Kira Stokes’ Fusion Ride At The Epic New FIDI BFX

When I heard that BFX had designed an indoor cycling studio, where half of the space was a dedicated workout floor in their new Financial District location, I was curious. I haven’t actually had a class where we got off the bike in the middle really slay me, but when I heard that Kira Stokes had been given free reign to develop the program that put it to use, I knew this one had to be good. Last week, I finally got to test out the new Fusion Ride.

BFX Kira Stokes II

The new BFX is just seriously beautiful – with lots of marble and clean elegant space. The Chelsea location is nice but this one is just next level. At check-in, I ran into people I knew and totally missed the part where they tell you whether you start on the bike or the floor! So as we were filing into class, everyone was going to their assigned places and I was completely lost. I snagged Kira and asked if I should go back out and find out where I was supposed to be, but she shook her head and sent me off to a bike. I was SO glad to start off on the bike, though, because it let me warm up and get to see what was coming up when it was my turn on the floor.

Each part of the workout was broken into 3 blocks – Power, Strength and Endurance. On the bike that means – interval drills, heavy hills and endurance pushes. It was weird to be on a bike with my sneakers on, but I got used to it after a little bit – plus, it made the transition off the bike quicker. BFX does use the standard bike pedals so if you have your own shoes you could totally rock them- just make sure you are quick at changing them. Kira doesn’t have much tolerance for dillydallying during a workout!

BFX Kira Stokes

The thing that I’ve always liked about Kira’s classes is that there is a reason for every single move and where they are in the program – this class isn’t any different. On the floor, I snagged a spot next to my friend and after a quick demo from Kira on proper form of the 1st round of exercises, we were off. In a super helpful move, this class also used projections on the wall with the moves we were doing for each block. My friend was much better at following what we were supposed to be doing but a sneak peak up at the wall came in handy for me often! One thing I really liked in this class was that there was another instructor, the awesome Claire Gould, on the floor with us. She’d demo a move if anyone looked lost, fix form for people and just generally keep the energy up. It was Kira’s class and she was all over everyone but Claire totally had her back, keeping tabs on that huge, split group.

BFX Kira Stokes III

The first segment was a power segment and that night’s version involved a couple of AMRAPS (as many rounds as possible) using moves that built off of each other like TRX Squats to Squat Jumps to a row, then weighted Lunges and plyo alternating Lunges rounded out with a TRX Tricep push up. It felt very classic Stoked series. The next segment was geared towards strength and used heavier weights and slower movements. Those sandbags with their shifting weight were deceiving! One of the moves involved a Squat Thruster with a Tricep press, and while the weight that had been fine in the classic Squat Thruster, suddenly wasn’t fine when it went back behind my head. I couldn’t raise it up to save my life. I got totally stuck – but of course Kira noticed immediately and was swapping the bag out before I even had a moment to process! Then it was down on the ground to finish that round out with a plank sandbag pull – which when Kira demoed, it sailed across the room but when I did it, moving it even fully over to the other side of my body was comically hard.

The final segment, the endurance round – made me feel a little bit like I didn’t have any. It was all about keeping moving with full body movements that blasted up your heart rate. That round was a little bit of a blur because by the time it hit I was totally wiped out! The Fusion Ride was challenging, fun and actually really worked with the spinning combined with the floor work. In an hour that flew by, the ride and floor work had effectively kicked my ass… but man, I really do have to work on those bag pulls – that was just embarrassing.

Photos and video: Eric Stafford, Stafford Sports Media for Fatbottomslim

 

FBS’s Sweaty Intel: January Edition

A few months ago, I heard a solid report that Soul Cycle had signed a lease in Brooklyn, near the Borough Hall stop in Brooklyn Heights/Downtown area.  I was pretty sure at the time that this was true, but when I saw the recent posting on Soul’s Career section looking for Front Desk peeps for “Brooklyn Heights, CT” I knew it had to be getting close. CT has no Brooklyn Heights… but BROOKLYN’S Downtown/Brooklyn Heights area is ripe for an awesome Indoor Cycling option and given the lease report, I’m now counting down the days ’till it’s officially announced. The Downtown Brooklyn area is massively lacking in fitness options and the studio that gets to this area first is going to have such a stronghold by the time ALL of the huge new buildings go up, it’ll be hard for anyone to compete. I’m not even a little surprised that Soul would see an opportunity and swoop in.

