Once upon a time, I had an amazing trainer named Dean. Dean is one of those people who is truly in the business of helping others. We high-fived during times of success, and he taught me how to convert my setbacks into strength. My goals were his goals. And throughout the years, he became more than just a trainer – he was my friend. Then, he moved.
And while I was so immensely happy that he was going off to bigger and better things, I was left with one overwhelmingly sad feeling, “Who’s going to believe in me now?”
Although Dean and I still remain friends, and I continue to use his words as motivation, things just weren’t the same. I fell into a typical post-break up funk – avoiding the gym and eating lots of junk food.
Then came my yearly check-up. I was shocked to learn I weighed 235 lbs. Sure I knew I was overweight, but not 235 lbs. Where did it come from? When did this happen? And, most importantly, what was I going to do about it?
Enter LA Fitness.
Joining LA Fitness made sense for so many reasons – they were open 24/7, there was one right by my house, and the offer fitness classes. The last part was especially important. I need to be engaged when I work out otherwise I’m just doing the elliptical as slow as humanly possible to prevent the machine from shutting off.
I also started working with a nutritionist and after a few sessions, she suggested I see a counselor. Turns out, I have a compulsive overeating disorder. My counselor, who is wonderful, told me it was going to take a village – a network of support and accountability that was going to keep me on track. So, I decided it was time to move on and get a new trainer.
The next day I went to LA Fitness and told one of the zombies at the front desk I wanted to speak to someone about personal training. After fifteen minutes, this super buff dude named John came over, and sat me down at a desk. I told him I was looking to train with someone who was really going to be supportive, who would push me to the next level, and who was going to help me tone more than just lose weight.
I was then hit with all these numbers and asked to hand over my credit card so I could be charged $149 enrollment fee, and $560 a month to train with him twice a week. When I explained that I’d have to take some time to think about making such a massive purchase, he tossed more numbers my way, making it seem like he was trying to help me out by providing all these discounts when in actuality he was just trying to close the deal.
Before I left, he seemed to find it comical that I could find cheaper training and asked me, “Well, how much did you think it was going to cost?”. Listen, I know this is a business. I know that these guys make some sort of commission or have a quota. But the worst thing about being just a number at the gym is being treated like a number. I walked out of that interaction feeling so helpless and bad about myself it was ridiculous.
I don’t know how or when I got the idea to try SoulCycle, but after my first ride, I was hooked. You see, SoulCycle is about more than fitness and burning calories – it’s about community.
As someone who is not confident, in the best physical shape, or tan – I definitely felt out of place the first time I walked into a SoulCycle studio. But the more I kept going, the more I realized none of that matters. The front desk staff, the trainers, the other riders – they’re all rooting for you. And that, in turn, makes you want to root for you too.
So, let me tell you about this amazing thing that happened at yesterday’s class. I decided to take a 4:15pm class with Jade (who I can’t wait to see again!). I’ve been trying to take different instructors since school is starting next week and I’m going to have to change up my riding schedule.
Jade, much like Mark, is extremely inspirational during her ride. She’s one of those people who makes you feel like you can do anything – be anything. When I’m in her class, I feel like it’s all possible. In addition, I also found myself pushing harder. I was upping the resistance and riding on the beat more than I have in any other class.
In fact, there were times throughout the class where I was sure I heard her say, “Yes, Lauren!” or “You got it, Lauren!”. I thought, “She couldn’t possibly be talking to me. There has to be some other more experienced Lauren in the class who must be a regular rider who’s killin’ it.”
I had such a great time that after class, I went up to her and thank her. To my surprise, it was me she was talking to! She told me I did an amazing job today and to visit the front desk because they had something for me.
I go to the front desk and was so moved to find they’d made me an amazing swag bag!
Guys, I can’t begin to tell you how much this meant to me – to know that people were following my journey and wanted to celebrate the work I’ve put in was unbelievable. Also, having a SoulCycle shirt was like officially being initiated into the tribe. I feel like I’m part of something truly special.
As someone who is overweight, who has never felt like they fit in anywhere fitness is concerned (whether it be a gym or Zumba or whatever), SoulCycle makes me feel like I belong. So, special thanks to Jade, Woodbury and Roslyn, and the whole SoulCycle community! I wish I’d gotten a picture with them but I was so emotional that I just scuttled out and cried in my car. Can’t wait for the next ride!
If you’re ready to start your SoulJourney, click here.