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.

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.

kari_nicolle_2081

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.

The Inspiring Weekend Kickoff – The Kara Liotta / Kate Hickl Double Burn at Flywheel Sports

One of my favorite things that I learned in the recent Flybarre Challenge was how much I loved the Flybarre/ Flywheel double. For me, the key to a good double is when the Flybarre come first. My body just responds better when the conditioning/toning part comes before cardio – there are others who feel the exact opposite but I need my double to start with Flybarre. Before the challenge, the few times I tried a double, it went the other way and I was miserable – however when Flywheel is the second class, some how my legs get a beautiful second wind moments after starting to pedal and I FLY.

Kate Hickl’s Saturday 9:30am Flywheel class has long been one of my favorites but getting up to get to Kara Liotta’s Flybarre class before just always seemed impossible. Between the goofy train schedules from Brooklyn and my love of sleeping in, getting to an 8:15 on a Saturday morning always seemed like just a daunting prospect. However, Saturday’s double was the only one that worked for my schedule, so I sucked it up and set my alarm for 6am. Turns out it this slightly infamous “KK Double Burn” is just ridiculously good.

As Kara was getting ready to start the class, she asked us if we were ready to really work since it was so many people’s first class back, to which one of the regulars said: “What I am hoping for is that you take it easy on us!” The whole room erupted in laughter, since I am pretty sure Kara’s version of “easy” would still be a killer. We all knew what we were in for, an awesome, super challenging and fun class where Kara would systematically kick our asses. She really is so brilliantly good at keeping every single class fresh and challenging, it is really amazing. I always feel lucky to get to be in a class with a master of any method and Kara really is a master at Flybarre. As the class settled in to get started, she introduced Emily Sferra, a Flybarre Seattle instructor who was in town for the holiday and was going to be jumping in to teach us the arms section. In my slightly sleepy state I was irked by the fact that we were going to have someone else teach part of the class.  Dang it! I woke up early for Kara! However, as soon as Emily hopped up to teach, I was immediately won over by her charm, easy command of the room and fun arm section. She even managed to make the dynamic arms section completely make total sense and easy to follow along – which is pretty much a miracle for me.  I was still terrible at it but I felt much closer to on than normal! The biggest sign that Emily is a star Flybarre instructor is that by the end of the section, I was like “Wait, can we steal her from Seattle? Just once in awhile at least?” She was GOOD – Seattle really has a star over there. Kara jumped back in front and proceded to teach one of the most challenging and fun classes to date. We even got to try a new seat movie that was awesome.

The nice thing about the way these two classes fit together is that really, by the time you have collected your stuff and gotten your shoes from your little bin, it is time to set up your bike. Kate’s Saturday class is always something special. It has been since the Flatiron studio opened. It’s funny, I sometimes forget just HOW great Kate is and then I end up in one of her classes and am blown away again by just how good she is. There is a reason I refer to her as Kate the Great. She is always so supportive while really challenging everyone – Kate truly believes in the Flywheel method and pushes people to get better each time.  I almost always do just a little bit better than I thought was possible when I walked in. On Saturday, Kate was on fire and blew the room away with her drive. I walked out totally inspired and grateful to get to take class with one of the greats. 

By the time the classes were over, I was wide-awake, blissfully happy to have gotten to take such amazing classes and totally convinced it was worth losing sleep for! The Kara/ Kate duo on Saturday morning was so amazing, inspiring and kick-ass, I might even have to do it again next week….

 

Top photo from Flywheel’s Facebook page, photos of Kara & Kate from Flywheel Sports website, bottom image just a little internet goodness.

If At First You Don’t Connect: Stephanie Nieman & Finding A Flywheel Rockstar

Sometime between when I took my first class with Stephanie Nieman and now, she has developed into a Flywheel rockstar.  On Monday, in her packed 12:30pm class, I was blown away by what a force she has become. There is almost nothing as awesome as seeing someone completely own a room and challenge everyone to be better – while still having a ridiculously fun time. Stephanie’s energy was contagious and while some of her torque call out seemed like they were crazy high, it was impossible not to just go for it. It was a ride that was all about staying out of your comfort zone and I adored every last minute of it.

It has been a very long time between taking my first class with Stephanie and finally, going back for a second time. That first class was solid, I thought she had some “Holly-like tendencies” that were awesome – but – and this is a big one on my pet peeve list – she gave different torque numbers for men and women. A range is good, I REALLY like ranges, but different torque #’s based on gender and not skill makes me nuts. It is a pet peeve that makes me so bonkers, I will write off instructors who do it completely, even if I think in other ways they are great – and this is why after a really solid first class, I hadn’t been back to Stephanie’s class in well over 6 months. But for the last month or two, I have been over-hearing her classes while waiting for others and they always sound like a class I would love and even my stubborn self thought it might be time to try her class again.

