So It’s Your First Time? {SoulCycle}

by Kristine on May 16, 2016

First-timer. Newbie. Rookie. Amateur.

We’ve all been there. Fitness or otherwise.

You (probably reluctantly or at the peer-pressure of a friend/significant other/family member/co-worker) sign up for a class. Not knowing what to expect other than what you’ve seen posted all over social media or heard from said person who “forced” you into the class.

Then you show up at the studio. It’s complete (organized) chaos.

And you’re just like, “How the hell does everyone know each other? Why is no one drawing an imaginary line in the sand for their personal space with all this sweat flying around? Who designed this place so that there’s literally 2 restrooms for a studio with 50+ bikes?”

Been there.

So the hard part is over – you snagged a bike at a prime time in a star instructor’s class.

SOLID.

So let’s walk through how to get you from front door to bike to shower to the smoothie bar in one piece… mmmmmk?

 

Pre-Class

  • Check in – get to SoulCycle 10 minutes before class. If you think you’re going to be late? CALL. If you don’t, and you’re not checked in your bike will be given away 4 minutes before class starts.
  • Be outgoing. They’ll know it’s your first time based on your account but wear it like a badge of honor. Introduce yourself to the front desk (AND ALWAYS BE NICE) – you get one shot to make a first impression and if this sticks, you’re going to be seeing them quite often.
  • Check your ego outside the studio – no matter how often you “spin”, you’ve never been on a SoulCycle bike. So allow yourself help setting up your bike. It’s different than a road bike too, second-coming-of-Lance-Armstrong so let the pros do their jobs.
  • Moisture wicking clothing. You’re up and you’re down on the bike throughout class (primarily up) – and you’ll want crops/tights and a moisture-wicking top. You will SWEAT BUCKETS. Or a sports bra you’re real comfortable in because more often than not, it becomes your shirt.
  • HYDRATE. Drink water before class. Eat a snack (200-300 calories worth about an hour before – I love some good gluten-free almond butter/banana toast).

Time To Ride

  • Listen to the instructor. They’re the pro. They’ll tell you the hand positions, how to turn up/down the resistance and why it’s so important to actually turn it up.
  • Ride to the beat of the music. That’s the core of the class – and trust me, we don’t all get it our first time. I sure as hell didn’t. (Try ~15 times.)
  • Don’t be the best. Be YOUR best. How often do you try something for the first time and end up being the best out of 50+ people? Rarely. So embrace it. Learn from it.
  • Sit out the choreography if you don’t feel up to it. It’s dark as hell in that studio. No one’s judging you. No one cares.
  • Embrace the pack. At SoulCycle, we (the class) rides as one. We start together, we turn it up together, we finish together. And we dance it out on a bike that goes nowhere for 45 or 60 minutes together.
  • Stay for the stretch. It’s 3 minutes. You signed up for 45. Get the most out of it. Give your body what it needs after all that strenuous activity.
  • THANK your instructor. They just busted their butts for 45 minutes with you. AND had to speak/teach the entire time. They also spent a long time putting together the playlist and choreography. What they do isn’t easy. Show your gratitude.

After Class

  • Talk to people! You’re all high on endorphins and so are the people that just sweated it out with you. Introduce yourself. Say hello. Recognize someone from the bus/that tech company you work at? Tell them. Form relationships. It builds community and suddenly you’re the one saying hello to everyone as you walk in the studio doors.
  • Start scheduling your next class. Trust me, you’ll be hooked.

I’ve made some amazing friendships, am inspired every time I walk into that studio, and quite honestly – riding at SoulCycle and opening myself up to the community there motivated me to make a big change in my professional life and makes me a happier person every single day.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s ride. (Wine/Smoothie on me afterwards.)

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The Real World: Big Sur

by Kristine on May 10, 2016

After a weekend spent in Big Sur – it’s real tough to get back to reality.

(Not so tough to get back to my bed and shower, but tough nonetheless.)

Sidebar: I panicked and thought it would rain all weekend long so I bought the most legit Northface Boots, rain pants, a Marmot waterproof cap, and like 17 hand warmers. (Spoiler alert: it rained for 20 minutes and that was it. I kept all the goods.)

For the… 5th year running now, we’ve rounded up a group of ~16 friends and headed down the coast to Kirk Creek Campground. It’s situated high on a bluff, you listen to the oceans crash as you fall asleep, there are whales jumping everywhere, we bring a lot of food and wine and Patagonia layers and generally have the best time.

