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How One Resilient Rider Found a 'Sanctuary' at SoulCycle

orCal rider Elizabeth Mcinnis came to SoulCycle under heartbreaking circumstances. Read on to see how she found her support system on the bike.

A little over a year and a half ago, I clipped in at SOUL for the first time. My life has not been the same since.

In February 2016, my friend dragged me to SoulCycle kicking and screaming. Even after we signed in for class, I tried to worm my way out, offering to pay for her class and wait at nearby coffee shop. Thank goodness she didn’t take the bribe — the next 45 minutes were by far the most fun I've ever had in a workout class. I was high on sweat and couldn't wait to return.

I excitedly made plans to ride with a dear friend just two weeks later. Sadly, the universe had other plans.

My friend suddenly passed away a few days before our ride. In a twist of fate, her memorial was scheduled for the day we were supposed to take class. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to show up to the studio, knowing that she wouldn’t be on the bike next to me.

I ended up going to that class before the memorial and I am so thankful that I did. It helped me realize that SoulCycle was a place where I could go and have 45 minutes to myself, where I did not have to put on a strong front for the people around me. I was free to allow myself to feel everything I needed to in order to process the loss.

In the year and a half (and 400+ rides) since, SoulCycle has become more than just a sanctuary or escape. It has become a community that I can rely on. SoulCycle has introduced to some of the most amazing human beings.

The staff at my two home studios are unbelievable. Walking into PALO or SOMA and seeing the smiling faces of the front desk and cleaning staff can turn my day around. It's obvious how much they care about their riders’ experiences.

The Bay Area instructors are so talented and supportive. They sure do know how to throw a party — while still making sure you get a good workout.

MATTHEW’s classes are always so motivating and remind us that is takes the most strength to be kind. Remembering to be kind to one another is something that the world can always use a bit more of and Matthew makes sure to do that.

MK gives us permission to be as weird as we want to be in class. She creates a safe space to live your whole life, even if that means you are singing along to every lyric of every guilty pleasure song on the playlist. I always leave her class motivated to live my life fully with no regrets.

ANDREW is one of the most caring, generous individuals I have ever met and it translates into the way he teaches his classes. The authenticity he brings to every class is inspiring. He is incredibly vulnerable during his rides, which gives his riders permission to do the same. Andrew’s classes are where I found my squad and I will be forever grateful for that. I've been lucky to call him my SoulCycle instructor for the past year and a half, but I'm even more thankful to call him my friend.

The people who were once just other riders on the bikes next to me have become part of my West Coast family. We have celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, milestone rides, and everything in between together. They are the most supportive, incredible humans who are always down for a good adventure, whether it be a 90-minute SoulChallenge, an hour long Uber ride to Pleasanton, or a cruise trip. I love them all dearly.

SoulCycle has given me so much to be thankful for. Yes, there are the obvious benefits of weight loss (over 65 pounds!) and more energy, but at the end of the day, I am most grateful for the people it has brought into my life. SoulCycle truly is an Army of Love.

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