BEFORE the session
Never mind the title… I am writing this before I go, in case I get sucked into the cult. Seems like it’s a real cult. Seriously. (not that running isn’t but I am already busy with one!). Or at least the people I know like to pray about it and suck you in…
My friend Michelle decided she’d take me to SoulCycle as a bday present. And I have to say I’ll always take an experience over a thing as a gift I said YES, even though I figured it’d be an experience I’d hate…
Here is for my reasoning on why I will hate it. I am a Runner. I run. I will NEVER run on a treadmill. I hate treadmills… I am NOT a cyclist, I don’t bike. Why would I want to get on a stationary bike? Eh???
I don’t like crosstraining. I hate doing sporty things that are indoors.
I hate showering in places that I have to carry all the crap with me.
I only like running.
But Michelle is a good friend and Juan (poor thing, I think deep down he still thinks I might ever get on a bike or swim (but it’ll NEVER happen, NEVER) got REALLY REALLY excited. He digged out his bike shoes, his tri tights (we’re the same size) and made me try it all one. Ugh. I am a minimalist and this is annoying.
AFTER the session
Well, so Ugh. Where to I even start??
I had written the before part above in hopes I’d love it and the post would end happily even with my crappy attitude. I think that expecting to hate something can only help: it can never be AS BAD as the things I can imagin: I am a super pessimist. Oh God. It was worse: a set up.
It was CROWDED. EVERYWHERE. the lockers room… we couldn’t even turn around or find an empty locker (this was the Soho SoulCycle, for the Wednesday 7:30 pm class)… we went to change and decided to wait until the next class emptied out to grab a locker, but omg then everyone from the class came and it was hot, stinky and still crowded but we managed to find a locker. Stressed already.
Oh, and then we head into the class. I wanted to run away. Shiz: it was HOT, and stinky, and dark. The bikes were all inches from each other. INCHES. It was SO claustrophobic. And I can’t even tell you what I felt once my shoes got secured into the bike… PANIC. Seriously, the cult was sucking me over and I couldn’t even unclip.
Anyway, Michelle was being super nice and super patient. She grabbed someone to adjust the bike for me, and soon as I there. My butt hurt instantly, even though I had one of those tights with the diapers in it… OUCHIE. Speaking of, people in there were sizing me UP and down… I was wearing all of Juan’s gear: I had Ironman shortie tights, a tight logoed top and super professional shoes (they all had the same shoes they get at the front… and regular tights), I was kinda waiting for them to have a great laugh if I fell off the bike a minute later! Luckily I didn’t fall.
Anyway, soon the class instructor was there, a little and super muscular Michael with a headset. Now, let me set this up… It was a tiny space, with machines everywhere, we were all super close, sweaty, super hot and muggy, LOUD loud loud music, darkness, candles… I felt like I was 16 again and I was at American Wave and we were all cranking our muscles (cause of the heels!) getting sweaty, dizzy, loud music, people were shouting and no one really knew what was happening.
Sad thing: I am not 16 anymore. I don’t like loud. I don’t like feeling claustrophobic and like I can’t breathe, or move or have people two inches from me! It was so loud, I never understood a word Michael said, I just did whatever Michelle did. It was really way too clubby for me.
Now, the workout part, and let me preface it: this is the exact opposite of what I like a workout to be. I am not into choreography, I can’t follow instructions (I get distracted easily) and I thought this was all off. I had no idea where to sit on that thing (the front? the back? the middle? it hurt ANYWHERE!), I had no idea where to grab the handles (I just did what people did!), I really didn’t know what I was doing… like for example, when you lean to the front, some people’s elbow were out, some where in? who is right?? I want to make sure I am not messing myself up but I really had no clue… I also didn’t like leaning in, it didn’t feel biomechanically correct, and couldn’t understood that posture under any circumstances. No.
Then, I kept looking at my heart rate monitor… emmmm, 130s????? seriously?? I get to 160s on an easy easy recovery run…THIS IS A WALK!!! WTF? this isn’t even a workout!!!!!!! 200 is a workout!
I saw it go up to 140s at one point. But, I was sweating a lot, NOT because of the workout but because of the sauna conditions… which explains with the whole first two rows spent the whole class looking at themselves in the mirror. I am not gonna like, I was BORED. BORED out of my mind. So I looked around at people, I tried to chat with Michelle (I later found out talking is a big no no… no fun!!!), I played with the bike intensity, I tried to keep myself entertained. But I have to say, there was a positive here, I found it early. Michelle was having the time of her life. I couldn’t understand it AT ALL, but I loved watching her enjoying it so much. She was in a trance, she was all in, super into it and really having a religious experience. I was so happy for her. I am sure that’s what I look like on a good run and she got all my attention and respect for that.
OUCH. After 10 minutes of the sitting parts, my butt was REALLY hurting. When they went into the superfast speed, I just couldn’t… all the moving made it SO painful. And painful in a bad way. Like I was chafing my bones. how do they do this without even the padding? I have no clue. I really had no idea what I was doing in there. I like being relaxed, outside, enjoying my silence or my thoughts, this was the complete opposite: it was, a sauna, with very loud music, people going mental two inches from me, a club. Not for me.
Disclaimer: I was sure I was doing it all wrong, cranking up the levels up when I shouldn’t or down when they should have been up. I tried, but no one was being clear. Also, Michael did ask if there were first timers in the room, I almost jumped off the bike with my hand so high, still… I told Michelle on my way to the train that if my glutes hurt (good hurt, not bad-from-the-seat hurt, I’d try it again), NOTHING YET. We’ll be posting updates on my glutes if you’re interested 😉