Meet JARETT BURAK. A musculoskeletal radiologist who is an expert in diagnosing sports-related injuries, Jarett started to sympathize with his patients when he couldn't find an intense fitness regimen that was also kind on his body. But 10 months in, Jarett is still pushing himself at Soul - and the results are impressive. He compares the feeling of a great class to that of a great concert and, we gotta say, we love seeing him rock out on that bike! Here's his Soul Story...
Jarett (rockin' the Rooster shirt) with his wife, Laura!
How were you introduced to SoulCycle?
Last summer I took my first ride while out in East Hampton. A few of my friends who are hardcore SC devotees encouraged me to join them.
Why did you come back?
I had taken a few cycling classes before, but none of them were nearly as intense or fun as SoulCycle. From that first class, I was pretty much hooked and started riding regularly on the Upper East Side. I find the whole vibe, workout, music, instructors, and community extremely compelling and motivating.
We understand you love to see live music. Do you think your love for music helps you relate to Soul?
I have always been a huge fan of live music. I've seen countless concerts, including about 100 Grateful Dead shows over the years, and I find that the best performances have a genuine and tangible connection between the band and audience. On a good night, when there is a positive exchange of energy, magic happens. A similar energy exists at SoulCycle. When everybody locks in with the instructor and the music and mood are right, there is a synergistic effect, and the energy in the room becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
Right now I’m totally addicted and I actually look forward to riding the same way I always looked forward to seeing live music. I try and mix it up each week, usually doing at least one Rooster ride, one evening ride and then maybe a mid-morning ride on the weekend. But no matter what time I take class, I always end up feeling great afterwards and that feeling continues throughout the remainder of the day. That “buzz” is one of the major factors that keeps me coming back.
What have been the effects of riding?
The effects have been remarkable. Since graduating high school, I have put on about a pound a year. 20 plus years later I was carrying around way too much weight and my overall energy level was pretty poor. Even though I had tried to exercise regularly, I would invariably end up injuring something. If I jogged too much, my knee or ankle would start bugging me. If I played too much tennis, my elbow would ache. There was nothing I was able to do consistently and therefore had a very hard time getting back into decent shape. I am a musculoskeletal radiologist at North Shore/LIJ, in Long Island, and see a lot of orthopedic patients who have similar “chronic repetitive microtrauma” type injuries that keep them from reaching their fitness goals. I had become one of my patients and was certainly able to share their frustrations.
But SoulCycle changed everything for me. Although the classes at SC are extremely challenging, they are relatively low impact. I have been able to keep it going for the last 10 months, without any injuries at all. When I first started, I had some trouble keeping up with the pace of the class, but have made continuous and steady progress. Since I started riding regularly, I have lost 25 lbs, dropped 3 inches in my waist size and my overall energy level has gone through the roof. I have never felt better and I credit SoulCycle for being a big part of the positive changes I have seen. Who knows, I may even have the guts to start riding up in the front row!
We heard that you sometimes ride with a group you went to high school with. How did that come about?
That’s true. Initially, I randomly bumped into Erica Cohen Rosenfeld at SC, who I went to Dwight Englewood with in New Jersey. She seems to know everybody at SoulCycle! We both went on to recruit a few more fellow “dwighties” and started organizing group rides. We are all connected on Facebook so it's pretty easy to put together. We ride, sweat, clean up and then usually head out for drinks after class. We jokingly refer to ourselves as the “circle of trust” and it has been great way to reconnect, catch up... and gossip about old times :)
What's it like riding with your wife? How often do the two of you ride together?
My wife, Laura Burak, has always been in much better shape than me. She is a registered dietitian who specializes in healthy eating and weight control, not just with her clients but with me as well! She makes sure we eat healthy (but delicious) food. Besides being an amazing nutritionist, she loves practicing yoga several times a week, but also is always up for a great cardio workout. Schedules permitting, we ride together and she is starting to getting hooked. We recently took a class together on the morning of our third anniversary and we both agreed there could not have been a better way to start the day.
You inspire us. What inspires you?
At SoulCycle that's an easy question to answer. Firstly, the instructors. They are all great, but I have gravitated toward Sue, Ayana, and Jenny. They are all friendly, approachable and bring their own unique perspectives on fitness and music to the table. Sue is a total rock star jedi who has incredible taste in music. Ayana is a dance party and hip-hop queen (and incidentally has a great singing voice). Jenny has an incredible amount of positive energy and I find her classes to be the some of the most challenging and therefore most rewarding. I also recently started riding with Ben T. and think his class rocks as well. Whoever is leading the pack, you can count on them to bring their “A game” and encourage the riders to reach their highest potential.
Additionally, I am inspired by my fellow classmates. Trying to keep up with the people around you is not always easy, but it pushes you to improve each time you ride. I also want to give a shout out to the people who work the front desk on the UES. They help set the whole vibe by being as kind, accommodating, and professional as you could ask for, even though they are obviously very busy servicing what, at times, can be a quite demanding clientele.
Personally, I am inspired by my wife, who is not only an incredible life partner but an amazing mother to our 22 month old daughter Lola. Finally and most importantly, I am inspired by Lola. It has been amazing to watch her grow over the last two years and she teaches me something new every day. She loves to dance to the music they play at SoulCycle. I try and remember songs from class and find them on Spotify and, when the time is right, we crank it up at home, dance around and have a great time. She has never-ending energy and, thanks to SC, I can NOW keep up with her!
Jarett and Lola!
Questions or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org!