Fun Fact: I took this photo with a self-timer and well, essentially I’m the next Ansel Adams. I know.

I was my normal high maintenance self and brought green juices, cold-brew, vegan burgers, sushi, and a salad. Oh also Kombucha. And dried mango. Perfect Bars. Justin’s Almond Butter. I AM SO LOW-KEY AND FLEXIBLE.

What’d we do? Well as we (okay fine, the boys) set up the tents, we poured ourselves greyhounds and inhaled Coconut Oil Popcorn and Chips (truth). Then we (boys) set up a raging campfire and grilled dinner. Lots of relaxing ensued.

Did you know that when camping there is absolutely no need to sleep on the ground? Air mattress in the tent friends. Always. There is no other way. Also eye mask. I slept until 9am. Not even the scavenging raccoons or our friend snoring two tents over could ruin this for me.

Breakfast? Scrambled eggs, salsa, French Press coffee.

Hike to the beach – watch the whales, relax, eat more. Greyhounds. Repeat.

Campfire, hide out the 20 minutes of rain, nap, trail mix, grill dinner, campfire.

Basically the best weekend ever. Also the most Northern California.

Also our friends brought their dog. We’re getting a dog. Boyfriend isn’t aware of this yet so let’s just keep that between us.

All in all? The best weekend. I look forward to it every year.

363 days until Round 6.

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Barry’s Bootcamp – Week 4 Recap – I’M DONE.

April 29, 2016

So I did it. It’s done. 20 Barry’s Bootcamp Classes. 5x a week. 4 weeks. DONE. How do I feel? Now that’s I’ve had ~3.5 weeks to get my sea legs back, quite honestly like I have treadmill/heavy weight PTSD and I never want to see or use either for a very long time. Seriously. […]

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Girl’s Weekend in Santa Monica

April 20, 2016

  It was approx. 85+ degrees all weekend in LA and I was completely in my element. Completely. By a pool/beach the entire time that I wasn’t eating or drinking or riding at SoulCycle. I LOVE SUMMER. (Or… late spring. Same same.) We came. We ate. We drank. We rode. Want to know where? Got you […]

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On My Radar – 3/11

April 11, 2016

Oh whoa. I know. A blog post. This weekend was a great mix of relaxing, productivity and being out and about – my favorite. Friday started as all good weekends should – with a workout (Bar Method), and pizza/wine night. Saturday we slept in (HEAVEN) and bundled up to head to the Giants vs Dodgers game. […]

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Barry’s Academy – Week 3

March 29, 2016

Holy HELL it’s Week 4. Like I don’t even believe it. I also can’t believe the weekend is already finito and it’s Monday evening. WHY. Remember when it was Sunday morning? Yeah me too. Happier times. Also happy times? When I got Thistle delivered to me today for lunch via Caviar Fast Bite. (<– use […]

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Friday Faves: Barry’s Bootcamp Edition

March 25, 2016

I actually can’t believe I’m 6 Barry’s Bootcamp classes from being finished with my 5x a week Academy. It all finally clicked yesterday on Class #14. I felt like a freaking ROCKSTAR. But more to come on that in my Week 3 recap on Monday. Today I thought it’d be fun to do a different […]

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Barry’s Academy – Week 2

March 22, 2016

Wait seriously – I’m HALFWAY DONE. (Sike, I’m more than half-way done since I forgot to hit publish on this and it’s now Monday afternoon/evening. 10 classes down, 10 classes to go. (Technically 9.) Last week was definitely a struggle. I was prepared for this – I knew it would happen. Working out at that […]

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Barry’s Academy – Week 1

March 14, 2016

Well that’s 5 classes down. (Technically 6 because you’re reading this on Monday after I started the day bright and early at Barry’s). 15 to go. Currently, everything hurts. In that bad-in-a-good-way. Like I just WORKED. And I’m fully endorphin wasted. So how’d Week 1 go? Let’s break it down. Monday – Arms & Abs […]

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Friday Faves – Version When Will The Rain Stop?

March 11, 2016

It’s FRIDAY. It’s also been raining for like… ever at this point. I’ve stopped even remotely trying with my hair. Top knot it is. Forever. In GREAT news, I’ve officially completed the Barry’s Bootcamp March Academy WEEK 1. 5 classes, 5 days. 15 to go. Ready to take on the weekend, relax, sleep in, GSD, […]

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