Soul Cycle Saying

 

One of my VERY favorite yoga studios – I.AM.YOU in Nolita is beginning to offer community classes (donation based) on Wednesday nights at 7:30pm. This loft-based studio is just freaking cool – athletic flow and awesome music. These classes will be taught by one of I.AM.YOU’s finishing school trainees, but knowing Lauren, she wouldn’t have anyone teach in her space that wasn’t amazing.  I’m so hitting this up.

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In classes that seem both fascinating and slightly terrifying –  STREB has started to offer German Wheel (aka the giant hamster wheel) as a weekly class. This used to only be offered as special workshop but now you have the option of dropping in – for $35. Flip, roll, swing and invert yourself inside this giant metal wheel – it encompasses all of the fun and excitement of gymnastic tumbling without the high impact. These classes are taught by Chris Delgado, a certified German wheel instructor who has over 4 years of teaching experience and STREB says it’s open to all levels from beginner to competitive level training. I’m both curious and terrified of this one…

German Wheel Chris Delgado

 

Images from Soul Cycle & I.AM.YOU and Chris Delgado‘s Facebook pages.

Give More: The Unrelentingly Solid Grant Belton

Grant Belton is just unrelentingly solid. He is so consistent, I sometimes forget how incredibly special that is. The other day, when my workout schedule had gotten completely out of whack, I saw Grant’s name on Flywheel Tribeca’s roster the following day and knew it was exactly what I needed to get me back on track.  Grant’s classes are always just a completely focused, challenging ride but they aren’t showy. He’s not going to distract you from pushing harder and expecting more from yourself, he just calmly asks you “Are you feeling strong? Then give more.

I’ve taken quite a few of Grant Belton’s classes at Flywheel and always walk out completely satisfied and almost always with a new highest score. The other day during class, it suddenly occurred to me that I’d never actually written about one of Grant’s classes. It made me feel like a complete asshole – for one simple reason. I write about the best of the best of the classes I’ve taken and Grant is hands-down one of the best of the best. If you talk to almost any of the other Flywheel instructors, Grant is always on the top of their list of instructors THEY take.

Grant Belton Flywheel Last week, my workout plans were getting crushed right and left. I needed a class to get me back on track and I knew that Grant’s would be the ticket. I snuck out of the office and made my way to that awesomeFriday treat that had popped up on Flywheel’s Tribeca schedule. I checked in and for some reason it wouldn’t let me choose to be on the torque board. I finally shrugged, grabbed my shoes and decided it was a sign, that today I wasn’t going to worry about the board at all. As I walked into the class, Grant looked at me and said “Well this is a nice surprise.” I grinned and made my way to my bike.

There were a few new riders in the classes and Grant went over the foundations of a Flywheel class – the torque numbers, rpm and how to get your best ride. As we started the ride, I listened to his awesome queues – “Bap, bap, bap” or hard clapping to the rhythm of the song – those always work for me. I just focused in and rode hard. At some point he said “I want you to look at your number and double it –THAT is what you are going for as your final number.”  I looked down, was at 160 and thought well that isn’t possible. In 45 minutes, I’ve never even gotten close to 300 and was pretty sure my first ride back in weeks wasn’t going to be the time for it to happen! Then, about 3 songs later, after arms, I realized that 300 really was close.  For those last 2 songs, I just focused, rode hard and fast and hit 295. Which is so insanely huge for me! I’ve always seen people who hit 300 and thought, that just is NEVER going to be possible for me. Grant proved me wrong by calmly expecting more. When I went to clip out of the bike I realized that I’d pushed myself so hard my legs were actually shaking.

chalkboard-art-typography-illustrated-quotes-32__605The weird thing about 295? It’s so close to that magical 300 that I was almost pissed that I didn’t get there. Then I remembered that it was like 30 points more then I’d EVER scored in 45 minutes, grinned hard and high fived Grant on my way out the door.

