I was already out of breath and glistening* when I arrived at my very first SoulCycle class.
The day before, Olivia from season 11 of The Biggest Loser** posted on Facebook that she was teaching a free SoulCycle class on the Upper East Side. All you had to do was comment on her post and she would message you a confirmation and additional information.
I’ve been wanting to try SoulCycle for awhile now. People are obsessed with it. It’s like lululemon or iPhones or pork belly. I had to know what was so revolutionary about a spin class***. However, I had no idea that I regularly rub shoulders with so many closet trust fund babies. These classes are off the hook expensive. So I had resigned myself to just wondering about SoulCycle.
I commented on her status and excitedly awaited the arrival of the promised confirmation message.
It never came.
I thought it was strange. But I also had other shit going on, so I didn’t worry about it too much. I came to terms with the fact that maybe free SoulCycle was too good to be true.
At 1:10, fifty minutes before the class was set to begin, it occurred to me that her message might have gone to my “other” inbox. I don’t know when this “other” inbox came into existence, but I just recently became aware of it. Apparently Facebook arbitrarily decides which messages should go into your “regular” inbox and which should go into your “other” inbox. If a message is deemed “other”, you don’t receive a notification.
Sure enough, there were TWO messages from Olivia waiting for me. I had a bike with my name on it.
I was angry. I called my mom [as I am wont to do in these situations] and recounted the sequence of events.
Me: So now I’m pissed because I was so excited to take this class and meet Olivia [*cough*fangirl*cough*] and now I can’t.
Mom: Well. That’s your decision. [I HATE it when she says those kinds of mom things to me.]
Me: What? No it’s not! I have no control here!
Mom: You could still make it to the class on time, couldn’t you?
No. She was wrong.
Mark Zuckerberg was deliberately sabotaging my opportunity for free SoulCycle.
I needed time to mentally prepare myself for this class.
I hadn’t showered.
I was just another innocent victim of Facebook upgrades, and I was going to wallow in my self pity for the rest of the day.
And then I realized that she was right. I COULD, in fact, make it to the class on time. It was my choice.
So I made the choice to go. I ran to the subway. [Half marathon training and express train FTW!]
Olivia started class and announced that the theme was “comfortable being uncomfortable.” It seemed so serendipitously fitting. In my ideal world, I would have been preparing (mentally, water-bottle-and-sports-bra-gathering-wise, whatever) for hours before. But I decided that it was worth it to step outside of my comfort zone in order to attend class.
The class was awesome. I felt a little bit like an uncoordinated buffoon because I could not stay on the beat of the music at all. “We ride as a pack!” she exclaimed when the class started. Well. If we were a pride, I would have been the lion picked off by hyenas. I was NOT part of the pack, try as I might. But I had an amazing time nonetheless. The 45 minutes flew by. I loved the feeling of community [no thanks to me and my beat-less-ness] and accomplishment and jazziness [there is dancing and music and mood-lighting, oh my!]
I am painfully aware of the fact that, usually, when I force myself to do something that I don’t want to do, I have a lot of fun. I meet new people. I have experiences that are unfamiliar and awesome. My comfort zone is comfortable. It is also predictable, stagnant, oppressive at times.
I left class pondering “comfortable being uncomfortable” and I happened upon this sidewalk art.
The universe was sending me messages. Messages received [no thanks to Mark Zuckerberg].
*In the interest of full disclosure, the glistening part isn’t that surprising. I’m a sweaty gal. My mom thinks it’s because I have Nordic blood, so I’m just naturally warmer. To be honest, my regular temperature is around 99.1, not 98.6. So I’ll just blame my Swedish ancestors and natural selection for my proclivity to perspire.
**You guys. I told you I LOVE The Biggest Loser. I wasn’t playing around when I said that. Olivia was one of my most favorite contestants of all time.
***I took a spin class once at Gold’s Gym and I would liken it to cruel and unusual torture. Apparently, there was a sub, and all of the class regulars decided to play hooky. There were 3 people in the class and the instructor knew I had never spun before, so he just spent the entire hour silently observing and judging my failure.