Listen to the Ali on the Run Show!
- August 6, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 269: Ali & the Experts with Laura Parrott, Career Coach
- August 5, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 268: Jenny Simpson
- July 29, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 267: Catching Up with Emily Halnon
- July 26, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 266: On the Record with Mario Fraioli, Host of The Morning Shakeout
- July 22, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 265: Catching Up with Chris Heuisler
A Little Soul To Start My Day
Last night I wanted to do something involving sweat. But my legs felt like they had been filled with lead and beaten with several sticks, and I was sugar crashing hard.
So instead of spinning or yoga-ing or something along those lines, I decided to sit on my couch and eat candy.
Though, in between handfuls of these (yes, they make them at Christmas-time now, not just Easter!), I was like, “Hey Ali, how are those New Year’s Resolutions coming along?”
One of my 2011 goals was to try out spin classes at Flywheel and SoulCycle, both of which are boutique cycling studios with crazy cult-like followings and hyper-enthusiastic instructors. I went to Flywheel over the summer, but as of December 22, I still hadn’t made my way into a Soul studio.
Silly, really, since SoulCycle is a 2-minute walk from my apartment.
So I called up Brian and was like, “Hey man, wanna take a spin class at SoulCycle tomorrow morning? It’s at 6:15.” He was all, “Yup, I do. Sign me up. Please. And thank you.”
He’s very polite.
And so I signed us both up.
Brian and I were up way before the sun this morning to sweat out a cookie or two.
I was a little nervous since I had never been to SoulCycle before. I’ve been taking spin classes since college, but was afraid I’d be the new kid who got left in the imaginary dust.
Turns out, I kept up just fine.
Brian and I signed in and I got hooked up with a pair of fancy spin shoes. He had to be a show off and was like, “Oh hey, I have my own special clip shoes, no big deal, I’m basically Enrique Iglesias, good morning.”
We were there at 6:00 for a 6:15 class so we had lots of time to check out the studio (we were the first people there — that’s kind of my style) and buy some $2 bottles of SmartWater.
The studio was nice — there were tons of bikes and everything was delightfully clean and fresh-seeming. I liked being the first class of the day. No sweaty bikes or smelly rooms!
So I set up my bike, and the nice front desk man came by and was like, “Do you guys need help with set-up or anything?”
Of course I was like, “Nah man, we’ve bone spun before, we’ve got this. Thank you, though!”
And as soon as he walked away, I was like, “Brian, help me clip in! I have no idea how to do it.” I kicked my toes around attempting to get the shoes into the clips, and Brian kept being like, “No, not like that…no…listen…stop doing that with your feet…OK, watch me…not like that…stop…”
Eventually my feet were somehow locked in and I was ready to ride.
I got the impression that every bike is a “good bike.” The instructor is on an elevated platform so everyone gets a good view. That comes especially in handy if your instructor is pretty, which ours (Nicholas) was. He definitely seemed excited to be teaching at “the crack of dawn,” as he called it, and that energy rubbed off on me big-time. I didn’t feel tired or sleepy or sugar crashy. I felt awesome.
Nicholas had great music — lots of remixes of popular songs, and it’s clear he has a thing for Britney, so we have that in common — and he mentioned early on that he’s a dancer, which would explain all the crazy bike choreography he threw at us.
I broke a sweat within the first six seconds of class, and was loving bouncing around on the bike. We did lots of arm stuff, including a little weights session toward the end of class.
I’ll admit that because of the word “Soul” in SoulCycle, I expected this to be a yoga-esque experience, and I worried that we’d get lectures about pixie dust and om-ing and being one with our inner whatevers.
Not the case at all.
When we were starting out, Nicholas was sincere but light-hearted. He told us to forget about the fact that we weren’t done Christmas shopping and leave all that crap out the door. We were there to spin, and we spun like maniacs.
The clip-in shoes made a huge difference for me. I was able to pedal so much faster, and since I spin often I would consider investing in a pair of my own shoes, but I really don’t want to carry around two pairs of shoes to the gym every day. That’s annoying.
The class went by really quickly and I appreciated that there wasn’t a clock in the room. I wasn’t focused on how much time we had left. I was just listening to the rhythm and making sure I was keeping up. It was a challenging 45 minutes, that’s for sure, but I’m not the only one who thought so: As people were leaving the class, they all commented about how that particular class was “really hard.”
I would love to make SoulCycle a regular part of my weekly sweat routine, but at $32 a class ($20 for first-timers), that’s a great joke, because I am not wealthy. How tragic.
SoulCycle, thanks for a kickass start to the day.
And Brian, thanks for sweating alongside me and not judging me (right?) when I couldn’t un-clip my pedals as everyone else was halfway done the cool-down stretching routine and I kind of panicked because I thought I was going to be stuck on that bike forever. I’ll learn eventually.
Now it’s time to put in some hours at the office before I celebrate Christmas with Brian tonight.
I’m pretty pumped about giving him his present, and even more pumped that he “wants to cook a good dinner for us.” I have generously offered to taste-test everything. ‘Tis the season for giving, right?
Have a wonderful Friday, everyone! Travel safely if you’re headed somewhere for the holidays, and let’s talk soon.