I SO have to take more of Grant’s classes. I’ve been half-stepping.

 

Photo of Grant from Flywheel’s website and bottom quote a little bit of internet goodness.

Peloton NYC Studio: The Swanky New Addition To The Indoor Cycling Scene

I’ve been dying to get on a Peloton bike since I first heard about them last year during their Kickstarter campaign. I just loved their idea: to give at home riders the kind of awesome boutique class experience you get in a studio from the comfort of your house but I was curious how that would translate into an actual studio. Last week, I finally got to try out one of their bikes at their absolutely stunning NYC flagship studio. 140w23Peloton Located in Chelsea on 23rd street and 7th, the bright, clean, open retail space that you walk into hides what is easily one of the swankiest waiting areas I have seen in any studio. I checked in at the desk, snagged a pair of shoes and headed back to the locker room to change and get ready for class. Of note: the locker room is huge, there are plenty of lockers and 4 showers. For no great reason, I had assumed that their locker room wouldn’t be so decked out and didn’t get the chance to fully utilize it after class. I went to wait in the lounge, to scope it out until the class started. The large space includes couches, large tables to work at and a café that will be openings on May 5th. Apparently, once the café opens, riders will get organic juice and snacks after every class! Other coffee, juices and snack costs will vary, but will probably be between $1-6ish…so standard coffee shop prices. PelotonStudio A few minutes before class was ready to start, I made my way into the studio. I chose a bike in the second row, since I figured that the front row bikes would need to be a little more “on” than I was feeling that morning! The bikes are set up as stadium seating so that you have a good view of the instructor… but also so that there really isn’t anywhere to hide completely. Every class will be filmed and so every rider will be potentially live streamed on camera, not close ups but you will definitely be in the group shots and the mirrors behind the coach reflect just about everyone in the room. It took me a little while to figure out how to set up the bike since I was “Oh, I’ve got this” instead of accepting the help the Peloton crew offered! The studio bike’s only difference from the home bike is the size of the screen, which on the studio bike is much smaller and isn’t the large 21.5 inch one like on the home version. The smaller monitor in the class is used to show the resistance, cadence, and power – it took me a little while to get the feel of the bike and its resistance wheel. Once I did though, I totally loved the smooth, quiet ride and so wanted one for my house! Peloton bikeStephanie Nieman, who I’ve ridden with at a few different studios and is always awesome, had invited me to come check out the studio. She is a rockstar instructor and I jumped at the chance to ride with her again. She warned us that they were still working out some kinks, but to just be present and go with the flow. Stephanie is a force to be reckoned with when she is teaching. Since the classes are filmed, the instructors are lit very brightly and are confined to the bike but it really didn’t change that much about the way Stephanie managed to inspire the riders to work their hardest. There were some technical issues with the music but she led an awesome, challenging class just like she always does. It will be interesting to see what happens when they are fully open and the classes are in full swing – they have a great roster of instructors and a killer space but will the masses come with the threat of being on camera with super sweaty faces being broadcast across the web? I will for sure, but then again, I have a high tolerance for being on film while being beet red…   photos by Eric Hwang for Peloton 

Flywheel Tribeca: A Beautiful, Awesome Addition To The Neighborhood

I’ve been EAGERLY waiting for the new Tribeca Flywheel location to open since it was first announced months ago. For no good reason, I was expecting a smaller studio than their most recent UWS location, however, I was SO wrong.  The new Tribeca location is a huge, open, stunning space that is easily my favorite Fly in the city.  The studio on Greenwich, between Hubert and Laight Streets, is a short walk from work and it isn’t far from Soho either.

