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This is How One Rider Dropped 40 Pounds Before His 60th Birthday

LAN SCHONFELD stumbled across a SoulCycle studio last summer and decided to try tapping it back. Now five months later and over 40 pounds lighter, he shares how clipping in has led him to a happier, healthier life…

How did you discover SoulCycle?
At the end of last summer I was up at Lake George with my family. We took a family photo and I looked at myself and realized I was unhappy with my appearance. I looked so unhealthy. A few days later, my wife and I went into Manhattan from Long Island, where we live, just to enjoy the city on a Saturday, and we stumbled upon a SoulCycle in the West Village.

Well, that sounds like fate!
Exactly. We went in and looked around while one of the staffers explained SOUL to us, and it sounded like fun without being too intimidating. That Tuesday, I took my first class in Roslyn, right after Labor Day in September 2016.

Tell us about that first ride.
My first ride was very difficult — I didn’t eat anything before, and I wasn’t prepared. But I loved it!

So… what kept you coming back?
The energy that comes out of the room is incredible. It’s a great experience. SoulCycle is accepting, too. You can go to a therapist for an hour or you can go to SoulCycle for 45 minutes — and frankly, I think you get more out of SOUL than you do out of a therapist.

Plus, I’m competitive. I love challenges like Turn It Up 20, which I did in the fall. But even within challenges like that, there’s always a fun vibe. I ride mostly with Matt Miller and Mark. Sometimes I ride on Sunday mornings with Casi, too — but I love all of the instructors on Long Island. They’re all so great.

Do you ever ride with your wife?
Yes, my wife goes with my about two times a week, although I typically go three to four times every week.

How has SoulCycle impacted you outside of the studio?
It gave me self-esteem. I’m keeping up with 20 and 30 year-olds, and I’ve lost over 40 pounds by riding consistently. I’m going to be 60 years-old! In other fitness classes, you have to keep up with young people. But at SoulCycle, you have the ability to work your way up at your own pace. The entire experience is different. I love that the staff takes the time to show new people the ropes without compromising anyone’s experience and knows everyone’s name. I love that they take the time to show people they care during birthday rides. And I just love the high-power energy. It’s so supportive, and when we’re in class, we’re all one. That’s the beautiful thing — there’s no pressure. It changed my life.

Do you have a Soul Transformation to share? Email! Want to ride? Click HERE to grab a series and book a bike.

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