Why I’m not ashamed of my SoulCycle addiction

There is nothing more cathartic than doing synchronized push-ups on a bike to Hotline Bling with enthusiastic strangers

By daylight I am what you would call a typical NYU studio art student: I dress head to toe in black clothing that’s covered with paint splotches, my hair is tied up in a messy bun with paintbrushes sticking out of it and my headphones are in my ears all day.

By early mornings and evenings, though, you can find me in Lululemon bike pants and a tank top with writing on it reading “cult, posse, community, tribe, warrior, SoulCycle”, as I indulge in my expensive, dirty little secret, which I wouldn’t dare mention in the NYU Barney building art studios.

Additionally due to the morbid subject matter of my paintings, no one would ever expect me to say, “I have a SoulCycle addiction.”

So whether you are a hater, a first row rider or someone who has no idea what SoulCycle even is, let me give you the breakdown of what I believe to be the greatest workout/solution for instant happiness in Manhattan.

Stepping into the stationary bike studio is like walking into a cloud of good vibes. And I mean it: literally everyone is smiling, music is blasting and the instructor is getting everyone pumped up by saying things like, “THIS IS YOUR TIME” or “YOU ARE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON A JOURNEY!” I promise you, there is no where else on the streets of New York where you will get this much encouragement.

It’s a room where you can throw away your stress about studying for finals, figure out what the fuck you want to do with your life and find out when you are going to tell your roommate they need to pull their hair out of the clogged shower drain.

As you begin to pedal, the instructor tunes you into your body and the music as you climb a metaphorical mountain. I’m telling you, there is nothing more cathartic than doing synchronized push-ups on a bike to Drake’s Hotline Bling with a bunch of enthusiastic strangers who will never know your name.

It may sound ridiculous, but not only are you encouraged — you are taking care of your body, boosting your endorphins and ultimately feeling like a better version of yourself.

Though naturally, due to its cost and what people believe to be a basic crowd, SoulCycle is looked down on as a cult of overly cheery, entitled, annoying people. Beyond the NYU art students there is a world of people who are quick to make fun of my never-ending love affair with SoulCycle, shutting down any positive reasons for why one would go. These include:

SoulCycle is overpriced

Yes, a class is $34 dollars. That is not cheap whatsoever and for many it is completely unaffordable. I can’t say I can afford to go to SoulCycle more than once a week, though upon making it a priority in my life I received many gift cards for special occasions from friends and family.

Additionally, take a look at your expenses — I’m not saying a little indulgence is a bad thing, but if you tend to be a student who blows through their money on cigarettes, alcohol or weed, you may very well be spending more than $34 dollars on non-necessities. And probably one single SoulCycle class would push you to eliminate just a little bit of the wasteful shit we can’t help but pour into our bodies.

All they play is shitty pop music


If you want classic rock, dubstep, techno/house, throwbacks, pop, rap, country, alternative indie-manbun-only-drink-black-coffee-music there is an instructor for you and you can check their playlists out online before class. And even better there are instructors who will blend every genre into a 100 percent vegan smoothie of badass music for you. Sorry to get all organic on you there, but talking juice is just something that comes with being a part of the soul crew.

And about pop music… if you can’t get any joy out of hearing Justin Bieber’s What Do You Mean, do you even have a soul?

SoulCycle is the epitome of basic

As an art student, I’m going to take a moment to explain that there is no such thing as basic. Basic is just a term for anything that the general population likes. Doing something “normal” will not make you less creative, less cool or less liked.

As an avid SoulCycler and Starbucks drinker I can tell you that doing basic things has not once hindered my ability to be the weird, successful, creative painter I am today. Creativity is internal and cannot be purchased. If you believe you need to avoid basic things to believe you are interesting, you probably will never succeed.

You are only going to be happy once you start doing what YOU want (which is probably something a SoulCycle instructor once told me).

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