Injury recovery can make you feel less than ideal both inside and out. The road to building strength and stamina usually isn’t pretty or inspiring. For me, this particular round of recovery has been much slower than I’d like. The itch to get back to some fast paced activity has been overwhelmingly strong so when I received an invitation to an event at SoulCycle Pasadena by the beauty brand LATHER, I thought that the universe was giving me a sign that I was up for a challenge.
It isn’t easy to admit that the last few fitness events I’ve attended have been difficult physically, mentally and emotionally. I’ve been in some desperate need for some overall motivation lately and I saw some in the combination of the words “soul” with “cycle” and with LATHER‘s mission message about “living a more radiant life”.
I was familiar with the LATHER brand because a friend had given me a set of Bamboo Lemongrass Foaming Body Scrub and Almond, Milk & Honey Body Butter as a birthday gift…in February. I was “saving” them for some unknown time until I recently had a particularly bad day and decided to treat myself.
I fell in love with the spongy, clean smelling scrub and the very soothing body butter immediately. The Body Butter is now part of my nightly routine! The fact that LATHER uses natural ingredients, (many of them vegan), does no animal testing and partners with a number of organizations that promote better and more healthful living, makes me more interested in learning a bit more about their anti-aging and relaxation lines in the future.
I’ve had a long time love (and hate) affair with indoor cycling. Fast paced exertion to great music with someone coaching you to meet a challenge is my favorite kind of workout (but my back doesn’t necessarily feel the same way). I’ve been to many different indoor cycling studios but never to SoulCycle. When I lived in New York, I could never get into a conveniently timed class so this was a fun opportunity to check out the mega fitness brand and test my new level of fitness post-injury.
SoulCycle is clean, bright and modern. This high-end boutique fitness studio offers all of the spa-like amenities you want (but don’t know that you need) like Purell, hair ties, gum (and even earplugs!), lockers and shower facilities. Even spinning shoes are free for your first class ($3 to rent thereafter). Don’t let the slick look intimidate you, the staff at SoulCycle Pasadena were more than friendly and accommodating.
Chris, our instructor, for our class gave the group instructions for proper set up, explained the 3 different cycling positions and got us riding quickly. Chris was great about encouraging everyone to motivate each other without being dictatorial. I was modified my positions (as discussed with my Physical Therapist) and worked very hard at not pushing myself too hard or too fast.
However, 5 months off the bike made for a very humbling experience. Even Beyonce and Britney couldn’t distract me from the nauseated feeling I had about 30 minutes into the 50 minute ride. I had to back off a bit (and cut the weight section short) in order to prevent reaching The Puke Point. I felt weak, sad and dejected but I did not give up. I slowed down but never got off the bike and finished the class with the group.
The blow to my fitness ego was fierce but I saw an underlying lesson to be learned – Strength and stamina are not equal entities in wellness.
Strength is multilayered – it can come from mental, physical and emotional places. Stamina, on the other hand, is singular, and without sustained effort it withers and dies. Stamina can be regained over time but strength can be resurrected and displayed (almost at will) from places well beyond the body.
I’m thankful to LATHER and SoulCycle for helping me learn that I have more strength than I realized but have some ground to cover before I get my stamina back to my desired place of wellness. Thanks also for the gift bag – it eased the pain just a little bit.
To celebrate my newfound piece of knowledge (and my bounty),
I’m giving away one LATHER and SoulCycle gift bag!
which includes the following products:
LATHER Muscle Ease Gel
LATHER Bamboo Lemongrass Body Wash
LATHER Cucumber Ginseng Facial Mist
LATHER Lip Balm
SoulCycle Tote Bag, silver
SoulCycle Tank Top, red (one size)
To enter the giveaway (entries accepted until 11:59pm PST 5/25/15) and for more details::
Disclosure: I was given a complimentary class at SoulCycle and gift bag for myself and one to giveaway from LATHER. I was under no obligation to write about this experience. All opinions are clearly my own.