Over the past year, I have become addicted to indoor cycling — specifically, SoulCycle. I have a bit of an addictive personality, so it was only a matter of time before I got addicted to one boutique sport or another. For me, I knew I was truly addicted when I was away from classes for a week and something felt really off (that, and I started doing the arm movements on a dance floor instead of regular dancing).
I've decided to embrace this obsession — after all, I've finally gotten addicted to something that is not only fun, but also healthy. The only problem? I've noticed that a lot of people who don't cycle don't exactly tend to share my enthusiasm. In fact, when I tell them about my new passion, they tend to focus on the negative.
At least I know I am not the only one fielding the negative energy. SoulCycle, which started in 2006 but didn't really start to expand until 2011 (it now has 25 studios and sees approximately 8,000 riders a day) brings in $87.6M in revenue per year. There are clearly many other addicts out there who are probably plagued by the same annoying questions I am when they tell people they like to go to SoulCycle. Here are some of the most common questions we get, and my responses.
What makes it different than a normal indoor cycling class?
That's like asking how a cronut is better than a donut. It is different because it is. It's not just an exercise class. It is an experience. I am inspired in this class not only by the energy high I get, but by how I am feel emotionally.
Isn't it so expensive?
Yes, comparatively as workouts go (well, not so much in New York City), it is expensive. But I think it is very hard to put a price on a workout routine that works for you, and gets you the results you want. Plus, it has some sweet jams.
Why would you pay that?
It's really not to polite to ask someone why they choose to spend money on something when they are an independent, smart adult who is capable of making their own financial decisions.
Is there really choreography?
Umm yeah. Until you do a workout with choreography (which is really just a fancy name for whole body workout) don't knock it.
Do you have to dress like you're in the '80s?
You can wear whatever you want to wear, but if I happen to look a backup dancer in Step Up 2: The Streets, I can't help it.
Is it really that good of a workout?
That's like asking if Frozen was an okay movie.
Why don't you just go biking outside?
Well, it's harder to do the choreography and listen to music when you're trying not to get hit by a car. Biking outside is completely different, and biking in a city like New York adds a whole other level of stress (I'm only 30 percent sure I may die during a class. Riding on the streets in New York City I am 95 percent sure I will die).
Are you in a cult?
Cult is such a negative word. (Also, I don't think wearing leggings with the Soul logo and following your instructor on Twitter is synonymous with worshipping at a shrine.) If people think that having a SoulCycle button on my phone makes me part of a cult, then call me Squeaky Fromme.
Can you fall off the bike?
It's probably possible, but you'd have to try really hard to do that.
Is it scary?
Isn't anything worth doing a little challenging? You may find an instructor a little scary, but you can always find another instructor who is not quite as intimidating.
Why is the music so loud?
Why is the sky so blue? It is part of the experience. You want to feel like you are getting away from everything. Plus, Beyonce should always be played loudly.
Is everyone really skinny?
People of all shapes and sizes love indoor cycling. You do not have to be skinny to be good at it and doing these classes won't make you skinny overnight. The goal is really to be strong and feel strong.
Why do you talk about it so much?
Because why wouldn't you talk about something that you like a lot? And isn't this better than when you talked about series finale of Lost for three months?
Featured Photo: Meredith Lepore