On Strength: Fueling The Power Within

Washington DC National Cathedral. Photo taken April 2009. © blissandradiance.com

First Impressions Last
In the Fall of 2012, I was looking for a cardio workout that was fast-paced and varied. There was a lot of buzz about SoulCycle and I thought I’d give it a go. Though I live closer to the New York City studios, I chose a class in Scarsdale, NY where I found a studio environment perfect for me: a smaller class, and personalized attention from my instructor – since I assumed my form would play an important role in how quickly I’d see positive results.

During my very first ride, I knew I’d discovered a workout that I would be motivated to keep coming back to. The “cardio-party on a bike” I experienced was challenging, fast-paced and set to great music… and above all I had fun! My instructor, Nina, took the time to show me the basics, correct my form so I’d get the most out of my class, and kept motivating me to reach in and draw upon my inner strength. It didn’t take me long to realize that while I was tapping back during that first class, I was also tapping into my own inner strength and power: while I was working out my body, I was working ‘it’ out in my mind – ‘it’ being whatever was on my mind on a given day.

I gradually began to feel stronger both inside and out. As my confidence grew on the bike, I started noticing that each class was an opportunity to build on the aspects of my life that I wanted more of: my health and wellbeing, my inner strength; and let go of what was no longer serving me: the 40lbs of weight I have lost along the way, or the thoughts that weren’t aligned with my positive mindset. I’ve always believed that that each and every day is filled with a series of opportunities to align my thoughts, words, actions, and energy with the things I want most for my life – and those 45 minutes 3-4 times a week at SoulCycle provide me the perfect chance to recalibrate my body and my mind to tune into why I want to do what I do.

Over the months, I moved from the second row up to the bikes beside the instructor podium, and eventually to the front row, which is where you can find me these days as I take class on my weekly ‘tri-state tour’ with Nina: in New York City; Greenwich, CT; Short Hills, NJ; and, whenever I get the chance in The Hampton’s on Long Island, NY. At these various studios I realize how grateful I am to have such a motivating instructor – and friend – in Nina, work out with an inspirational community of riders each class, and be welcomed and supported by each studio team during my visit. I’m so inspired each class that I asked Nina to share some inspirational words about bliss and radiance on this site.
With Nina at the W27 Studio in New York City

Time To Celebrate
Two classes this Fall epitomize what SoulCycle means to me. The first was my 40th birthday ride in early October. I doubled that evening at the Greenwich studio. It was a motivating, high energy class and Nina played a mix inspired by one of my Spotify playlists to help celebrate the start of my new decade.
Celebrating after my ‘Birthday Double’ at the Greenwich, CT Studio
The second was less than a week after my birthday, when I took class at “The Barn” at Bridgehampton with Nina, and Sunny, a fellow SoulCycler and friend. That day happened to be my second anniversary of taking class at SoulCycle.
With Nina and Sunny after class at ‘The Barn’ in Bridgehampton, NY
Both classes were a celebration of how strong I continue to feel – as I fuel my inner power and my body is strengthened – and reminds me of the importance of the support I am surrounded by during my journey.

Every time I clip into my bike at the start of class, I recall the importance of the mind-body connection, and that’s what keeps me coming back class after class, after 2 years and with over 150 classes to prove it. After each class I feel alive: my body feels strong, energized, and powerful; and my mind is clear. As I continue to step out of my comfort zone ‘on the bike’ (such as lifting heavier weights, adding extra resistance on the wheel, or taking a double class), I find myself gaining confidence when stepping out of my comfort zone ‘off the bike’.

I am reminded that by just “doing the next thing” and “putting one foot in front of the other” in class, I am not just working out, I’m working ‘it’ out. As the saying goes, “when you change your mind, you change your body”- I truly believe it!

How about you? How do you tap into your inner strength and ‘fuel’ your inner power?