At the beginning of this month I had the most amazing opportunity to travel to the SoulCycle Southern California studios with my mentor and close friend. I’ve been taking time to be a real human, off of the internet, and heres why:
Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. We live our lives hoping that whatever we are doing is going to take us to the next level. One of the first things I ever learned from Monique Berarducci, was to embrace the unexpected and live spontaneously. This whole concept has helped better my life and overall happiness.
My tour through Southern California was part of my overall plan to complete all the studios in the country. I never thought to apply the same perspective that I did to life, to this crazy project of mine.
Unfortunately I suffer from ailments I can’t control, as much as I would like to. I have reached a point where I need to take a step back, reevaluate, and realize that I am putting myself in danger if I continue.
SoulCycle has helped me build myself up, make myself stronger, and overcome challenges, so much so that I tend to think I can do it all. As reluctant as I am, I am tapping out of the remainder of my Southern California tour and saving it for later.
I couldn’t be more thankful to everyone who made SoulCycle LA part 1, so incredibly amazing and I look forward to finishing up the rest later this year.
** Keep an eye out for my posts later this week**
New Years Day, Monique Berarducci (SoulCycle Instructor extraordinaire from NYC) and I will be making our way to the streets of LA. For a trip that will include completing all thirteen Southern California SoulCycle studios and other various shenanigans, I’ve put together a snapshot of what I will always have with me.
Take Monique’s class in West Hollywood! The schedule listed below.
Monday, January 2nd: 10:30am/5:30pm
Tuesday, January 3rd: 7:00am/6:30pm
Survival Kit Contents:
Travel Essentials: 111 Places in Los Angeles that you Must Not Miss by Laurel Moglen & Julia Posey
Favorite Outfit to Sweat In: Any Lululemon bra paired with a SoulCycle Tank. Find some of my favorites here
Necessary Accessories: Wildfox sunglasses, Peace Love World socks, and no crease hair ties
Sneaks: Classic Stan Smith Adidas Sneakers
The grand opening of SoulCycle North Shore was just one week ago, so it was about time I made the trip. In Chicago for just a few days, my sister Sydney, my mom and I have completely crashed my oldest sister’s apartment. Carly performs at Second City, and we are here to see her in a show!
We arrived to the tundra just yesterday, bundled up to the perfect “A Christmas Story” status, and found ourselves in Katie’s 4 pm class. For a studio that just opened, the place was POPPING. We were all excited to be there, especially running in from the cold. The studio was not only warm in temperature but also warm with welcome-ness and the usual Soul love.
The class began with one of my favorites; Inside Out by The Chainsmokers, so I just knew it was going to be great. Everyone in the room was having so much fun. There was a large group of new riders, especially since the studio just opened, and Katie was so positive and encouraging. This class was a great example of the community coming together to welcome and cheer each other on; there are now at least ten new Soul obsessed people in this world.
I couldn’t believe that Katie had just finished her training as an instructor. Her humor and realness carried boundless energy into the packed room. The whole class I had this itching feeling that I had crossed paths with her before, I couldn’t shake it. I finally asked her after class was over and she told me she had worked at E63rd before becoming an instructor! So then it clicked, and I felt a little silly for not being able to put two and two together.
Since beginning my blog, I have received some of the most rewarding comments. At least once, while in each different Soul region, there is a rider that validates my crazy adventure. Yesterday, someone part of the SoulCycle staff came up to me and expressed how she had been through a similar situation and was so inspired by my journey. Carly even started to cry. I was so touched, and it was a great reminder that I am doing something great, not just for me but also to inspire others. That, to me, is the most rewarding part of my adventure.
Today I’m heading back to the studio, but not to ride. Roo, who was the manager of Bronxville, moved to be the manager of North Shore. How lucky they are to have her! SoulCycle isn’t just about a workout; it’s also about fostering relationships. It is so easy to build these relationships at Soul because everyone shows their strengths, weaknesses, and most importantly vulnerabilities. Roo got to know every single rider at Bronxville and made everyone feel at home, and I am so sure she will be doing the same at North Shore. Today I just can’t wait to run in and give her a big hug.
