Something Borrowed: Always Learning Part 1

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Jumping at New Opportunities!

Here we go! In an effort to motivate others to try new experiences on the road toward wellness, I am chronicling my conscious journey of trying new things and how I felt before, during, and after the experience.

About a month ago, a friend of mine suggested taking a SoulCycle class in Manhattan. I jumped at the chance to workout with a friend! I was so excited to check out this fitness class that Lea Michele and other celebrities are obsessed with, even if spinning isn’t my favorite…

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

I love a fitness challenge. I love changing up workout routines and being pushed mentally and physically. Throughout the years, I have tried and failed to get into the phenomenon that is spinning…it was a tough workout, I sweat like crazy, but for some reason, it was not my cup of tea.

I tried to love spinning. It has GREAT music, a cult following, is high in calorie-burning and leg-shaping, why couldn’t I get into it? I will gladly ride my bicycle outside, through Manhattan, over the Brooklyn Bridge, up and down every boardwalk and shore town, but spin rooms…meh, no thanks.

I would avoid spinning like the plague…then, in one weekend, my sister-in-law put together a spin team for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Spin-In and this SoulCycle class was on the table. After years of avoidance, I couldn’t dance myself away from a spin bike anymore.

“Dust Yourself Off and Try Again”

The entire lead up to this SoulCycle class was great: the employees took really excellent care of first-time riders, helped me figure out the science behind getting onto the bike, and the studio was so clean! The instructor shouted out her friend’s birthday ride, another rider’s 500th class, and me – the lone first-time rider (tucked away in my favorite place, the back corner).

And we were off. The lights went out, the music blared, the other riders in this PACKED 10:30 AM class were hooting and hollering and I was overwhelmed with this place. My friend who had taken a class as part of a wedding weekend (fantastic idea, brides-to-be!) turned to me smiling, loving the sense of community of this program. Our instructor was great! She was vocally motivating each rider to keep moving and her music selection totally swept me away.

What I Learned

Like in all great programs, you control your resistance, speed, and output. When I needed to back out of some of the thousands of hill sprints, I could (jk, but really). When I needed to pump out push-ups on the handles, I did so with the rhythm of the music. When my mind drifted to start thinking of funny Instagram posts to create, I was able to laugh to myself at the ridiculousness of my brain. When we were instructed to grab the hand weights from the back of the bike, I loved it for the change up. When my favorite Ed Sheeran song came on as a final push, I relished in the beat, the lyrics, and the physical challenge that I was on.

I left that class totally humbled. I thought I was “so fit”! I see why so many people take lunchtime classes and make this 45-minute spin adventure a priority. Post-class, my muscles weren’t sore like they are after a high-intensity-interval-training session or dance class or run, but they were exhausted. I felt a deep tired in my legs and arms that I haven’t felt in a long time and I was empowered knowing this was hard-earned!

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My “funny” picture that I was mentally planning and laughing about during class

Will I Try It Again?

YES.

The music and the sense of community – everyone riding on their own journey, yet simultaneously pumping together – got the dancer in me so excited to peddle to the beat. I was super excited to ride again a month later and had too much fun spinning with my team during the CHOP Spin-In.

Thank you to Lauren, Jera, SoulCycle 19th Street. Now, I don’t have an intense aversion to spinning like I did in the past!

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Comment below if you’ve taken spin classes: SoulCycle, FlyWheel, boutique studio. Also, let me know if this post inspired you to TRY a spin class if you have never gotten into the saddle.

“Take your journey. Change your body. Find your Soul” -SoulCycle motto…I’m working on it 😉

xx,

Ari

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