 

On Monday, I finally got myself to one of her classes. I had made a spinning date and when my friend had to cancel, I almost did too but thankfully I chose to ride. The energy in the room was awesome and riders from the very start were really loud – she definitely has a crowd.  I was steeled to try to get over the torque thing, but one song in, I realized that she was just giving one torque range. I proceeded to allow myself to be swept away into the ride at hand. Stephanie is very slight when you see her in person in the hallways of Flywheel but up on that instructor bike, she is a force to be reckoned with.  So much so that it is almost hard to believe the two Stephanies are the same person. She yells a lot, shouts out lines from the music playing to focus on for motivation, hops off the bike and bounds around the front of the room, and gets in the faces of front row riders to get them to push harder… it was inspiring to see her just totally own the room. If I hadn’t been killing myself to go harder, I might have had the chance to revel in seeing that kind of rockstar performance but I was to busy trying not to die – her class is freaking HARD but completely and utterly awesome.

I am glad I finally got to witness what a Flywheel rockstar Stephanie Nieman has become….

 

Images of Stephanie from Flywheel Sports website. David Bowie quote just a little internet goodness.

 

The Perfect Birthday Celebration: Flywheel & The US Open

Sunday was my birthday. Normally, I don’t really do much for my birthdays, except make sure to schedule one of my favorite workouts and then just revel in letting them pass without much further notice.  But this year, that just wasn’t the case and it was awesome!

Originally, my plan was my normal great class then low key day, but a few weeks before, while at the evian Wooden Racquet Cup, I was invited to the US Open Women’s Final Match by my friend at the NYC PR firm for evian. The match was scheduled for the Saturday night before my birthday and I said “yes” immediately. I have wanted to attend the US Open since moving to NYC but could never afford to actually go. The Friday before the match, I got an email from the girl I was going with that said she wasn’t feeling well and did I want to take the Fella with the other ticket? Ummm… yes! So Saturday afternoon, I met her and got the tickets. I was giddy about getting to go but the weather was crazy that day -(Seriously? Tornadoes?) and by the time we were getting ready to leave that night, the match had been postponed to late Sunday afternoon.

Thankfully, my birthday treat of a class was one of my favorite Flywheel classes with the mighty Danielle Devine which starts every Sunday at 12:30, so even with the match getting moved, I didn’t have to miss it! The class was insanely awesome (and challenging). Danielle was on fire, some of my favorite songs were on the playlist and the room contained some of my favorite fellow loud riders – the energy was insane! It was the perfect kick-off to the day.  After class, the fella and I hurried home as fast as our jelly-legs could take us, to change and head out again.

We made it out to the Arthur Ashe stadium in Queens well before the match was supposed to start – we even had time to pick up a souvenir shirt before we headed in to find our seats! I had seen the stadium on television, of course, but in person, it is really a beautiful space. Huge but with amazing seating. We sat in the middle of the stadium and had a clear, unobstructed view of all the action. I don’t know much about the rules of tennis but have never been so riveted by any sporting event as I was with the match between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka. It was the first Women’s Final at the US Open to go all 3 sets in 17 years! This was a match that was an epic nail biter and watching that kind of passion, skill and drive, was just awe-inspiring. Even if I was occasionally lost about the nuances of the game (really I don’t get the scoring at all), just being there with a stadium filled with people who were also captivated by the skill being demonstrated, I was just enthralled with the action on the court. When Serena actually came back in the third set after being down – the entire crowd erupted on the last shot and sprang to their feet. I can’t believe how lucky I was to get to be there to see it – I couldn’t have asked for a better game for my first time at the US Open. I will definitely be back next year….

After the match, we rushed back to Manhattan to meet up with my brother who was in town for a few days and wanted to take me out for a birthday dinner. So, after an amazing day, I was treated to a ridiculously good dinner with people I love.

Seriously, does a day get better than that? Best. Birthday. EVER.

photos by Eric C Stafford

Being All In : 3 Flywheel Greats Remind Me To Be In the Moment

It has been a little while since I posted, since the week following the absolutely epic high of the NYC Triathlon, I got an evil head/chest cold that I just couldn’t shake. I have slowly been making my way back into working out after taking a full 10 days off. In retrospect, my cold was probably my body’s not so subtle nudge that rest isn’t such a bad thing. What can I say? Rest isn’t my strong suit! Last weekend was my first weekend really back on schedule and awesomely included classes with some of my absolute favorites at Flywheel Jesse Alexander, Alison Cohen and Aleah Stander. It was one of those random weekends when teachers I love all seem to be teaching classes that I can actually make – a super rare occurrence in the summer, when everyone seemingly defects to the Hamptons.

