I finally did something I said I’d never do.
- No, I didn’t voluntarily enter a haunted house.
- No, I didn’t go to Times Square for fun.
- No, I didn’t fly to Hawaii so these FaceTiming first cousins could finally meet snout-to-snout.
No, friends. I did something far more shocking: this morning, I went to SoulCycle.
And here’s the M. Night Shyamalan twist ending you weren’t expecting: I loved it. (Also, the Village takes place in modern-day Pennsylvania. There, I just saved you an hour and 48 minutes of your life. You’re welcome.)
For those of you living under a rock (whatup slugs of the world!), SoulCycle is a boutique indoor cycling class where riders spin and move to the beat of very loud music while a guru-like instructor shouts affirmations while surrounded by candlelight. These classes have been mocked as being trendy, elitist and that most hated of words — basic — and for years, I believed them.
Until 7 a.m. this morning, when I did a 45-minute ride at the 54th Street location in Manhattan and spent most of the class grinning ear to ear.
Don’t get me wrong: I wasn’t smiling because I was physically enjoying it — I was sweating bullets and silently cursing the resistance nob under my breath the entire time. But for a spinning class, I found myself surprisingly entertained and the ¾ hour session flew by, something I can’t say’s been the case in other group cycling classes I’ve slogged through.
Key to my kept attention were several things: great music (dance-remix Whitney and Duran Duran), a break from the intense cycling about 30 minutes in to focus on hand weights, a hypnotic atmosphere and an upbeat instructor saying just enough positive things to keep me motivated.
My favorite: “You’re fierce, you’re beautiful, you’re strong, you’re here.” Turns out I eat that sh*t up.
Now SoulCycle certainly has its downsides. It’s expensive ($34 a class + $3 shoe rentals), it’s apparently hard to book spots in the most popular classes, it’s impossible to unclip your special shoes if you’re me and the shower lines were long before work. And, fine, they used words like “tribe” and “pack” and “aspirational lifestyle brand” in their IPO filings, which is pretty damn annoying.
But it was still a great workout that left me feeling energized and motivated and, above all, sweat-drenched. And maybe it’s basic, but if loving workout classes and spandex pants and rosé wine and almond milk lattes is basic, then count me in.
I realize SoulCycle is polarizing. What do you think of it?