At the beginning of June, I took a day trip to Short Hills, New Jersey. My two friends, Cari and Morgan, joined me for the day and my sister Sydney met us at the studio. We began our morning with a class taught by Nick S.
Nick’s energy was contagious. His playlist consisted of the catchiest pop songs, and everyone was able to jam out together. It was a giant, Sunday morning dance party. Nick knows how to hype a room. My sister and I couldn’t help but keep smiling at each other throughout the ride because we were having a blast. My friend Cari and I rode next to each other in synchronized fashion and could pick Morgan out with the help of the mirror. It was so nice to still have a sense of my home studio community in a different SoulCycle region. The class went by incredibly fast. After, I spoke with Nick, and he couldn’t be nicer. It was a great way to spend the morning.
We said goodbye to Syd, and Cari, Morgan and I hit the road and took on Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg. Smorgasburg is a Brooklyn Flea Food Market that hosts the trendiest food vendors of NY. Naturally, I hit the pizza tents and devoured the doughnuts from Dough. The food was fantastic.
- I should’ve had more caffeine
- It takes a special type of person to be able to do this every day
The day began at 4 am. I woke up, packed my bag, and drove to the Bronxville Studio. Monique’s first class is at 5:45 am, where she has a group of dedicated roosters ready to start their day. As a newly retired rooster, I was happy to sit this first class out and take a quick power nap.
I soon found out how foolish it was to think a power nap would be enough. Mo’s Friday schedule includes her 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th class of the week and she powers through it all. Meanwhile, I was trailing behind, trying to keep my eyes open and formulate coherent thoughts.
When looking at the SoulCycle app, riders don’t register the amount of time an instructor spends in the room, exerting energy to not only ride the podium but also motivate a class full of people. To us, it just looks like four opportunities to sign up for class and we have the luxury to choose which ones we will/won’t ride.
To give you an idea of how an instructor prepares, performs, and recovers during a day of classes, I put together a recap of our day:
Song: Madonna – Queen Of Pop MEGAMIX, by Robin Skouteris (Edit version)
Monique is an instructor at Bronxville, W92, Bryant Park, and Chelsea. Book a class here. Instagram/Twitter: @moducci | moducci.com
Dear Pre-SoulCycle Self,
Stop rolling your eyes and start to open your heart to trying new things. You’re going to try, and fail, but that’s OK. Expect less perfection and encourage new strength, to get through the failures. Scratch that– expect nothing. Begin to go through life with zero expectations, because once you do life’s quirks will become pleasant surprises.
It’s the failures that have gotten you this far. Society’s failure to see your strength and strong will, to be unaware of your daily struggle. Your failure to not shake off their ignorance and the failure to not have a voice to stand up for yourself. These failures have encouraged you to overcome and deny any limit that is placed on you. You don’t have to be silent anymore, make your voice loud and be sure it is heard.
Stop deciding your fate before you try something new. Rid yourself of all the internal warnings and be free of the worries embedded in your mind. If you fall, you can get back up. If you can’t do it alone, welcome the people who want to help you. Those are the people who will change your life.
Your stubbornness will be ridiculed. This trait has gotten you through so much–don’t let it go. Continue to be stubborn and do what you want to do, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Their invalidation should be what sets the fire under your tush to find your passions.
Dream big. Step outside your normal and begin to dream. Goals are a powerful thing, once you begin to set them and accomplish them, big or small, your determination will build. Your determination and goals have the power to inspire, embrace the impact you make.
As much as you would like it to be, your life cannot be planned. Get ready for a wild ride, because everything on your list is about to change. It’s OK if your grand scheme changes, welcome the new adventures. These new experiences cause the most wonderful people enter your life. Learn from them.
I have learned this all from a class you snicker at. Don’t listen to what other people have to say, decide on your own. Accept your passions, even if people have a mouthful about why it shouldn’t be what it is. You are so strong; you don’t even know it yet.
Gear up, because you’re in for a wild adventure.
313 classes later,