Stumbld & Tumbld Upon
- When Danny starts dancing on the bike
- When I finish Stacey's class
- When Charlee asks the class, "DO YA WANT IT?!?!?!"
- When someone dares to leave during stretch in Janet's or Roarke's class
In case you missed this a few weeks ago, here is the blog entry that SoulCycle did about me. Figured I should post it here :)
More posts coming soon….
Where the music happens… @soulcycle
No need to worry if you missed the first community ride! There are three upcoming rides that I wanted to let you guys know about:
Friday, August 24th @ 12:30pm in TriBeCa (Private Ride — SOLD OUT)
Thursday, September 13th @ 12:30pm in TriBeCa (Private Ride — Invitations will go out soon)
Wednesday, October 3rd @ 12:30pm in TriBeCa
Well, it took me long enough but I finally am getting around to my blog. I suppose it would be appropriate to give you a brief introduction as to who I am and why I am doing what I decided to do…
By way of background, my name is Ryan and I am a training to be an instructor at SoulCycle, New York City’s preeminent indoor cycling studio. Ironic, because when I was growing up, I had never enjoyed working out and had never felt that I really needed to because I was never that overweight and I didn’t really eat or drink a lot of fast/junk food. Even in high school and college, when most of my friends were hitting the gym on a regular basis, lifting weights or running on a treadmill never really appealed to me. To complicate matters, years earlier, I had been hit head on by a drunk driver, which impaired my ability to perform high impact cardio, such as running. That said, I would still go through short-term phases where I would work out, but invariably I would soon lose interest and stop going to the gym.
After college, I took the job of my dreams as an investment banker on Wall Street in
NYC. While the job was intellectually stimulating, the
demanding hours and stress led to the deterioration of my social life and even a relationship, leading to the development of some very unhealthy habits that would only compound in time. Frequently I would work 90 hours a week, 7 days a week. All of my meals would be ordered in to the office from nearby
restaurants and I ate whatever I wanted to as a reward for working so hard. Usually I’d order something expensive (and very unhealthy) or if I was able to leave the office, my friends and I would stay out all night partying at the city’s most exclusive clubs. There was nothing healthy about my lifestyle. During the day I was completely sedentary and at night and into the early mornings, I was partying and not taking care of my body. Naturally, over the years, my weight slowly crept up as there was very little physical activity in my life.
A few years ago, a good friend of mine who was big into Spinning suggested that I try it as a method to lose some weight and get on a healthier track. While I was nervous about going to my first class, given that I perceived Spinning as something done only by cardio freaks, I tried it out and enjoyed it. However, like my previous attempts at fitness, I couldn’t stick with it on a regular basis. Nothing about it resonated with me. The instructors were not very good and often times the music was awful (come on, you cannot sprint to Bob Marley…). Honestly, it was about as boring as running on a treadmill for 45 minutes.
A year ago, however, I was having drinks on top of a hotel rooftop when I started chatting with this girl. After about an hour or so, my friends and I were ready to move on to the next location and I invited this girl to come with us, but she declined. Curious as to why, I inquired and her answer blew me away: she was going home because she wanted to be ready for her morning indoor cycling class. Shocked by her response, I told her that I also was going to spin in the morning, but was still going to go out and have a fun night. ”Where do you spin?” she asked, to which I replied and told her that I belonged to one of the City’s athletic clubs. The look of dissatisfaction in her eyes was almost as shocking as her refusal to go out for drinks due to a spin class, as she responded with a simple and displeased, “Oh.” “Where do you spin?” I asked. Her response sparked the curiosity that triggered it all for me. “SoulCycle,” she said. The next day, wondering what this SoulCycle was all about, I bought a package of 10 classes and was determined to try it out.
Throughout the next couple of months, I tried SoulCycle classes, but I had also just started a new job on Wall Street and was more stressed than ever with work. In hindsight, I also now realize that I didn’t want to change my lifestyle. I enjoyed the party lifestyle as an outlet to my Wall Street job and sadly, I put SoulCycle and my health on hold. Despite having to buy new jeans all the time and have new suits made every 6 months because I was constantly growing out of my old pairs, I still didn’t acknowledge that I had a problem. By December 2011, weighing in at a little over 250lbs, I was crashing. Again, in hindsight, I probably had been crashing for a few years and either didn’t recognize my problem or didn’t want to. I drank, ate, and smoked way too much and until this point, cared way too little. I knew I needed to change. I felt awful about how I looked on the outside and felt even worse about myself on the inside. I arrived at a precipice and it was my moment of truth… I was finally at the point where I took control of my mind and decided that I needed to change.
Determined to live a better and healthier life, I came back from my Christmas holiday with an entirely new mindset and I was ready to do whatever it took to change my lifestyle. Immediately, I quit smoking cold turkey and also stopped drinking, even socially. Remembering that I had a couple of SoulCycle classes left in my package, I signed up for a class with “Charlee” on Saturday, January 7 at 5pm. What happened after class started is a feeling that can’t really be articulated, but something that I’ll never forget. For 45 minutes, I felt like I was on the most surreal journey of my life and for the first time in a long time, I felt really good. That feeling kept me coming back. Once a week I would take class with Charlee and would leave feeling physically and mentally better than when I started the class. Charlee’s class challenged me physically, as I was still very much out of shape, but her inspirational method of coaching got me through the obstacles I faced, both on and off the bike. The experience I had at SoulCycle created a chain reaction that touched every facet of my life. It changed my world view.
Soon enough, I started coming to Charlee’s classes multiple times a week and eventually worked my way up from the third row to the front row. I couldn’t get enough and at my peak, was attending SoulCycle 7-8 times per week. During my journey I was lucky to ride with amazing instructors, such as Danny, Janet, Laurie, Lori, Ben, Madison, MB, and LB to name a few, who in addition to Charlee, motivated me to live a better life. Not only did the weight I had accumulated over the last few years start melting off, but I also noticed my outlook on life was much more positive. Gone were the days when my outlet consisted falling back on unhealthy vices.
By March, I had lost roughly 30 lbs and by May I was down 50lbs from where I started. As of today, I’ve lost 60lbs of fat and replaced it with lean muscle. Mentally, the change I’ve undergone is immeasurable.
Recognizing my career as a the primary source of
my weight gain and unhealthy habits, I decided that I needed to be doing something more meaningful with my life. I was no longer interested in or happy with what I was doing on a day-to-day basis professionally and decided to look for something that would allow me to make more of a distinctive impact. After being encouraged by several instructors, such as Danny and Janet, I decided to attend SoulCycle instructor auditions and was admitted to the training program that day.
Since making the decision to walk away from the Wall Street paychecks, fancy suits and dinners, I’ve never once looked back with regret. Am I crazy? Perhaps, I am. But, I
will say this. In my entire career on Wall Street, I have never felt as accomplished, as good, as happy or as healthy as I do today and as I do every time I clip into a bike in one of the SoulCycle studios.
SoulCycle has taken me
on an incredibly profound journey of self realization and self improvement and while my journey continues, it is no longer as a rider. My progression has led me to a new place, one where I am able to help inspire others overcome their challenges, fears, obstacles, and demons and in the process discover themselves and get in touch with their souls.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you on the bike.