Jesse and Alison’s hour-long classes were both hard, challenging and made me REALLY push myself. Jesse’s Saturday morning class was filled with a fun, party atmosphere (as his classes always are), plus some of my favorite folks were rocking out the front row with me and really, that is always inspiring. Jesse didn’t talk about “feeling sexy and riding like it” in this class, but his riders obviously had it engrained in their head so much at this point that it’s just natural! It’s funny, no matter the time of day, Jesse’s class always feel like pre-game to going out – even early on a Saturday!

Sunday’s Warrior Ride with Alison was so freaking hard (which I adore) but much quieter than Saturday’s, so I was easily the loud one of the class again! It has been awhile since I took that class but to jump in and see how strong that group is can be both staggering and inspiring. Alison is such a star at getting her riders to rise to every challenge she throws at them and her Warriors are the prime example of that. Alison inspired me to be in full beast mode but even at that, I struggled to stay on the board at 359! Apparently, I need to up my game to hang with Alison’s Warrior crew!

My third and final class was Monday’s class with Aleah which, of course, was awesome. She is such a rockstar. I was bummed when she decamped for Miami but Monday, we got the rare treat to have her back in NYC – even if it was for only a day. I didn’t think it was possible but it seems like she has actually gotten even better down in Miami. Aleah’s classes are always hard and inspiring but this one was epic. She rides with her whole heart in and expects the same in return. Being all in and fully present really is what it is all about – big or small- be in that moment.  Aleah’s passion for what she does makes that the only option when you are in front of her. It was exactly the reminder I needed this week.

After 3 days of kick-ass classes, I had finally fully shaken off my sickness and for the first time in weeks felt like myself.  It seems like I can always count on Flywheel to help me snap myself out of a funk – this weekend was no exception.

Logo and bottom image from Flywheel’s Website for New York. Top quote just a good thing to remember.

Punching & Pulsing: Flybarre for Men with Kara Liotta & Khori Petinaud

Last Saturday afternoon (after an amazing morning yoga class at I.AM.YOU studio) I made my way up to Flywheel Flatiron to try a class called “Flybarre for Men”. Given my non-male status, it was one of those classes I went to only because I was specifically asked to attend, by none other than the amazing Flybarre instructor Kara Liotta – who I basically can’t say no to. She called out my friend SINworkouts and I on twitter and it quickly became a big group of some of the toughest & most inspiring women around- Lacey Stone, SIN, Kindra from Peak Performance and Kate Hickle. Seriously, that is one fierce, fun group and if I could workout with them all the time, I would. When we all got there, from our various other workouts, SIN made quick work to rearrange us so that I got to be over by the group since apparently, I totally booked the wrong mat.  Kara just looked at me and said “So you want to be with the loud ones, huh?” The answer to that question is always a rousing “hell, yes!”

Kara Liotta and Khori Petinaud, who co-created the men’s Flybarre variation taught Saturday’s class. A powerhouse of a team, they are strong, skilled, and have an easy ability to take command of the room. Kara, who I have written about before (here) was amazing of course – but it was my first time taking a class with Khori. I immediately liked her – she has an infectious grin and didn’t allow anything to throw her off her game, plus, she was so obviously amused by my group’s loud enthusiasm that went along with our complete lack of skill, that it totally endeared her to me. Not the easiest thing to do when greeted by a room full of people who, for the most part, where complete newbies to the method, and who cheered at the end of each section. Kara and Khori are serious about what they do but both handled the rowdy group with a joyful ease that only the great instructors ever seem to be able to do – allowing fun to be had while still staying completely on task and never letting up about form. They were a brilliant pair!

I have taken a handful of Flybarre classes and am always left feeling like the most uncoordinated person on the planet. Seriously, while pulsing at Flybarre is always fun, I can’t follow a dance count to save my life. The men’s version of the class, however, was hands down my favorite version so far and not just because of the loud hooting and hollering of my cohorts.  This version includes lots of pushup variations, jumping jacks, a couple of killer ab sections but also less work actually AT the barre. My favorite change though was that the dynamic arms section was boxing move based – now THOSE are counts I can follow! I loved the change up of that and can totally see why they did it to appeal to guys but it also did wonders for my enjoyment of the section. Kara was totally right to call me out on coming in to try this version. it really was totally up my ally. So, although our class had 5 guys, which is definitely more than have ever been in any of the other Flybarre classes I have taken, I just wish it was called something else!

Top image from Flybarre’s Facebook page of Kara, Khori and Kate practicing the Flybarre for Men’s routine, middle image of Khori from Flywheel’s website, bottom image just an awesome bit of internet goodness.

