If I’m being completely honest, I probably look about the same – the same height, the same weight (give or take a few pounds), and definitely the same eating habits (a constant work in progress). But I’m not the same.
Three hundred and sixty five days ago, I left my first SoulCycle class halfway through after having picked the wrong sized shoe. I got into my car, peeled out of the parking lot, and pulled into the parking lot of the Roslyn Heights Starbucks. After I put the car in park, I began to cry. Not just any cry – I’m talking a full on, monstrous, snot-filled, sweat-infused sob.
I wasn’t crying from embarrassment or the pain of wearing cycling shoes that are way too small, although I was feeling both. I was crying because I felt defeated. I felt weak. I felt like I’d truly lost myself. Before SoulCycle, I’d done it all – zumba, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, Atkins. I’d tried every workout, every diet, every gym within budget.
The reason I’d never tried SoulCycle was because I’d heard it was hardcore. The people that went to SoulCycle were fit, fierce, and not fucking around. But as the pounds piled on, I decided it couldn’t hurt to try…but it did.
I swore that I’d go back – that I’d at least finish one class and then I’d be done. I did go back, I did pick the right shoes, I did finish the class. But while I was doing all that, I was also listening. I was listening to Mark as he reminded me that I’ve survived everything and conquered everything in my path until now. He urged our class to seize the moment because it was ours. And I remember thinking, “Fuck yeah, I can do this.”
So, I bought a ten-pack of classes, and kept going.
A few weeks later, I started a new job in Syosset, and saw there was a SoulCycle studio not five minutes from my office. On Monday, August 22nd, I left the office early and clipped into my first class with JADE. During class, I remember hearing “Yes Lauren!” and “You got this Lauren!”. I assumed there was another Lauren in class since I’d never met this girl before.
I had so much fun during that ride, I went up to her afterwards to thank her. When I did, she said I did an amazing job and told me there was something at the front desk for me.
It was my first piece of SOUL swag, and it took me everything not to cry in front of the front desk at Woodbury. But more than that, it was the first time I felt like I was part of something. And I never wanted to let that feeling go. Jade, and her kindness, truly changed my life forever.
I continued to ride with Jade, and met some truly amazing, remarkable, and extraordinary humans who I’ll carry in my heart forever. And a few days after I turned 30, threw me the most epic birthday ride:
The SoulCycle community – the riders, the front desk, the instructors – have restored my faith in myself.
A year ago, I never thought I’d be anything more than what I was – a fat Asian who couldn’t get her shit together. But I know that’s not true now. I know that I am strong, I am capable, I am loved, and I am the limit I set for myself. I know to never sell myself short, to always push a little harder, to believe in myself. I know that my destiny is just that – mine, and it feels really damn good.
So, here’s to another year, and another amazing ride.