Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

SoulCycle: A whole different world

During my three-month running ban, I did my best to find things that I could do that would give me a great workout without stressing my feet/ankles. I love swimming, but not being able to kick meant that my legs were slowly getting weaker. To combat it, I went on a hunt for anything that would work my legs without stressing my tendons. For a time in college I went to spinning once or twice a week, so I went out in search of a class I could casually drop in to nearby work.

There were a few places, but the one that really stood out was SoulCycle Palo Alto. One of my friends is an instructor in a New York studio, and her constant excitement and love for it is what made me try it (not to mention the discount for your first time). I’m one of those people that thrives on good music for a tough workout, so I felt fairly confident after looking for a teacher that the class I chose would be a good fit.

When I got there I was a little nervous. They had thankfully reserved a bike for me in the back, but it was up to me to choose hand weights (wait what?) and get all set up. As everyone started piling in, the bikes started to feel really close together (which they were), but once the instructor turned off the lights and lit the candles at the front of the room, it was easy to forget you were surrounded by over 50 really sweaty people.

SoulCycle Palo Alto via SFGate

SoulCycle Palo Alto inside via SFGate

I knew going into it that the concept of SoulCycle is a bit like mixing a dance club with a brutal spinning workout, but I wasn’t prepared for how loud it would be or for the special pseudo-dance moves we were supposed to do on the bike (I don’t think my out of sync flailing was what they were looking for).

SoulCycle Palo Alto Locker Room

I was fairly blown away by how clean and functional the space was. I have never seen such clean bathrooms/ changing areas. The clean freak in me was ecstatic to watch the bikes being cleaned at the end of the class. The lockers also had really cool digital keypads that allow you to enter your own code. Too bad I forgot what locker was mine and spent about five minutes trying to break into other people’s lockers before I finally asked for help and they had to open two people’s lockers before we finally found my stuff.

Overall I had a good time. It was nice to do something different and not feel like I was completely unable to do anything fun. It does have a bit of a cultish vibe, but no more than your average CrossFit box or yoga studio. If it was significantly cheaper I would probably go more frequently, but for now I think it will remain something I do every once in a while to mix things up.

Top two images via SFGate.

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