Moment of truth: For the past few years, I have experienced a bit of FOMO wishing that I was at Coachella. Well, like the wise say, “Patience is a virtue,” and my time finally came to attend one of the most coveted festival weekends on the West Coast [insert praise hands emoji here] — and boy, it sure was one heck of an enlightening experience.
Before heading to California, I packed my suitcase with outfits to get me through action-packed days and nights filled with delicious festival bites and, of course, partying. What I didn’t quite prepare was my body. Between work, personal life, and being set on having a few cute looks to rock, I completely slacked off on my usual workout routines and my diet during the week leading up to Coachella Weekend 1. Physically I was zapped, and I hoped that I could somehow get in a little exercise once I reached my hotel.
When I arrived and settled in, I had a chance to head over to the American Express Platinum House at the Parker in Palm Springs for a day party that included good food, cool photo opps, a DJ set by Hannah Bronfman, and an amazing performance by rising pop queen Bebe Rexha. However, my gaze was immediately drawn to a huge group of SoulCycle bikes stationed underneath a tent of bright white balloons. I thought to myself, Are people really taking SoulCycle classes in 90-degree weather? As crazy as it seemed, my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me.
I did a little asking around and found out that morning weekend classes were being held exclusively at the American Express Platinum House with SoulCycle senior master instructor and superstar Stacey Griffith. Without hesitation, I managed to get a spot in one of the Sunday classes being offered. I knew it might be tricky considering I had plans to spend most of Saturday night watching artists such as Lady Gaga and Gucci Mane rock the crowds at Coachella. But I had a pep talk with myself and promised that I would make it over to the spinning class I signed up for.
After having what I would call a pretty wild Saturday night out, I woke up groggy, sluggish, and tired. I knew the one thing that would help to regulate my body was lots of water to flush out anything from the previous evening that may have been slowing me down. After downing a huge bottle of water, eating a small bowl of strawberries, and throwing my hair into two ponytails, I slipped into my workout gear and was ready to roll.
Once I arrived, I took a glance at Stacey and her super-fit physique instantly made me nervous about keeping up yet motivated to finally take a class with her (Stacey’s New York City classes usually book up fast). After pedaling to an amazing set of tunes, sitting, standing, and rocking side-to-side on the bike, to my surprise, my body didn’t feel as worn down as I thought it would be.
In moments when I did feel worn down or like my body was fighting for a break, I focused on Stacey and her welcoming look of approval. It may have been a mental thing too, because everything she says during class seems to make you feel like you are ruling the world and are stronger than you think.
She would shout, “Find it,” inspiring me to push for my happy place while working out. Another one of Stacey mantra’s, “Two turns from zero,” is a play on words referring to the resistance dial and riders nearing their sweet spot while pedaling along. Two Turns From Zero is also the title of her new book on reaching higher fitness goals. The superstar instructor closed class by reassuringly saying, “We’re heading home now. All the hard stuff is over.” All I could think was, Wow, if I just got through that I can do anything else I put my mind to — even when it’s hard.
Once it was all said and done, I couldn’t help but wonder what advice Stacey gives to spinning newbies, especially someone taking a SoulCycle class for the first time and during Coachella. Her response: “It’s really about exercising each day whether it’s walking or 10 minutes of something similar, and always remember to hydrate.” I began to gleam with happiness and fulfillment while talking with Stacey, and she noted, “I really love seeing the happiness and joy on riders’ faces.”
As I towel-dried and finished the last few sips from my water bottle, I noticed how renewed my spirit felt, and that was a really good feeling to have. Biggest lesson learned? Push yourself to keep in line with your fitness goals even when you don’t feel like it. Your body will thank you bigtime.
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