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Inside Fraser's SOUL Journey

nstructor FRASER BARKE opens up about the 45 minutes that changed the course of his life forever…

Taking a look back on the past year, I am amazed at how much has changed and how far I’ve come. This time last year, I was in a very depressed and low point in my life; I was fresh out of a relationship that shook me to the core, in therapy, and honestly I had NO IDEA what to do or where to go. I was simply “existing” or “floating” in a somewhat mental purgatory. Many sessions with my therapist helped me through my breakup, but it wasn’t until I woke up one morning in April that I finally decided I needed and craved change. Almost on the same wave of thought, I was planning my trip to NYC. I had an O-1 visa for my modeling that I hadn’t used the past year and it was my golden ticket to escaping my heartbreak and dark memories of Vancouver.

Fast forward to May 1st; my good friend, Chelsea Foss, had just entered into the SoulCycle instructor training program and I had just landed in a vibrant, buzzing New York. Chelsea, elated with her new venture, almost instantly told me to come and audition for SoulCycle. Now, being an instructor at a very different indoor cycling studio in Vancouver, I was quite apprehensive. However, I needed to join a gym or studio and decided to give it a shot.

Chelsea knows me very well and knew exactly what would get me in the door and how to keep me there: Marvin Foster, Jr. I rolled up to the WVLG studio on May 4th, 2016 - 9:30 AM. I was greeted with smiles, open arms, Jonathan Adler scents, fun music, an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere, and Marvin. After making my way into the studio, I clipped in on bike 43 (second row centre), and I was excited to see what Chelsea had been raving about. Marvin got on the podium, introduced himself, made a point to welcome me to my first class, and off we went.

Do I remember exactly what happened in that first class on a physical level? No. What I do remember: wanting more. I have never in my life left a class more empowered, happy, excited, sweaty and amazed. I wanted to be Marvin up on the podium; smiling, leading, cheering, challenging, guiding, helping, empowering and supporting us, all while listening to loud music in a dark room. The energy of the room didn’t seem like 60+ strangers all on bikes riding in silence; it felt like a room of friends, family and support - a true pack. This was exactly what I had needed. This was the class that has, truly, changed my life.

I now sit in my apartment in Toronto, a new city I moved to, for SoulCycle. After that class, I took many, many more that also contributed to my life changing, and I was fortunate enough to go through the training program after Chelsea. I am super proud to be an instructor at SoulCycle’s first international studio, KING. With amazing new friends around me to support me and me support them, the support of my old friends and family from Vancouver, I cannot remember the last time I have been this happy in my life. Hopefully, there is a somebody in my class who is having a slight bump in the road of his or her life and they can have the same experience and feelings I had after my first class at SoulCycle.

Catch classes with FRASER at King Street! Want to ride? Click HERE to grab a series and book a bike.

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