Dear Soul Community, we'd like to introduce you to rider, renegade, rockstar, and SoulCycler extraordinaire... SUSAN ROBINSON! Having started her Soul journey on "the dark side of 40," Susan has become an inspiration to riders, instructors, and even the Soul founders! A New Orleans native with a wonderful Southern accent, Susan says waiting for class is like being a child on Christmas morning. She also claims if she goes too long without Soul she starts to get a little twitchy. Well, if we didn't see Susan in our studios every day, we'd get a little twitchy too. Check out her amazing Soul story!
When did you start riding at Soul?
I started my journey in the summer of 2010 on the dark side of 40 and carrying the downside of the good life (eating out and drinking lots of wine!) on my waistline. My self-confidence was shaky and my plight was compounded by a stressful job. My friend, Jennifer, brought me to a SoulCycle class at the Barn – I was AWFUL but loved it!
How did you turn your fitness regime around?
The first person at SoulCycle who helped me get on the right path was MB. She made me believe I could do anything! I met MB because I was always early for class and after signing in I would sit on the veranda. MB would get there early too and one day she just started talking to me. She rescued me from the brink of despair. You see I’ve never been an athlete by nature. I didn’t want to become a decrepit old person, but exercise is work for me. I had no confidence, but MB made me believe I could do anything. She showed me how to add more resistance, how to ride with the pack, how to do real push-ups. She completely inspired me.
How often do you ride now?
I ride every day. Monday through Thursday, I ride in TriBeCa. Friday I ride in Union Square and on weekends I double out in East Hampton. I love it in East Hampton – it’s like summer camp for adults. I’m thrilled it’s open year round.
What kind of effect has all that riding had?
It’s completely boosted my confidence. Now when I ride I feel like a gazelle named Giselle. That’s huge for me being a non-athlete. And while I didn’t set out on this journey worrying about my pants’ size, that change has been a pleasant surprise. All my fat turned to muscle and I dropped from a size 10 to a size 6. We can all be a bit body dysmorphic, but it's been great to have fellow riders who haven’t seen you all summer tell you that you look great. I was in despair physically and mentally, so the added benefit of having people notice that change is such a treat.
Tell us about riding with Lovey…
My initial experiences with SoulCycle were so wonderful that I encouraged my boyfriend (aka Lovey) to ride with me. We both have busy careers, and Lovey is also a parent, so our time together is precious. We started having cycling dates and now that’s our time. He is a true athlete. Before trying it, I think he thought Soul was a little too girly, but all it took was one class and he was hooked. He even got me a Soul iphone case for Valentines Day. A lot of people don’t want their partners to see them with a red face or their hair messed up, but Lovey doesn’t care about that. Couples who ride separately don’t know what they’re missing!
What would you like to tell people who are feeling like you did back in 2010?
When you’re on the dark side of 40, it gets harder and harder every year. But I’d really like to encourage people like me that they can do it too. Less than two years into this process, I’m riding doubles, holding 4-lb weights and doing 30 push-ups at a time! I know that if I can do it, anyone can.
I also want to let everyone know how grateful I am. There are so many wonderful SoulCycle people (instructors, riders, staff) who have crossed my path and helped me become stronger and more soulful. I ride with Kym and Daniel every week, but I’ve also had amazing classes with Lori A, Mireya, String, Rique, Christine, and Ben T. The staff is amazing, and I wish I had unlimited space to thank everyone because there are so many people who make my day every day! I especially want to thank Elizabeth for giving me this forum to let everyone know how much they mean to me. Almost two years later, I am still having the ride of my life – on and off the bike!