Flywheel Tribeca

Last weekend, Flywheel had a weekend of free classes to say “hello” to the neighborhood. The permanent schedule is chock full of some of the best of the best at Flywheel and the preview rides were no exception. I scored rides with both Alison Cohen and Jessie Alexander.

Alison’s class was great – as it ALWAYS is since she is just ridiculously good. It was, however, one of those classes that had some technical issues. The AC wasn’t working so it was brutally hot but Alison handled it like a champ and gave an incredible ride that never let on that anything was out of the ordinary. I was sweating buckets but Alison still managed to motivate the room to some huge numbers. She is just a champ at leading a challenging, athletic ride, which is why so often when I am jonesing for a Flywheel class, I end up in front of her.

Side note here:  after that sweaty, awesome class, I took a shower before heading to work. Normally, I try to avoid gym showers like the plague but after that class, it just wasn’t an option, so I got the chance to experience their silly luxurious showers. The individual rooms are more like a hotel’s shower than a regular gym which before work is a treat.  Tons of towels, all the tolietries you could need, killer hot water and massive water pressure. It is like the boutique gym version of hitting the shower jackpot.

Do More

Jesse’s class was the next night and by then the AC was fixed, thankfully. I’ve written about Jesse a ton (favorite post here) but it’s funny, I realized it’s been almost a year since I’ve taken a class with him. It was fun to get to ride with him again – he’s all swagger and confidence these days and just rocks the hell out of the room. It was awesome to watch. My out of practice indoor cycling legs were wiped after the class and by the end, I was just hoping to break a reasonable number. It was right before the last song and Jesse made his way around the room – as he got to me, he covered my torque board and whispered a number in my head that seemed impossible and said “you’ve got that – GO.” Momentarily, I was pissed at the big jump he’d put out there but then almost magically, I realized it made me work three times harder as I hit the number before the last beat of the song. There is a reason Jesse is one of the best…he helps people rise to be their very best – even when they don’t believe it themselves.

The new Tribeca studio is beautiful and has a kick-ass line up of my favorites – I couldn’t ask for more!

Photo of Studio from Flywheel’s Facebook page, bottom image just a little bit of internet goodness.

Swerve Fitness: The Team Take On Indoor Cycling

Swerve Studio

Last week, I got the chance to take a class at the new “team” based indoor cycling studio, Swerve Fitness. Started by former college athletes who missed that team spirit in their workouts, Swerve divides the class into three teams – Red, Blue and Green and the teams compete to win the class. When you sign up for class you choose a team, which is clearly marked online.  Since I was going by myself, I just chose my favorite color, Blue – but I think this class would be more fun with friends stacking the ranks of your chosen team. 

 
The studio, on 18th between 5th & 6th, is a beautiful and open two-level space.  Check-in is on the first floor where you get your complementary spin shoes if you don’t have your own (which I don’t, so for me this is a super nice perk since that $3 rental fee at some studio always annoys me).  There is also a large bay of self-locking lockers with plenty of space to move around and a juice bar. The spin room is located downstairs, which I knew from having been to Swerve’s opening party but still foolishly put on my spin shoes before I made my way down to the studio. I slowly made my way down the rubberized stairs since, really, I am not the most graceful girl in the world and spin shoes are slippery suckers! 
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The bikes themselves are really nice, new Schwinn spin bikes, that have a monitor on them. It took me a few minutes of fiddling with my setting before I got it right since I am used to the Fly & Soul bikes and really, those numbers aren’t so helpful with setting up a Schwinn! After I was all set up, I started peddling, waited for the class to start and got to know the people around me… we where on a team together after all! The very nice pregnant woman to my left had on an Empire Tri shirt and you could just tell she was going to crush it. When class was just about to start, Douglas Johnson, who was leading the ride, had us stop peddling and restart our little monitors so that they would all calibrate and sync together. It took a few tries for me to actually get mine to do it since I somehow missed the “don’t peddle at all” bit of instruction! Always the trouble maker -oops! We started the class with a warm-up to the first song and I wondered how this team thing was going to work. By the time the second song started, though, and Douglas’ popped the graph showing which team was winning up on the screens flanking the room and just like that, we were trying to beat each other in intermittent sprints. They came fast and furiously – this isn’t a class with just a few “races”, these made up the majority of the ride and the class FLEW by.  The first 3 sprints resulted in each team winning one, then the Red team started pulling away. There was a brief arms section with weights but really, I just wanted to get back to riding and see if we could catch up. My blue team held in there and won a good handful of the races, but not enough. In the end when the final score was posted, the Red team won … and although we came in second, it didn’t matter. Our little graph was a zero. You win or you lose.
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I like to think of myself as a non-competative person, but apparently, that is just a flat out lie.  I mostly just choose to do things where the only person I am competing against is myself. This class brought out a very feisty competitive side that was just comical! I got salty when I didn’t think the people behind me were riding hard enough, and mad at myself when I got tired, although, at least that part helped me push harder. The only person I never got salty at was the pregnant woman beside me who crushed us all, I could see her numbers and she kicked my ass -she was easily the star of our team! 

