Holly Rilinger & The Joy Factor

On Saturday morning, bright and early, I made my way to Flywheel for one of my absolute favorite ways to kick off a Saturday right: Holly Rilinger’s ridiculously popular 10:45am class. The class sells out every week, for good reason of course.  It is ridiculously inspiring, joyful and just plain fun. It is her only 60 minute class every week and the energy of the room is always intense and positive, people really open up and just soak up the joy that Holly always brings to what she teaches. In most Flywheel classes, I try to be in the front two rows because, although all the seats are good due to the stadium seating in their studios, I get progressively worse the further I sit back in the room. For Holly’s Saturday class, though, those first couple of rows are almost impossible to snag and since I was determined to take BOTH her Flywheel class AND her SurfSet class that day, I had to take what I could get and was relegated to the back row. I HATE the back row and Saturday, I was convinced my bike hated me too. Holly, of course, was amazing and you could feel her joy and energy even from that back row bike.  Still, I had a terrible time getting my legs to actually fly that morning.

When the lineup for Rate Your Burn/SurfSet’s April pop-up in Chelsea Market was announced, I knew right away that I would have to take a few of their classes, since the list included so many of the instructors that I love in town. Narrowing it down to just 3 was hard but I knew immediately that Holly Rilinger’s class would be one of them, that was just a given.  I mean, really, I would try ANY class Holly taught, but given that she loves to surf, it seemed like a perfect fit for her. I don’t surf (I plan to remedy that this summer though!) and couldn’t tell you if being on the SurfSet board is anything like being on a real board, but I do think that knowing how to surf makes the transition to teaching a SurfSet class seem really natural.

Originally, the plan was that a group of us were going to go over with Holly after class but that didn’t quite pan out. So, that morning after class, I made my way over to Chelsea Market with Holly and the fitness model from her recent Fitness magazine shoot.  Check out Holly’s plan in the May issue of Fitness Magazine here (you can watch the video on their site too, and even though you have to register to watch the video, it is so worth it to check out the moves in action). If you ever want to test your self-esteem, try walking with those two stunning, ridiculously fit women!  Thank God they both have a goofy, joyful, fun streak or I would have wanted to crawl under a rock.  We grabbed some iced coffee at the market (since, really, it was such a beautiful day) before making our way to the make-shift studio, deep in the heart of the market. It was my first class in the Chelsea Market, even though I had gone to the kickoff party and was really excited to see what they had done with the space. The cool thing about the space is that it is really light and airy and fits almost double the amount of boards than at the studio at Chelsea Piers, where I had taken class before. The space doesn’t have changing rooms though, which I had guessed, so I had come fully workout ready (and admittedly a little sweaty from Flywheel).  There is a bathroom in the studio, so you wouldn’t be totally in trouble if you didn’t come prepared! The laid-back vibe is in this space too, thanks in part to SurfSet’s cool old surf film projections. They really did a great job of maxing out the fun, chill vibe that really is intrinsic to a surf-based class! Holly played some great music and made the class a fun challenge with lots and lots of paddling and so many brutal squats in all sorts of variations, pushups, planks and popups. Holly, of course, brought her passion and joy to the board, just like she does on the bike – and at one point, we jumped off the board and danced a little too, because there has to be dancing in a Holly class! The class FLEW by and by the end, I was sore, giggling and just joyful. It doesn’t get better than that.  I walked out into the beautiful, sunny day, with a smile I couldn’t shake and enjoyed wandering through the glorious city with the fella, who had come to meet me. It was an absolutely perfect day and reminded me how really good life can be…

(The “Joy Factor” is Holly’s new slogan and it is just so fitting, photos from Saturday’s SurfSet class by the fella, bottom image just a little internet goodness…)

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