If you hate working out, don’t have any motivation to work out, or simply don’t have the time, CycleBar might be for you. I told myself that I would never be one of those “cycling girls” that this is just another trend that will pass. Yet, here I am.
I don’t really enjoy working out. I was an athlete my whole life and I ran track and cross country for 12 years. I ended up getting really sick and it is hard to bounce back to running 10 miles a day after suffering from mono for 6 months and being anemic. On top of that, going to college and discovering alcohol. All that being said, I was never able to bounce back.
Anyway, I still stay active. I like to go for long walks or hikes and if I’m feeling up to it I’ll go for a run, but I don’t like to push my body to do things that it isn’t up for doing. And I have to say, running and hiking are the best sports in the world because the people you meet along the way are the best kinds of people. We are all just out here doing our thing to better ourselves. And there is not a person I pass who doesn’t offer up a smile, wave, or even a “good job”.
My sister, on the other hand, loves to work out. Like, genuinely enjoys being sweaty and in pain. And I wish I could be more like that.
She is a member of the Beachwood CycleBar. Back when they were celebrating their 2 year anniversary and offering a week of free classes she dragged my mom and I, who usually go to Zumba classes, to CycleBar.
The last time I cycled (or went to a spinning class) was when I was in college. They offered free classes in the rec center and it was quite literally the worst thing to happen to me. You had to arrive 30 minutes early just to get a spot in the class, the bikes were impossible to adjust to your specific settings, and everyone was judgmental and far from helpful. So, when my sister told me I was coming to CycleBar with her, you can imagine how hesitant I was.
As soon as I stepped into that building, my entire idea of cycling changed. Everyone was smiling and friendly. The owner came right over and helped me sign in and got me the right size shoe. He showed me to my locker and was patient when I didn’t understand how to make a locker combo. And he said as soon as I was settled he would help me find my bike and adjust it to my needs.
We strapped on our shoes and then headed into the cycling room. It was dark, lit by candles and a few other spotlights in the back. There were rows upon rows of bikes. My sister and I purposely reserved our bikes next to each other (this is something CycleBar offers when you sign up for a class so that riders aren’t fighting to get a spot) and I watched as she adjusted her bike and I did the same to mine. Then she says “okay, get on and click your feet in”. I literally had no idea what this meant other than the fact that my shoes would then be attached to this bike. My sister had no problem getting her shoes to click in but I raised my hand for help and the class instructor came trotting over with a smile ready to assist. THE PEOPLE ARE SO AWESOME.
We got to class early, obviously to get adjusted and to ride for a few minutes in peace for ourselves. I was sitting there thinking “the workout hasn’t even started yet and I’m already loving it. Maybe I will even purchase a package.” Then the workout started and it was hard.
The cool thing about CycleBar is that they dim the lights during the ride, so you are aware that you are surrounded by people but you can also focus on being there for yourself. There is of course an instructor leading the class, but the atmosphere is so free that you are encouraged to do the workout but modify it to meet the needs of you as an individual. You are encouraged to sit back in the saddle to regain strength, take a breath, get some water, and then rejoin the group in the ride. But never stop pedaling as you do this.
Yes, there were points in the class where I thought I might die and towards the end I thought I was actually dead. I was back in the saddle feeling like I couldn’t finish the class and then the instructor said “For some of us, this might be the only 45 minutes we get to ourselves during the day. This is for you.” And at that point, I pulled myself up back into third (out of the saddle, hands on the very front bars) and I pedaled it out for the last interval. Because this is for me, I deserve this. I deserve to show myself that I can rock my ride and finish as strong as I started. So I did.
I left the class on a total high, a high that I haven’t felt since my running days. I don’t like working out, but my ride at CycleBar was a great work out and I left feeling good and feeling good about myself. I will most definitely be back again.
I rocked my ride for myself and you can and should too!
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