 
I can’t wait to go back to Swerve but next time I’m going with a big crew so we can win that damn board!! 
 
 
Top images from Swerve’s FaceBook page. Bottom image just a little bit of internet goodness. 

Flying Incognito: The Awesome, Needed Class With Kari Nicolle

The last month has been a little crazy and getting in my workout has been a ridiculous challenge –I make it happen, but my workout window is so small that if anything goes wrong, it quickly gets hard to do anything. I’ve being going to a lot of classes with instructors I know and love. Last week, I realized that I needed to shake things up. On Wednesday night, when my big plan to go try something new the next morning fell apart, I immediately went to Flywheel’s schedule to look and see if there were any options to squeeze in a ride before work –even though I’ve been out of credits for ages. The fella, it turns out, had a few credits and offered to book me a bike when he saw me looking longingly at the Flywheel site.  I immediately said yes. He snagged me a front row bike in Kari Nicolle’s class the following morning and I couldn’t wait for the ride. I was in dire need of a good sweat session.

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When I arrived to check in, my buddy SinWorkouts was just getting there and it turned out we would be riding next to each other – score! Sin never fails to inspire me to work harder in a class and it had been FAR too long since we had caught up. So I snagged a pair of shoes and proceeded to class without a second thought.  Kari Nicole is one of the newer teachers on the Flywheel, but she is a total rockstar. I knew I was in for a good class with Sin by my side and Kari leading. The room was stacked with an impressive group of riders and I just hoped I would be able to keep up. I hunkered down and rode, inspired by clear coaching, awesome music and the kick-ass women in the room.

When Kari flipped on the board for the first race of the class, I glanced up and realized I was 1st on the men’s board. I just smiled and kept my head down, trying to keep up with Sin next to me since she was already crushing my score. Each time the board flipped up I would glance up to see if I’d fallen yet but as the ride wore on, I stayed at the top of the board.  By the end of the class, I was totally spent and still in the #1 position on the men’s board…well, the fella was! I finally looked over to see where I would have fallen if I’d been with the women – 5th solid. While I may have won the men’s board, the strong women in that room kicked my ass!

Being stong is important

At the end of class I was a sweaty and happy – Kari taught a hard, fun class that inspired us all to give our best and as she walked over to my bike to high-five me she leaned over and said “So, you’re incognito today, huh?” I just laughed and shrugged. Being incognito wasn’t my plan but winning the board was a lot of fun….

Oh Flywheel, I’ve missed you! And Kari, you are now on my list of go-to instructors!

Photo of Kari from the Flywheel website, bottom quote just a little bit of internet goodness.

