I’m just back from a few days in San Francisco. A friend asked, “Want to do SoulCyle?”

My first reaction was to blow off the invitation because I’m not the kind of woman who does SoulCycle. In my head, people who take spin classes are super-fit and positive. They’re tall, confident, and know how to get tickets to Hamilton.

Then I was like — Oh my God. I’m a moron.

While my friend is amazing and sets goals and achieves a lot of cool things in her life, she’s not going to ask me to do something that I can’t do. She doesn’t want me to die of embarrassment and shame.

I stuck with my original answer of no, but I sorta faced my anxieties and went to SoulCycle by myself in a neighborhood called Cow Hollow. There was an Equinox gym, a Lululemon store, a Lucy shop, and a few other fitness-related businesses on the same street.

(I did not fit in, but I persevered.)

The process of getting started at SoulCycle is easy. You give them $30, and they are nice to you. They smiled and said a lot of encouraging things about an experience that looked like it might kill me.

(If only everything worked that way!)

Doing a spin class like this can be intimidating because the class is held in the dark, and the room is heated to about 85 degrees. It’s hot yoga with loud, trendy music. I hauled myself up on a bike, and I was given one rule — if you can’t do something in class, just keep pedaling forward.

So that’s what I did for forty-five minutes. I tried to follow the class, and when I couldn’t, I just sat back down in the saddle and kept pedaling. The instructor kept telling me that I’m beautiful and fucking amazing, which always feels good to hear.

(I am beautiful. Perfection is a lie. I am fucking amazing. Here’s another $30. Tell me again.)

At the end of the class, the instructor asked us to do some yoga stretches on the bike. It’s choreographed beautifully. I’d like to think my pilates and yoga practices paid off, but I was wearing some fancy bike shoes and couldn’t get my left foot out of the clip. So I just let it go and sat there for a few more minutes. Nobody died.

Anyway, I’m glad I tried SoulCycle. We don’t have one in Raleigh, but we do have FlyWheel. It’s a competitor founded by one of the original owners of SoulCycle, so that’s on my list of things to try.

It felt good to try something new and not entirely suck. Thanks for asking, Sarah-Beth. Next time we can go together!


  1. Eight days to full recovery. Six days before I could go down stairs without crabwalking sideways or kinda hopping. Four days before my calves unlocked. Two days before my thighs stopped jumping around like each sinew was on it’s own marionette string.

    But I did feel sorta sporty, or something.

    • I’m laughing so hard. Apparently I did SoulCycle with every muscle in my neck. Also, it took a couple of days before I could squat on a toilet properly.

      You are sporty. Love you.

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