Here on the Soul Blog, we wanted to introduce our Soul Community to some of our WEHO ROCKSTARS. And it only seemed fitting to start with NOA SHAW. Noa is covered in tattoos and has the gravelly voice of a New Yorker, but after just a few minutes of talking to him you understand why his nickname is "Poppa." He radiates love and is passionate about helping people make their lives better. In fact, he asked that we include his email address in case anyone needed anything and wanted to get in touch with him (you can find it at the end of this post). In addition to being an incredibly loving person, Noa has been one of our most consistent riders. He has ridden every day since WEHO opened. We know what you're thinking... rockstar is an understatement.
DAYS WEHO'S BEEN OPEN: 45
RIDES NOA HAS TAKEN: 55
WEIGHT LOST: 16 lbs
How did you hear about SoulCycle?
Eight years ago I was living next door to Stacey Griffith. I knew her in passing and I knew she was a trainer, but we didn't know each other very well. At the time I was 245-250 lbs and I was miserable. One day, I got out of my car as Stacey was getting out of her car on the opposite side of street. I pointed to my stomach and said, "Can you take care of this?" And she said "Yes, I can." The very next day she started training me at 8am. And the day after that, she took me to her spin class at Equinox.
In that first class, I started setting up my bike in the back of the room because I was a back row kind of guy. In school I'd sit in the back of the class and cause trouble. On the bus, I'd sit in the back of the bus and cause trouble.That's just how I was. Stacey started teaching and although I wasn't in shape, I was still competitive. I played sports as a kid and those competitive feelings hadn't gone away. I was starting to get frustrated, but Stacey said something important. She said, "Everyone in here is an athlete." And that just sparked a fire in me. I had never thought of myself that way and suddenly I wanted to ride like the people in the front row. I was inspired by Stacey's words.
From then on, we spent every day together and I took 3 spin classes a week. I went from 240 lbs to 185 lbs and Stacey was healing me physically and spiritually. Everything in my life was starting to change and get better. My work, my attitude. Every class was a spiritual experience and there was never a day that I didn't want to go. I couldn't get enough -- class was so healing and so soothing. And after a month, I was keeping up and I was catching the beat. Stacey was helping all of us get rid of our negative energy and our community started to grow. When Stacey moved to NY, I heard about SoulCycle. I got to take a class in NY and it was like being home.
When did you start coming to SoulCycle WEHO?
I had just finished an intense 12 weeks with a client, working with him 12 hours a day. It took every last drop out of me and when the job was over, I decided to treat myself to underwear from H&M. I came up the escalator and there was SoulCycle on opening day. I walked in and introduced myself to Lisa (the manager), Julie and Elizabeth. And it turned out Stacey was flying later in that night. I took a class that day and I've ridden every day since.
When did you get your SoulCycle tattoo?
SoulCycle opened on a Friday and I got the tattoo on Sunday. I'm covered in tattoos and when I saw the wheel everything clicked. I took a class Fri, Sat, and Sun and that night I called up my boy and said 'I gotta get something real quick.' He put the wheel on my calf and that was it. To me it's a reminder that the more I spin the better person I am, the better I feel, the more love I can spread, the more hope I can give.
You've tried a lot of different instructors. How do you choose your classes?
My work schedule fluctuates and I never know when I'm going on a 12 week gig, so I try to take a lot of doubles. This week I'm working from 10-6, so I'll take the 8:30AM class everyday. Whoever teaches the 8:30 I'll take it. I trust any instructor there. My heart will always be with Stacey but the I love all the teachers at SoulCycle.
Kym Perfetto has also been an angel. She's my new mini-Stacey and she hepled guide me in my first month at SoulCycle. Her care for my life has been amazing and I try to take class with her whenever I can.
Would you ever consider becoming an instructor?
I'm thinking about coming to NY and training. I'm currently a life coach and counselor. My motto is "I'm here to help..." I try to change people's lives. You can't think yourself into feeling good but you can act yourself into feeling better. There's a spiritual solution to what I'm doing. If I can combine that with making people feel better in a physical way, that's a dream. I'm a believer in body, mind and spirit. It's like a three legged stool -- you can't stand up with just two of the legs. I know that if I can change, anyone can. In a short amount of time, I've changed my life drastically. Becoming sober changed me changed my mind and my spirit, but SoulCycle was the third leg on my stool.
Do you have a specific goal that your working toward?
I'm actually training for a Tough Mudder competition in July. It's out in Snow Valley in July so it will be hot and it's at a high elevation. So when I'm riding at SoulCycle and my legs are burning, I think about that race and turn up the resistance just a little bit more.
Also, I'm single and a big part of my desire to change is that I want to be married and be a father. I can't be a father or a husband with 50 extra pounds and I can't attract the type of woman I want when I'm sitting around being stagnant. It takes action to manifest the changes I want to see in my life.
Do your friends think your crazy for exercising so much?
No, they see the change in me and their jaw drops. No one thinks I'm crazy. I've gone from size 38 to 34 in 45 days. SoulCycle has given me a new life and people can see that change. Everywhere I go, people comment on it.
What makes SoulCycle different from other exercise routines?
I always say there's spinning and then there's SoulCycle. Every class is an experience, a moment in time, and you can't explain that to people. I just tell my friends to come in and take a class. You can't understand it by yourself. When you're in a gym and you're on a machine, you don't take notice of each other. But when you take a class at SoulCycle you ask everyone how their ride was and you're always concerned with other people. There's something beautiful about that. We help each other to better our lives. And everyone there is just happy and cool. There are always 5 of the most beautiful women behind the counter -- people are always laughing and hugging. When I go in, I never want to leave.
And I have to give mad props to (WEHO's manager) Lisa because she is so thoughtful and her energy just radiates down. Sal and Michael are amazing, too. They're all great. Everybody that works there you want to be friends with. You want to go do something for them. And I have to give a shout-out to Julie and Elizabeth. They've shown me such kindness over the last 45 days. I'm filled with gratitude.