Epically Good: Soul Cycle’s Charlee Atkins

Recently when I fessed up that I had never been to a Charlee Atkins class, one of my Soul Cycle friends was horrified…. his exact response was “that is unacceptable” followed the next day by a list of classes he was going to be taking with her the next week. Turned out there was really only one that I could make, her Saturday night class in Tribeca – which is easily my favorite of the Soul Cycle studios. I am always game for any new class and always have fun at Soul Cycle, so I immediately wrote back and said “I’m in!”

soulcycle Charlee AtkinsWhen I got to the studio, my friend had already checked me in and after a brief moment of horror at realizing I was in the front row, I shrugged it off and snagged a pair of shoes for the ride. When I turned around there was Charlee, sporting a bright red baseball cap worn backwards, who really is stunning in person but also has a wide, disarming smile. I’d seen so many serious, smoldering fitness shots of her that the smiling, sweet, open person asking me how I felt about “aggressive rides” in front of me threw me off a little. In those first few minutes of meeting her, I realized that my preconceived notions of what this class was going to be were just completely out the window.

In the room, I got all set up and waited for the class to start. My friend was across the room so I sat there in the front row and just took in the scene, which was filled with regulars (always easy to spot) and a few newbies to the class like me. After everyone got settled, Charlee immediately got down to business. The music was aggressive but in the best possible way and I immediately was sucked into the ride. The songs had us riding on a heavier, slightly slower beat than a lot of the Soul Cycle classes I have been to, so with the heavier resistance and more seated work, it was a class that just felt GOOD – hard & challenging but good.  She also did a thing I loved, she broke down the pushup moves. Charlee would start the pushups in a slightly slower tempo section and then would allow the music to ramp up the speed of them naturally. It made so much sense to me that I was pretty close to being able to do all of the chorography – even the clapping pushups towards the end! It was like a miracle – I was in the front row and didn’t feel totally hapless!

CAtkins

Charlee was just amazingly charismatic – on the bike or when she would get down off and move around the room- she pounded out the beat with her whole body. I totally get now why my friend was so horrified that I hadn’t taken her class…I walked out of her class completely blown away and trying to figure out when I would get to take another one.

Charlee really is just epically good.

Charlee Quote

Photos of Charlee from the Soul-Cycle Website & quote from their Facebook page

Sports Bra Challenge 2013: The Full Recap Of An Amazing Day

On Sunday, April 13th, I took off my shirt in the middle of Union Square and joined 300 other riders at the 3rd Annual Sports Bra Challenge, in a celebration of acceptance and positive body image. A challenge that started in a Soul Cycle classroom a few years ago, when Jenny Gaither couldn’t bring herself to ride in just her sports bra, has grown into a huge charity event to support her SEAK Foundation’s mission to provide programming that improves young women’s self-esteem.

Sports Bra Challenge 2013 1

The event, which took over the North side of Union Square Park, was in full swing by the time I made it there after my workout that morning with Gabby Reece at Exceed. I checked in, snagged a pair of shoes and got ready for my class to start up. I was tired but so excited to be there. Thankfully, Zico Coconut Water was a sponsor, so I grabbed one immediately, knowing it would help my second wind kick in. I saw so many people I knew – bloggers and instructors from other studios (places like Exceed, Body Space Fitness, Uplift, Pilates ProWorks) who had all showed up to support the cause. It was an inspiring group.

I am not a “sports bra only” sort of a person and the first few minutes of sitting there on my bike waiting for our class to start, I was acutely aware that I was not wearing enough clothes for this workout. Thankfully, I had worn my new Moving Comfort Juno bra that is cute and doesn’t move at all, so it didn’t take me that long to get used to it!

Sports Bra Challenge 2013 2Our class session of the Sport’s Bra Challenge was led by Jenny Gaither and Ayana Curtis. They were a powerhouse of a team – both Soul Cycle Rockstars who just radiate the love they have for what they do. This event is Jenny’s baby, and watching her take it all in for those first few moments was amazing.  DJ GB lit the place up right away with a fun, eclectic mix and Anya & Jenny launched into a fun, challenging class. After the first song though, watching Anya and Jenny rock it out on stage, taking in the crowd, I let myself just get totally swept up in the class.  It flew by and at the end, when the whole crowd sang along to Mumford and Sons’ “I Will Wait For You” – I almost cried it was so beautiful. It was truly impossible not to be captivated by the joy and positivity of what was happening that day.