Miami Is Getting A Rockstar: Aleah Stander & The Celebration Ride

On Wednesday night at 7:30pm, almost all of the Flywheel instructors gathered to ride in Aleah Stander’s class, since this is her last week before she heads down to Miami to spearhead the new Flywheel opening down there.  She is beloved by the Fly family – and they came in full force to celebrate that fact and yet, somehow, managed to keep it a secret. Included in that evening’s packed house were Ruth Zukerman, Kate Hickle, Chris Tracey, Jesse Alexander, Danielle Devine, Ryan Makey, Alison Cohen, John Wellmann, Carrie Green and Shay Kostabi and some of the awesome back office staffers. They had gone all out to make the ride feel like a party, sporting glow-in-the dark bands, glowsticks, a few of the guys rocked big afro wigs, Danielle had a cute pair of sparkly horns, and Ryan sported the headgear of the night – a wildly funny pair of bunny ears. The rest of the room was filled to the brim with Aleah fans.

It was nice to see the sweet, endearing Aleah that she is off the bike up there, just basking in the love of her friends hooting and hollering for her, packing the house. Then, she grinned a big grin and went right back to being the kick-ass, hard instructor that we love. The room was never quiet. I don’t know that I have ever been in a room that was AS loud as this one was and it was so much fun. I am notoriously loud in class and it was fun to not remotely be the loudest in the room. Aleah’s playlists are always awesome but the one that night was just ridiculously good… and filled with lots of songs that were straight up fun, but distinctly not the “clean” versions! It was the kind of soundtrack that just made you go faster and inspired you to work harder. I don’t know that I have ever been to a class with Aleah were I am not blown away by how hard she can get you to work – I almost always best any number I’ve done before. She is just motivating like that! The energy of the room was like a wave and it just made me want to try a little bit harder. As a rider, to be surrounded with people who inspire me was a huge treat.  The Flywheel instructors are an insanely strong group and there is nothing like being surrounded by the best to make you better.

I was in the second row, smack in the middle, and directly in front of me was Kate and Ruth. Talk about feeling like I need to step my game up! From the angle I was at I could see Ruth’s little board, and all I have to say is damn. That woman is a powerhouse! She crushed me from right out of the gate. I had my best 45-minute ride and she beat me by almost a 100 points -totally and utterly inspiring. Aleah made us all work hard and pushed that room to do their best -it was electrifying to see everyone in that room rise to the occasion.

The 45 minutes FLEW by. When she called out that it was the last song I was shocked, I so didn’t want it to be over just yet. As the stretch song played, it was awesome to see her take in the room before her, filled with people who love and totally support her. I think it was the only time I have ever seen Aleah slightly flustered and it was totally endearing. The cheers were deafening and the towels whipped over everyone’s head as the class ended – it was an amazing thing to witness that kind of pure love pouring out at the end of her amazing class. The thing about Aleah is that she is just so consistently great, that I sometimes forget just HOW great she really is but seriously, Aleah really is a rockstar. I hope Miami knows what a treasure they are getting.

Top picture from Aleah’s Facebook profile, middle picture from the Flywheel website and bottom image my hope for what Miami has in store for the amazing Aleah Stander….

FLY for Fisher House with Steven Little & Aleah Stander

After taking an awesome class with Steven Little at Flywheel on Monday evening, I came home and found in my mail box a note from running coach extraordinaire, Abby Bales, about an event she is hosting at Flywheel this weekend, May 5th at 3pm with Steven and Aleah Stander. The ride is a fundraiser for the Fisher House and as Abby wrote:

Fisher House builds houses near military hospitals for the families of injured soldiers to stay for free while their soldier is recovering in the hospital. It is a 501c(3) charity with a 5-star ranking by charitynavigator.org, meaning 97% of the money raised goes directly to the houses and needs of the families and not to advertising and administration costs.”

I don’t normally write about events before they happen, but an event that supports such an important cause and lead by 3 amazing people is worthy of an exception to that rule.

As I read the mail about the mission of the Fisher House to the Fella (a former Navy man) he just looked at me and said, “You know you have to go right? We’ll figure out how to come up with the money for it, but you HAVE to go support that.”  That is totally true. With a partner who used to serve and as the daughter of a retired Naval Officer, the mission of the Fisher House is something that I think is very special and important to support. The fact that the event is at one of my favorite places in NYC, Flywheel, is just an extra sweet bonus.

For more information about the ride, check out the FB page for the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/364397176940125/

Check out my original review of Steven here.

Abby and Aleah led one of my favorite workouts of 2011, an inspiring “Brick” workout that made me feel like a true athlete.  Check it out here. I love them both for that moment and can’t wait to see what they bring to this new event…

Hopefully, I will see you there!

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…)