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'Each Class I Felt Stronger, More Able, and More Confident'

an Francisco rider JAMES HUDSON found SoulCycle after making some serious lifestyle changes. Learn more about his SOUL journey, ahead.

Moving to California has been life-changing in a number of important ways, but I think by far the most profound is that it has catalyzed my journey back to fitness and wellness — mind, body, and soul. It wasn’t until I moved to the West Coast that I realized that I had been unhappy living in Brussels, and that it had manifested in bad lifestyle choices: rich foods, too much wine, and a sedentary lifestyle — too many nights under a blanket on the sofa with a book.

The minute I moved to California, I felt a lightness about me. I think it’s a combination of the climate, the lifestyle, and the energy here in San Francisco. In my first few weeks, I joined a gym and started the slow journey back to becoming active. I started swimming three times a week as I thought it would be low impact (I hadn’t been inside a gym in years) and then added a couple of short runs a week into my program.

I was in New York City for Fourth of July weekend — it was there that I took my first SoulCycle class and everything changed. I could barely make it through my first class, I certainly couldn’t get out of the saddle and couldn’t complete the weights section, but something about the class clicked. When I got back to San Francisco, I booked another two classes.

For the rest of July and the early part of August, I was riding the back row two or three times a week. Each class I felt stronger, more able, and more confident. In one of those early classes I wept tears of joy on a hill climb (this is apparently quite normal at SoulCycle) and I knew I had found my new passion.

I’m now riding the front row, five or six times a week, I’ve lost ten pounds already, and most crucially, I just feel better all around. I can’t believe that I happily get out of bed at 6AM to be on a bike for the 7AM class. It means I arrive at the office full of energy and positivity and ready to run headlong into my day.

My SoulCycle journey is just getting started, but I want to encourage as many people as possible to hop on a bike and find their SOUL!

Feeling inspired to ride? Grab a series HERE.
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