Okay, so I don’t have TMZ worthy dirt or some investigative report on SoulCycle, just some opinions I need to air. If you’re expecting a thorough bashing, keep reading.
I’ve been through my fair share of fitness phases. I’ve been the highly responsive consumer, constantly looking for the next diet that would guarantee me a waif of a body. To prove my legitimacy on the subject: In high school, I did that “Beyonce” diet of water, cayenne pepper and lemon and lost like six pounds in one day! No need to mention that I gained it back the next day.
I am a hashtag toneitup girl for life and dabbled in obsessive clean eating for a time. I’ve been the good little cardio bunny that hit the treadmill after every strength training session. I created an Instagram account to be a part of the hashtag fitfam and learned what it meant to lift like a bodybuilder. Thank the heavens I never did a bikini competition or I do not think I would be where I am now. And where is that?
HAPPY. CONTENT. SATISFIED.
I’m not going to bash SoulCycle. Actually, I’m going to bash myself – for taking my physical appearance so damn seriously. I’ve distanced myself from the “fitness industry” of Instagram because I let it poison my way of thinking. I thought of everything in terms of; Is this going to help me reach my [physical] goals? Am I dedicated enough? I should be doing x because that’s what she is doing. I shouldn’t eat this because she wouldn’t eat this. Something I wish would have been told is, “hey… this is her job. Her job is to post on social media and influence you. Her job is to have a publicly envied body. Her job does not include sharing her struggles, her cellulite, her stretch marks, or her realness.”
At one point, I wouldn’t have enjoyed SoulCycle because spinning isn’t conducive to muscle building. I tend to gravitate to forms of exercise that will lead to a certain figure, rather than prioritizing what I enjoy. A lot of people are guilty of this. I continually preach to do what you love – and am just now realizing that what you love today does not have to be what you loved yesterday. I am trying to accept the seasons of life. Seasons that bring shifts in priorities, which can result in both physical progression and regression.
What I am loving about SoulCycle is that every single person in the room is pushing forward. Maybe through a divorce, a career change, a plateau… who knows! Not everyone necessarily cares about quad separation or having “boulder shoulders,” they just want to sweat and feel good. My first class in New York City (shout out to Courtney for taking me), I observed this phenomenon as an outsider. I think I audibly laughed when we pulled out the weights and used them at a speed where muscle contraction wasn’t possibly happening. It felt more like a worship service than a workout because there was an energy in the room that is definitely not present at Gold’s Gym. I understood the draw. Plus I left soaked with a flush that made me look shockingly young. I’ve been riding at the week old Domain location (shout out to Lauren for officially getting me hooked) and the energy and sense of community are so contagious. I guess I’m officially a part of the “cult.”
We all have our reason(s) for working out, but I’m SO over the #fitfam acting like there is one way of doing things. I’m giving myself permission to embrace what I’m feeling these days and accept that I may be embracing something else in the future.