Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

This past weekend, I got back in the saddle. 

I haven’t been a particularly gung-ho spin class participant in the past. I hated classes when I first tried them out in California, and was a short-lived regular at Wednesday night and Saturday morning classes with Mark during my membership at the Weymouth Club. Even then, it wasn’t really my thing, but an undeniably kick ass workout.
Still, over the past few years, I’ve heard tons about SoulCycle and its devoted followers in NYC and LA, so when I found out SoulCycle Chestnut Hill was opening its first outpost in Boston and Erin Gates of Elements of Style was hosting a (free!) Saturday morning class, I was there.
I have to say, I definitely get the buzz. The studio is trendy and cool, each employee was friendly and accessible, and the pumped up ladies and gents getting ready for class represented all different ages, fitness-levels, and body-types (though trending towards the lululemon-clad and fit, I admit). Part of the SoulCycle appeal, so far as I can tell, is the sense of community and that every class is a high-energy, calorie-torching, holy-crap-its-already-over?! party.

While waiting around before the studio doors opened from the class before, I chit-chatted with a friendly woman who had been best friends with SoulCycle co-founder Elizabeth Cutler for years. And as if on cue, up walked Cutler with a comfortable hello, thanking me for supporting her latest studio. Where else should we be?! she asked, genuinely waiting to hear my answer (I suggested Derby Street or Hingham Shipyard, for the record).

Class itself was really pretty great. There must have been 50 or so participants in class and while crowded, there was definitely a sense of being part of a group. I liked the set up of the room (in rows, and tiered, along with small groups flanking either side of the instructor’s staging) and it was pretty comfortable. Our teacher, Erin, was incredible. Also known for their motivational coaching, Erin did not let us down. She had the most unbelievable body I’ve ever seen and the highest energy. We rocked our way through class and I really, really felt like I could do just about anything Erin asked or challenged. I got a fantastic workout, found myself smiling throughout class, and left feeling bizarrely optimistic about the day. I guess I drank the kook-aid.

Full-disclosure: I doubt SoulCycle is something I will continue. There isn’t a studio close to home and class prices are steep (prohibitive for me, at $30 a pop), but that’s not to say I didn’t wish it could be part of my usual routine. I’m attending another class this weekend, courtesy of Daily Candy and despite three days of aching calves and a sore butt, I still find myself counting down.

Have you tried SoulCycle? Is there a spin studio or class you can’t get enough of?