Unless you've been living under a cinder block... you've seen, heard of, or have even taken a SoulCycle class. Or as I like to call it -- spin on crack.
Now, I never liked taking spin classes. It's not my favorite workout "genre" if you will. But ever since I had a baby, I will pretty much try anything that guarantees to burn calories quickly. Plus, my friend Sarah is completely obsessed with it and has been on a non-stop campaign to make me go with her. She gave me the hard sell. She raved about the lighting and the music, claiming it had a night club vibe. She implored; saying I would 'love it'. I was skeptical but, these days my post pregnancy brain will drive me to great lengths in my mission to get my body back. So, I agreed to go.
First of all, you need special shoes to take this class -- the kind that lock into the pedals. This means two things: 1) you will be pedaling so fast that your feet (and you) will fly off if not attached and 2) you are trapped.
As we enter the classroom that is still ripe with the smell of sweat, I see people gunning toward their pre-assigned bikes, lock in, and begin pedaling. Class has not started, but they have! Once I saw this, I knew I was in for it. I didn't know if I should make a b-line for the door or punch Sarah in the vagina. Both seemed like justifiable actions. Somehow I managed to refrain and hop on my already-paid-for, non-refundable torture device. I tried to stay positive even though I knew what was to come: a 45 minute long reminder of how far I am from my fitness goal. A true test of my endurance... and my deodorant.
The instructor comes in, completely amped. He leaps onto his cycling throne, blasts the music and begins barking a series of instructions into a microphone. You know the term 'zero to sixty'? This class starts at sixty.
Eight minutes go by and I'm already winded -- doing everything I can not to die -- while everyone else is increasing the tension their bikes, per the instructions. This followed by a series of standing up and sitting down, while pedaling faster and faster. And just when I think, omg this is so crazy... it gets crazier. We're told to stand-up and pedal at double speed (even though my legs already looked like beams of light) and do push-ups on the handlebars, simultaneously. Yes, push-ups.
I'm gasping for air. The feeling similar to swimming under water and then coming to the surface when your lungs have gone past their breath holding capacity.
So after about 30 minutes in, I'm thinking we must be close to some sort of slow-down portion. Nope. The instructor screams "Ok folks, are you ready to dig deeper and find your soooul!" I'm thinking, find my soul?! I'm ready to find the nearest exit. He then tells us to locate the weights under our seats and we begin the weight lifting portion. Mind you, we have not stopped pedaling.
I'm looking around the room and I'm thinking: Am I the only one having a near death experience? And then I focus in on Sarah and I start to question her sanity... and the future of our friendship. As I suspected, what she described and what I experienced were in no way synonymous. The corporate office of SoulCycle should seriously consider hiring my soon-to-be ex-friend as a promoter. She'll make it sound like Disneyland for fitness enthusiasts.
As we exited the torture chamber, fresh-faced Sarah asked me what I thought. Clueless. Could she not see the fireballs of rage that have taken the place of my eyeballs?! What did I think... ha!! What I THINK is that this class goes against the Geneva Conventions. And the people who enjoy this kind of masochistic workout should undergo an intense psych evaluation.
Of course I didn't actually say any of that to Sarah. Instead I just chugged my water, nodded my head and agreed to meet her for another class next week. Let's face it... I may have hated it but, you burn over a thousand calories in under an hour people!