Sports Bra Challenge 2013 3I am so grateful that I got the chance to be part of an event dedicated to empowering everyone by sharing that moment of complete acceptance, of yourself, just as you are. It was a beautiful, joyful day – I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next year!

 

Photos and video by Eric Stafford, Stafford Sports Media

Crashing The Party: Rocking Out With Ryan Foley At SoulCycle

Months ago, I read Ryan Foley’s SoulCycle story about going from being 60 pounds overweight, working 90-hour work weeks on Wall Street to finding SoulCycle and becoming one of their newest instructors. I love stories like that – about finding your passion and just going for it. I’ve wanted to take his class ever since, then on Friday, in a flurry of Twitter exchanges with another exercise fanatic, I was invited to Ryan’s class the very next day.

Ryan Foley In January 2012, Ryan discovered SoulCycle and by the end of the year he’d made his radical (and AWESOME) leap – but this would be his first birthday on the bike in front of the room. Held in the stunning Tribeca Soul, it was in the smaller of the two studios but the class was packed to the rafters with friends. There were a few randoms like me, who hadn’t taken Ryan before but mostly it was his crowd and they roared for him almost instantly – it was one of those rides that when you were clipping into the bike you just knew was going to be special.  I felt a little bit like I had snuck into a party and was just hoping no one would realize that I didn’t belong and kick me out!

As I entered the room, the charming, handsome Ryan hollered “FBS in the house! I think you are over there!” I grinned, waved and set out to set up my bike as quickly as possible since it was almost time to start. I was in the middle of the room (for me a Soul score) but surrounded by obvious Soul-ers. Ryan got the room going from the bike and immediately the playlist rocked. The very first song was Linkin Park and two women in the front row and directly in front of me had their hair down and started to rock out the moment the class started. The idea of riding with your hair down just confounds me and I was completely captivated when one of them full on started head banging when Nine Inch Nails came on. Watching it, I was totally smitten with the coolness. It looked so awesome that I really wanted to try it but I could just see myself launching over the handlebars and toppling half the room. Another song of awesome rocking out, then she put her hair up and I went back to focusing on Ryan, whose tshirt had lit up at some point. We launched into the classic Soul pushup chorography that never fails to make me feel like the least coordinated person on the planet (especially when added to my lack of head banging ability) and Ryan rocked it out. My favorite moment was when at one point, when we were doing beats, where we were supposed to all be on the same leg, Ryan busted out what looked like Airplane Wands, rocking left and right for which leg we were supposed to be on. It was so ridiculously fun and was the only time I was remotely on the right leg!  Ryan’s playlist was awesome – filled with mixes & songs I’d never heard in any other class. He managed to have a playlist that made me think often, “I’d have NEVER thought you could ride to that!” Towards the end of class, Ryan pointed out the awesome headbanger and said anyone here who hasn’t gotten to Janet Fitzgerald’s class, you need to now. AHH! I was still crushed out on her but I suddenly felt better about the fact that head banging was out of the question for me!

Ryan’s birthday ride was also one of the few classes where I wasn’t even remotely the loudest person in the class and it was just ridiculously fun -I loved every single moment of it. The ride itself was so loud that by the end Ryan blew out his mike. It made him burst out laughing –“anyone take bets on that?”  Soul inspired him but on Saturday night, he showed a whole room of people that following your passion can lead you to a really wonderful place….

Collect moment not thingsIn the lobby, people were getting ready to celebrate but I slipped out before they realized I didn’t really belong at this party… and left on a glorious, inspired high.

Photo of Ryan from Twitter (follow him @24_7_Ry) and bottom image just a little bit of internet goodness.