SoCal: Part One
The distance between New York City and Los Angeles is 2,789.9 miles, a 40-hour car ride, 6.5-hour plane ride, and if you’ve ever walked, I’d be interested to see how long it takes. I traveled this distance with instructor, Monique Berarducci, to visit the SoulCycle studios of Southern California.
Since March 2016, I have been traveling to studios across the country, crushing goals and learning so many valuable lessons, documenting my adventures on EatPrayCycle.com. Back in March, Monique and I had a conversation that if she would ever want to travel to a Soul destination, where would it be. LA was her answer, and what better way to start the New Year than on the West Coast.
Monique, Myself, and our friend Christina began our trip settling in glamorous West Hollywood. First, we accomplished the most important activities; lunch, Mani/Pedi’s, cat-naps, dinner, and a good night sleep, all in which were critical in preparation for a full few days of riding.
We took Beverly Hills by storm on Monday morning by taking Madeleine’s 7 am class. How exciting it was for Madeleine and Mo to reconnect after being in the same training group three years prior, Christina to take a class with the first instructor she ever rode with, and for me to meet her! Madeleine’s class was full of light and eager new riders. An encouraging energy swept the room, and every rider rode as a part of the pack.
After class and a few bites to eat, we were greeted by the West Hollywood studio with so much love at Monique’s first of four classes. The room was PACKED with familiar riders from across the country and also riders from the SoCal community—the energy was outrageous. I couldn’t keep from smiling, my cheeks hurt!
We returned to the hotel and inhaled our lunch. Then spent the next few hours resting in anticipation for Monique’s 5:30 class. I began this tour to prove to everyone who saw me at my worst when I couldn’t walk and practice what I loved, that I am capable and driven. Traveling across the country has been the coolest experience, but sometimes it can double as my greatest enemy. Exhausted, I laid down in our room and my entire body went into shock. For three hours I laid on the floor of our hotel room, toes curled, hands unbendable, and my body completely numb. Christina moved from limb to limb trying to massage out the muscle spasms and she and Monique carried me wherever I needed to go. It’s hard for me to allow people to help me, I like to think I can do everything, but I was so grateful to have them with me. When I finally regained control of my body, we headed back to the WEHO studio and I sat class out.
That night the three of us met up with friends and had the most delicious dinner. All the way on the West Coast and we were able to meet with friends from SoulCycle Bronxville, it always amazes me how small the Soul world is and how kind every single rider is.
We wrapped up our trip Tuesday night after a long day of riding, shopping, and eating. I started my morning riding in David’s 7 am class at the Hollywood studio, while Monique taught a 7 am in West Hollywood. I wasn’t going to let my body dictate whether I continued or not, I never want to be defined by a silly disease. David was exceptionally energetic, and the riders were so friendly, their dynamic reminded me of the community we have at Bronxville. I was so happy to be a room where I can be in control of my body again.
Monique, Christina, and I met up after our classes, devoured breakfast and set out to Venice Beach for some shopping (very necessary). I couldn’t stop thinking to myself, how lucky am I to have traveled across the country with my most favorite instructor? To me, the title, instructor, doesn’t define what Monique does for a living. I witness every day how she changes people’s intentions, attitudes, lives and I am proof of it. SoulCycle has given people the opportunity to grow in one of the most rewarding communities—visiting California and seeing how many riders came out to see Monique solidified that for me.
We’ve established the significant distance between NYC and LA; it’s a lot. 3,000 miles from home and in each class I was hugged at least five times. Hugs from people I knew and was so happy to see, hugs from the people who have read my story and my blog, and hugs from new friends who tell me how inspired they are by what I’m doing.
There is no such thing as distance in the SoulCycle community—because we are all in it together. Every studio you go to, you are with people who are rooting for you, who push you, who love you for what you can bring and you do all the same in return. We invest so much time, effort, love, and soul to be surrounded by strangers who do the same. Soon those strangers become fellow riders and then close friends. We are never given the opportunity to fight alone because your pack has always got your back.
Thank you SoulCycle for giving me the opportunity to meet amazing people and make the most meaningful relationships.
See my story on Soul-Cycle.com