MEET THE INSTRUCTOR
Which Ride Changed Joey’s Life?
March 15, 2017
ould you choose one single SoulCycle class that transformed your life? Instructor JOEY COPPEDGE ponders the answer and comes up with some amazing memories…
I’d be lying if I said I had only one standout “ah-ha moment” in a SoulCycle class. I mean, we’re talking about narrowing down my journey from thousands of classes, a lot of failures, so much sweat-soaked laundry, and (in the voice of Planet Earth’s David Attenborough) to the one class that changed the my life.
From the time I first clipped in, I could only fantasize about what it must be like on the podium. Not that I wanted to do it — it seemed terrifying and literally breathtaking but still somehow so alluring. After months of toying with the idea of auditioning, finally taking the leap, auditioning TWICE, and committing to this life change, riding the podium went from a far-fetched delusion to a desperate dream! So I guess the SoulCycle class that changed my life could be the time Master Instructor Melanie Griffith finally asked me to ride her podium. Very few moments in my life have I actually felt pride for myself at that level, the kind of pride you work. But was that THE class?
I remember vividly climbing a hill in Rique’s class; only we weren’t just climbing a slow hill, we were almost playing a game where every time we climb from the saddle, we’d add just a touch of resistance. We were so entranced in this repetition that by the time the song ended we had tricked ourselves out of doubting what we could handle and opening our eyes to what would be our new limits. That’s where my mantra, “Who’s to say you can’t handle more?’ comes from. This really could be THE class that changed my life. Every day I encounter yet another opportunity to embrace resistance (or setbacks, or arguments, or painful conversations, etc.)
Or maybe it was that random last-minute choice to jump into one of Janet’s classes only to be spanked into such a vulnerable state that I remember sobbing uncontrollably for the first time ever. Janet has this way of making you do things you always tell yourself you can’t. After weights, with the lights out, we climbed (probably to Madonna’s “Substitute For Love”) and she asked if we ever felt like we didn’t belong, or if we ever wanted to do things differently. She finally rhetorically responded by asking if we ever thought we were supposed to carve our own way instead. That was a big eye-opener and the beginning of a lot of healing. Until then, I felt shame in so many areas of truth. It’s hard to say, but was that THE SoulCycle class that changed my life?
That was all before I was even an instructor. Now every class I teach changes my life whether it’s through connecting with new and beautifully diverse humans, practicing loving kindness, or just being there to provide a safe space for my riders and me to feel what we need to feel. Reminding people we are only human, breaking riders out of their barriers, proving we are stronger when we just believe we are — these are the changes that are making my life.
I could land on any of these experiences, but I’m going to leave it like this: Asking me to identify THE SoulCycle class that changed my life is like asking how to accurately define love, or which Friends character is my favorite. It’s just not going to have an answer! As is with most milestones, open doors, broken-down-walls, glass ceilings, the change that happened in my life (btw its still happening!) was the product of forgiving my failures, leaning in gently, and endless self-love. It started with intention, and I won’t let it end.