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How One Rider Found Her Confidence (And Lost 50 Pounds in the Process!)

ew York City rider ASHLEY ESCOBAR chases some serious goals at SoulCycle. Read on to see how her life has transformed.

SOUL has truly impacted my life in more ways than I can even say. I've not only lost over 50 pounds, but I have never been happier or more confident!

The journey began in October, when my friend Maddy invited me to join her for a class. Before that point, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had never taken a class before, and was at a low point in my life. I was unhappy, out of shape, and looking for an outlet for the stress in my life.

I struggled to keep up during that first class, not understanding what tap backs were or how I was supposed to keep up while adding dance moves on the bike. Nevertheless, I gave it my all. There was a point in class where I truly thought to myself, 'What did I sign up for?' However, I'll never forget that moment that the instructor came up to me, and had me blow out one of the candles. In that one moment, I felt that my efforts were noticed and cherished through this community that had welcomed me with open arms.

I made it my goal to become a better rider — a goal that wasn’t focused on weight, but instead on gaining the strength and stamina to keep up with the beat (or even double the beat!). I was on this SOUL journey that I had never imagined.

Slowly, after taking more classes, I noticed that I could actually keep up with the instructors and could finally tap it back! My heart and mind were transformed — for those 45 minutes, nothing else mattered but the effort I put on my bike. I began to notice how I would naturally have more energy and be in a better mood after class. I had this feeling that I could take on the world!

Through this journey, I’ve gone from being the person who rode last row, sidebar to riding front row!

I have had major milestones over the past few months, including one particular ride that will forever stay with me: the day I rode on my birthday. It was a ride with one of my favorite instructors, OLIVIA. It was after work and all I needed was a good ride to turn the whole day around. The moment I walked in, the staff greeted me with huge “Happy birthday!” and during class, everyone sang to me! Olivia ended class with her motto, “May you live your life like you ride your bike!” On that day more than any other, I noticed the transformation that had occurred from October to January. At that point I had already begun to gain more confidence, which carried over to my everyday life. I was standing taller and walking with a confidence I had never had before.


Today I have continued to live my life like I ride my bike: with a big smile on my face and giving my best each day!

SOUL has been there for me through many ups and downs these past few months. Now over 50 pounds lighter, I couldn’t have done it without the incredible instructors KENDRA, MIKE PRESS, EMILY L., and Olivia, as their words of encouragement and classes truly helped me become a better rider.

Feeling inspired to ride? Grab a series HERE.
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