Inside Joey's Soul Journey
March 24, 2015
NYC instructor JOEY COPPEDGE opens up about going from struggling on the sidebar to rocking the podium — and what inspired him to push his limits and pursue true happiness...
What first brought you to SoulCycle?
I had moved to NYC, found my dream job in fashion and a perfect boyfriend to match. On the surface I had the picture perfect ideal of what moving here was all about... until it wasn't. A couple of years passed and I realized I had no idea what made me feel authentic happiness. I actually hated my job, and I made the hard decision to just scrap it all and start fresh and quit everything. In doing so, I started riding at SoulCycle and, after a while, I started to find sanctuary in the dark. It was my safe space. It grounded me.
So what was your first ride like?
I was excited to try it out and nervous I'd be horrible and embarrassed but went for it full force. I don't remember a thing about it besides the fact that I hoped no one was noticing me not keeping up. Afterward I couldn't shut up; I was high on life! Nothing had made me feel that way ever before! It was literally "all the feelings!" I couldn't imagine doing it all over again but couldn't wait to either.
But you did keep riding…
Yes. At first what kept me coming back was the experience of getting it all in so quickly and getting the same
high every time. But eventually (and it took a while), I started feeling really successful at the ride itself. I promised myself every time I was going to at least try everything the instructor said because I knew the 45 minutes was going to be over so fast.
What inspired you to become an instructor?
I had always feared what was ahead for me — What would I amount to? How much was I going to earn? Where was I going to work? Who was I going to be in the world? With SoulCycle I had finally become unafraid of my future by realizing it doesn't hurt to just be where you are right now - not just physically but spiritually. My place in that room had become authentic joy and purpose. I had to spread the love!
Is it different from being a rider?
It's not. Now my bike just sits on a podium! I'm still a part of our community, I still struggle, I still have to push myself really hard to grow stronger. Now I just lead the pack and get to wear a headset! I'm right there in my safe space every time!
What is your biggest inspiration?
I'm going to give you probably the most common answer: my mom. Everything I've ever done in life, whether I ended up failing, or making it, my mom encouraged me, believed in me, and cheered me on the whole way. She would never let me give up on something I began and continues to cheer me on (even when she's in the back row doing her own thing!) Everyone should recognize and acknowledge who their cheerleader is. I LOVE YOU, MOM!
Awww, so sweet. Do you have a mantra that inspires you?
"It's not about perfect, it's about effort."
Catch classes with Joey at FIDI, 19TH Street, West 27th Street and, starting this week, Brooklyn Heights! Questions or comment? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!