Show Up, Hoot in a Dark Room, and Ride or Die

Do the phrases “tap it back,” “sidebar,” or “Monday’s at noon” mean anything to you?  If you’re lucky enough to live near a SoulCycle studio, you’ve likely heard this lingo tossed around or at least seen that ubiquitous wheel on fitness apparel.  SoulCycle is a phenomenon, an obsession, a fitness revolution that has successfully built an empire based on two things: a really sweaty work out, and a close-knit, ride or die tribe.

My first Soul experience was when I lived in NYC.  I wouldn’t say I was addicted right away, but I liked it.  I worked really hard for 45 minutes, listened to fun music, and left feeling accomplished.  It wasn’t until I moved to California that I understood the true power of the Soul collective, though. 

I accepted a job in Palo Alto a few years ago and set a personal goal for myself to make friends outside of my job.  I’ll never forget riding in a class on my birthday, New Year’s Day, and being incredibly inspired by the instructor Kamelle, also a recent transplant to the Bay.  He had swagger and sass, for sure, but he also preached a message of being the best version of yourself -- not regretting the previous year, rather learning from everything and loving yourself in the year to come.  I knew instantly he’d be one of my besties.

And so it began, he and I were inseparable.  I’d take his class once, sometimes twice a day, we’d get rose` to celebrate our sweat, and we built a crew of friends that made me feel at home in my new city.  The laughs and adventures that year were some of the best memories of my life. 

SoulCycle soulmates pictured with instructor Kamelle in front of the Stanford SoulCycle studio.

SoulCycle soulmates pictured with instructor Kamelle in front of the Stanford SoulCycle studio.

When Kamelle left to open a new studio in Texas, he was sent off with lots of tears.  What remained though, were all of the friendships that he and SoulCycle had sparked.  There was Amy, who loves dogs as much as I do; Tali, who has the most hilarious sense of humor; Tracy, practically my California sister; Pallavi, who hosts “family dinners;” Richy, who has the best stories every Monday morning; and the list goes on.  As one Soul friend, Jeff, said “some of the best bonds I’ve made in SoulCycle have been in 90-minute holiday challenges” and it’s true. 

There’s something special about the relationships you have with people who push you, who inspire you to show up, who hoot for you across a dark room, and who celebrate with you after it’s over. 

They are a tribe that I’m so proud to be a part of and constantly encourage others to join…there’s always room for more!  We begin every single class cheering for new riders and I would love to high five you afterward!

At the end of the day, it’s fun to feel like an athlete, legend, warrior…and it’s even more fun to do so with friends. 

PS. Kamelle is moving back to the Bay today!  Where’s the rose`?!