrong. The environment is welcoming, the instructors are so damn empowering, and there are men and women of all ages and sizes.

soulcycle bay area

The first lesson SoulCycle taught me is to stop being so judgmental. It seems so obvious, but it’s so easily forgotten. I had fooled myself that this type of judgement was okay because I was passing judgement on an experience, not individual people. Shit is still wrong, and while not knowing how much I enjoy these classes has saved me money, it has also made me miss out on some great experiences.

FOMO is Inevitable

I’ve also learned that FOMO, or ‘the fear of missing out’ is real. Whether a favorite instructor is only teaching one class that gets waitlisted, some friends head to the studio on a night where I have plans, an amazing theme ride is taking place at 1:30 PM during the workweek, or money is a little tight and I can’t make the $30+ class work in the moment – FOMO is inevitable. There is always going to be a class that I can’t make, so I’ve just got to make sure I’m enjoying the ones I’m able to get to.

soul gato

Remembering this has also helped me with FOMO in life too. Since moving from the east coast, I have spent a lot of time wishing I was other places, but recently I’ve been trying to be very intentional about living in the moment. Can I thank SoulCycle exclusively for this change in mindset? Probably not, but it’s a parallel that I like to draw when I’m remembering to not have so much damn FOMO.

I am so much stronger than I think I am

take your journey find your soulI have pushed myself during every class, and I love seeing how I improve. There are times where I think to myself “there is no way I can go any faster” “this beat is impossible, I can’t keep it up any longer” or “I can’t handle any more resistance”, only to prove myself wrong a few minutes later.

Also, I enjoy noticing how SoulCycle impacts my other workouts (and visa versa). I notice that I’m faster when I run, I have more stamina during my body-weight resistance workouts, and can squat a bit stronger, all thanks to SoulCycle.

I take a lot of crap for my SoulCycle habit

Because of it’s popularity, it seems that everyone has an opinion about SoulCycle without having taken a class (um, hello! I admitted to this behavior myself. I get it). Being on the receiving end, I’ve just learned to not take myself to seriously. Yes, I’m hooked on a workout that costs $30+ a class (and yes, everyone always wants to know how much it costs when they find out I go). Yes, I acknowledge it may seem pretty ridiculous, but I have found a workout I truly love and I can’t think of another time in my life where I’ve felt that way.

It is NOT the same as other classes

I get a lot of “okay, but what makes it so special? Isn’t it just like [insert indoor cycle class here]?” Sorry. No, it isn’t. On paper, they are super similar. You are riding a stationary bike in a room with other people with music playing. You may burn the same number of calories and may come out of class having sweat the same amount. The room may be dark and there may even be some weight work involved, but that is where the similarities end.

“Okay, Julie. That sounds like the same to me”. I know it does. Hear me out.

I totally respect that for some people, those similarities are enough to get them through the workout. I will go to other spin classes and get a great workout, but the experience isn’t there—I don’t leave those other classes inspired. They just aren’t FUN. I know this isn’t important to everyone, but for me it’s the number one reason I keep going back to SoulCycle.

I need to be making more money

Yes, I day dream about being able to go to four classes a week, drinking a pressed juice after class and spending the rest of the day doing whatever I want (lets be honest: ‘whatever I want’ involves a LOT of television) but this is just not where I am right now. I have contemplated buying my own spin shoes just to save that $3 a class to clip in. I have budgeted exactly how many classes I can afford to go to, and try to not look too closely at the retail. But yeah, in order to engage as much as I want to, I need some serious lotto winnings.

From 7/25-7/31, SoulCycle is hosting #WarriorWeek, which is a challenge to take 4 classes in 7 days. I am having major FOMO (there’s that inevitable FOMO) because I can’t be there. I thought about it for a minute, but then I started doing the math and I just can’t :(. So if anyone is able to make it please post about it so I can live vicariously through you.

I won’t stop going back to SoulCycle

#sorrynotsorry, but I am hooked. I am so grateful I attended that first class, and can’t believe I’ve already gotten to the big 10. Here’s to the next 10, and the next, and the 10 after that. If you have tried SoulCycle, I want to hear what your favorite move is! If you haven’t, check it out (and please let me know if you have any questions. Or better yet, if you’re in the Bay Area, let’s ride together).

tirrell soul cycle



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