Soul Story: Trevor Martin
August 31, 2015
At SoulCycle, Bay area rider TREVOR MARTIN found a space to gain mental clarity while growing stronger with every ride. He recently embarked on a 30-day challenge to tap it back for a month straight — and now he's on day 39. Here's his Soul Story…
Trevor with instructor Bea Del Rosario at SoulCycle SoMa
What first brought you to SoulCycle?
I first went to SoulCycle as part of a corporate event organized by my friend Layne (who goes all the time). I had never been much of an indoor cycling person, or a class person for that matter, so it was a new experience. The fact I knew so many others in the room made it much easier to try.
And? How was the first ride?
Physically, I felt like the first time you go on an amusement park ride and you are really tense holding on. I placed a lot of weight on the handlebars and all attention went to staying out of the saddle. The rest of the exercises were an afterthought. The funny thing was, despite how technically lacking those first few rides were, it was a great experience. The amount of stuff going on in that room — the music, the other people, the instructor, the exercises, the lights — made it very hard to focus on anything but riding the bike. So despite physical challenges, the mental part was good from the beginning. It is obviously designed that way and it showed.
How has SOUL impacted you?
In lots of ways. Most importantly the classes allow me to clear my head. Most of us have a lot to think about between work, personal life, and other interests. The SoulCycle classes have all the elements to drown out the noise of daily life: motivation, stimulation and control. The control aspect was especially important to me, as despite the community and the instructor, I was able to decide how hard to work. There are many things that happen to us that we have no control over, but here was 45 minutes where you had complete control yet did not have to think about anything external to that room. I put a massive premium on that. It is also worth mentioning the instructors and other people in the class (whether I knew them or not). The only thing better than one person on a bike in a room with no distractions and a simple goal (finish the workout in best way possible) is 60 people with the same goal. Everyone has his or her own style, but is getting to the same endpoint.
So true. How else has it affected you?
Physical changes are the easiest to describe - I lost some weight, my pants fit better, and other trips to the gym have become easier because the cycling really does improve core strength. I am also really good at lifting 3-pound to 5-pound weights (working on more applications for this). Mentally it has given me an outlet to clear my head. Up until this point, I hadn't found anything that allowed me the luxury of a clean mental slate (thanks, SoulCycle!). The people I have met are absolutely memorable and interesting. It is a great balance of working toward personal goals and sharing in the ones of the people around you. Lastly, I have a much better selection of music on Spotify and Soundcloud. Earlier in the year I wrote down some stuff I wanted to accomplish and one of those things was to find a hobby that didn't involve work or financial areas of my life. I was glad to find something like SoulCycle that serves so many purposes.
Tell us about your plan to ride 30 days straight?
The 30 days is actually 39 now and I am not sure how far it will go. Probably until a trip to a city with no SoulCycle. It started because I went 10 straight days and wondered how long I could go without hitting a wall or deciding it was time for a break. I was also turning 32 in mid-August so there was some significance to doing my age. It was one part self-discipline and two parts self-indulgence (as going to a class for 33 days is not a usual activity for most). I will say that through going I met many people who ride all the time, some every day. The great thing is, I'm sure if you talk to all those people, the motivations and experiences will be completely unique. Those other people in the room all deserve a lot of credit and their experiences as just important as mine. I am being vocal about what I experienced but everyone that goes has a good story.
How do you feel?
The 30 days was a challenge, but a positive one. Some days were better than others. Like most things, the lineup is not a straight one, so you have to give yourself a break when the legs aren't working as well as the day before. I was in DC for 4 days and went straight from the airport onto a bike to keep things going, so there were some logistical challenges. I spent a lot of time washing gym clothes (Tide Sport is good) and spraying my shoes. I doubled up on certain days and those were probably the most physically challenging (that or the morning after seven hours at a birthday party). I have respect for the instructors and their ability to be unwaveringly positive. At times I would ask for criticism after class, and it just isn't in the vocabulary. It was sort of funny, they would just high-five me. But in all seriousness, instructors gave great help during class and that is how I learned to do it. I am still trying to improve, but generally feel way ahead of that day when I was hanging onto the handlebars trying to keep up.
Seeing so many of the same people there often and getting to know them shed light on the fact that it isn't just you riding that bike and trying to achieve a goal. Going to classes routinely helped me gain a deeper respect for the drive of others to accomplish great things - inside of the room with the bikes and outside of it. I don't think I would have had same level of appreciation if I wasn't at SoulCycle all the time during the last month.
Anything you want to add?
Just thanks to the instructors I went to most consistently and got to know - all great people and very dynamic: Bea, MK, Natalie and Tiffany.
Do you have a Soul Story to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org! To get a series and book a bike, click HERE!
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