Left: Courtesy of Gabby Reece; Right: Debby Hymowitz
I STARTED GOING to SoulCycle about four years ago, beaten up and kind of broken by my first NYC Marathon. Unable to run, having finished with a stress fracture in my femur, I was looking for a replacement to give me those running endorphins and keep my marathon physique. I’d heard the buzz about SoulCycle, but really the only thing I cared about in a spinning class was good music played loud–which was surprisingly hard to find in NYC. Give me that and I could pedal forever.
Conveniently, SoulCycle had just opened on the Upper East Side in Manhattan near my house and so off I went to my first class. What I found was much more than I expected. It had the hip vibe of a cool club, but one where everybody was welcome. The whole look of the place– the candles burning in the spinning rooms, inspirational graphics on the wall, the cheerful albeit insanely crowded waiting area–drew me in. The teacher, who didn’t even know me, called out my name in class, and I instantly felt like a regular. Yes, there was great music, but there was other motivation too. There was a roomful of people having fun, and I was hooked.
It wasn’t until about a year ago that everything really started to change. Stacey Griffth, one of the founding SoulCycle instructors, began teaching a regular 7:30 am class, a perfect time for my schedule. Beaten up by my second NYC Marathon, and again desperate to keep that runners high and body, I started going about three times a week. I knew of Stacey’s cult-like following, and her classes were legendary. Getting in was tough. Class sign-up for the week opened Monday at noon, and her classes were usually sold out by 12:01. Read More