FIND IT! With Angela
This is not about a class. It's not about a bike. It's about YOU. Master Instructor ANGELA shares what FIND IT! means to her.
How did you get into SoulCycle?
I’m a mom, I’m a wife. I have two boys. After I had my first baby, everything was great and I felt great. I decided I was going to stay home and be a mom. I retired from running track professionally. After my second baby, I struggled with post-partem depression. I battled it tough — in a big way. And the root of that for me was battling purpose. I was feeling like I wasn’t fulfilling my purpose and my calling in life. One day my husband came home and was like "Babe, there’s this yoga and spin studio down the street. I already talked to the owner — they’re waiting for you. It’s time to get back out there. You were created to be an encourager and you ARE an encourager." I get up, I go to this studio and started teaching yoga and spin. This was before SoulCycle was in California.
Had you ever taught before?
I was a coach. I was a trainer. I was a speaker. An encourager. A motivator. But I decided not to do anything professionally and simply raise my kids. I just thought that was what I was supposed to do and that was going to be my story. And it wasn’t — that wasn’t my story. So, I started teaching spin and yoga. For me the platforms just changed. I’ve always been an encourager, a coach, someone who inspires, but the platforms changed over the years. But over time, it was spin and yoga. And not long after that, SoulCycle comes knocking and says you know, we’re opening in California. For me, it was about finding the marriage between who I am and who I already was as a coach and motivator and what SoulCycle is. Then that groove just started to happen. I found myself within that groove.
Did you find it immediately?
I didn’t find it immediately. It doesn’t come immediately. But what happened was, once I stopped trying to be like everyone else, and was OK with being who I am as a coach, it was a wrap. It was all good. Like as soon as I stopped trying to be what I thought they wanted me to be, and just allowed the gifts and talents that were in me to come out, that was it.
Do you feel like the power of SoulCycle and what goes on in within those studio walls lets that come out in everyone?
The miracle of SoulCycle is we’re on a bike going nowhere and yet we’re going higher. We’re on a bike going nowhere and yet we’re riding to our healing. We’re on a bike going nowhere and yet we’re riding toward our freedom. We’re on a bike going nowhere and yet we’re riding toward our redemption. We’re on a bike going nowhere and yet all of a sudden our dreams are made valid. SoulCycle is the opportunity for me to walk in my purpose. And me walking in my purpose is encouraging you and everyone else to walk in their purpose. And that’s the beauty of it. It’s such a blessing that I get to walk in my purpose, which is what broke the depression off of me. And that’s the beauty of SoulCycle. I’m allowed to spread my wings. I’m allowed to be me. That’s so dope. SoulCycle knows there’s something in you, there’s greatness in you — now spread your wings. And that’s beautiful. That’s absolutely beautiful.
What have you learned from your riders?
As much as we as instructors give, our riders give more. It’s absolutely reciprocal. They’ve demonstrated to me courage. They’ve demonstrated to me resilience. They have shown me unconditional love. They have lifted me up when I didn’t think I could lift my own hands. They’ve made me a better person. They’ve made me a better friend. They’ve made me a better mom. They’ve made me a better wife. They’ve changed me. Because they come in, and what happens when you’re in the room and why it’s such a powerful thing. What happens is, my mom taught me this definition of intimacy, but intimacy means "in to me you see." In to me you see. So, in a room, a dark room, to candlelight, riding to the beat of the music, there’s intimacy. I’m able to be honest. They’re able to be honest. And because of that honesty, because of that intimacy, we’re able to grow. I’m able to grow. You see what I’m saying? It’s all about them. It’s about them allowing me the space. It wasn’t until I was in a SoulCycle room where boldness dropped on me. And it was OK to be me completely.
When you project your words and positive statements of reinforcements, what do you feel? You teach a lot of classes. Does it always feel powerful?
It is. Every single time. It’s never not. That’s the crazy thing. It’s unbelievable. It’s never not like that. And the beauty of it is it’s never scripted, like I never know what the message is going to be. You just say, I’m open — use me. You know what I mean? Sometimes the message doesn’t drop until the last song. And all of a sudden it’s like BAM! Often times, you’re up there giving these messages and as I’m saying them, it resonates that those words were for me too. I’m just standing up there honest. And they’re standing in front of me, sitting in front of me, on a bike honest. And that’s all we’re doing, is being in a room, sweaty and honest.
Before we sat down to chat, you told me something very interesting. You said, ‘you can walk in one way and walk out another’. I think the interesting thing about SoulCycle is it gives you the tools you need to….live your life.
That same thing you’re willing to give on a bike, that same discomfort that you’re willing to experience, those same imperfections — all of that that you’re willing to experience that you’re taking to the next level — if you’re willing to experience that in the room, you’re willing to experience that outside of the room. So the room is just training for life. The way you do one thing is the way you do all things. So the way you ride your bike is the way you live your life. So, if you’re willing to go through some stuff to get higher when you’re in this room, you’re going to be willing to go through some stuff to get higher outside this room, and that’s all that matters. I don’t care how dope you are on the bike. I actually don’t even care. I care about the heart behind it, the effort behind it, your willingness to try. There’s an ingredient in your try that will take you to the next level.
Talk to me about this "breakthrough" moment…
The breakthrough for me is spiritual. When I stop thinking that it’s about me and my own ability and what I can do. And the breakthrough for me happens when I rely on the one who created me and put me here. When I get out of my head and realize that it’s not all in my own strength. When you can open it up to something bigger, to me that’s where the breakthrough is. It’s when you are able to literally have the audacity to believe that there’s something bigger. When you literally have the audacity to believe that there is something greater for your life. When you literally have the audacity to dream bigger than your circumstances. Like that’s the breakthrough. To have the audacity to believe. You won’t ever have your best life if you don’t even have the audacity to believe it’s possible. You have to have the audacity to even believe it’s possible.
And what can you find at SoulCycle?
You can find your community. What I love to say about community is it ushers in unity.
There are so many times in that room where we’re bridging that gap, where we’re reaching across the aisle. You can find that unity in that room. You can find that unconditional love. There’s no judgement in that room. The kind of love that holds no record of wrong. The kind of love that is slow to anger and quick to forgive. You can find that peace that surpasses all understanding. You may walk in feeling a certain way and walk out with peace. You can find a super-natural joy. How about all of a sudden you’re looking at the glass half full and not half empty. How about all of a sudden you are cleaning off the glasses. Maybe you’ve been looking through these lenses, maybe looking at life through these lenses that are foggy. All of a sudden you wipe the fog and you’re looking out and it’s bright and it’s clear and you’re enthusiastic and you feel blessed and you’re grateful for the breath in your lungs and the function in your limbs. All of a sudden you walk out you find attitude and gratitude. How about that? Anything and everything you can ever imagine is in the room. That’s the miracle. That’s what you can find.