Toronto Gets Soul

Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 10.53.03 AM.pngSoul Cycle has been a spinning phenomenon in New York for years, and now the six is getting their very own Soul Cycle this week on King St. West. I had a chance to check out this high intensity low impact workout, and had to share my experience.

If you follow me you know two things, 1) I love working out and fitness and 2) I have a new found love for spin classes. I always used to find them repetitive and boring, but recently my opinion has changed. And as you will find out if you keep reading, there is nothing boring about Soul Cycle.

Ok so you have heard about this Soul Cycle everyone is speaking of, but what is it? Basically it is a 45 minute spin class that combines fat burning cardio, a full body workout (arm weight track included), and choreography that forces your core to stay engaged all class long. Spinning and dancing all at once, sounds fun right?

My first impression was that they have really put thought and effort into their set up. The moment I stepped into the candle lit room I was impressed with the ambiance.

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We were told by our instructor Jenna to put our cell phones away and get ready to let loose. I loved this idea because it really forced me to focus on my mind and body for the full workout as oppose to worrying about work calls and emails.

As soon as the first song started, I found myself singing and spinning along to the beat. The class combined springs, hills, and heavy legs ensuring that I was working different muscles and getting my heart rate up.

What I really loved was the added choreography of arm pulls and pushes. They distracted me from how much my legs were burning from pushing myself harder each song.

About five songs into the class and a 10 sprints later, we were told to pick up the weights for the arm track. Although I was lifting 3 pound weights it was such an intense workout. For an entire 6 minutes you have your arms up and out doing all exercises from bicep curls to triceps, my arms were definitely burning.

Alas all good things must come to an end. The last track was us letting go of all of our stress and anxiety and instead focusing on our breathing until the last note of the last song.

I really loved the class from start to finish. From the music, to the workout, to the amazing instructor the entire workout was amazing. Speaking of workout, despite the low intensity of the spin class, I was drenched in sweat walking out.

Now mind you, I may be a little biased, because throughout the entire class I felt like I was cheating on the Spokehaus. Spokehaus was the first spin class I fell in love with, the first spin class I got my groove on at, the first spin class I learned figure eights. I love washing my face down with their cold Eucalyptus towel after a hard ride on the bike.

Both of these studios are fun, hard, and a workout party and I would recommend trying both of them out!

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Also make sure to come back and check out my blog, because I will be sharing some of my fav Toronto workouts. As they say Summer bodies are made in the winter, and we don’t have much winter left!

xo

Mia

 

Spin in Your Skin

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I hate my jiggly arm fat. I hate my wide shoulders. I hate my thunder thighs from years of professional sports. I hate that my six pack is forever hiding under layers of skin. Just like most people in this world, I have my insecurities, my doubts, my concerns, and working in a profession where your physical appearance is an important element, it just puts all those insecurities under a microscope.

I go to the gym at least 4 times a week, I try and eat healthy but my chocolate addiction sometimes gets in the way of that. Yet no matter what I do, or diet I try, or work out trend I kill myself at, I am forever a size 6.

A few days ago I was invited to partake in Spin in Your Skin. An event put on by Spokehaus spin studio and Knixwear in support of CAMH. For every woman that took part in this spin class, Knixwear would donate a sports bra to women who have been affected by abuse and mental illness. The catch, you had to spin in a sports bra and boy “shorts” and I use the term shorts very lightly.

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I was a little nervous to say the least. I mean it is rare you will find a picture of me in a bathing suit at the beach let alone at a fitness class in downtown Toronto wearing just my underwear, but it was for a good cause and I love the Spokehaus classes so I decided to give it a try.

When we got there, we were given some bright body paint and told to write one word that we were hoping to get rid of this year, one word we would sweat off and out of our lives in this class. My word was self-doubt. For so many years I had doubted myself and my abilities. Doubted whether I was a good enough tennis player to get a scholarship, doubted if I was a good enough journalist to land a job. While I doubted myself, it seemed the world was showing me signs to stop all along since I did land a full NCAA division 1 scholarship, and since I work for a national sports league as a lead reporter. Today was the day that I was finally going to start believing in myself like the rest of the world already seemed to.

It was incredible to walk into the class with 30 other women, all with body paint, all with their words. A lot of “insecurities” written, and “fear” a few other “self-doubts” along with mine. Before the class started we had a very special guest of honour talk to us. Elly Mayday is a model and a public speaker. She isn’t your typical model, she has a full, beautiful figure. As she started to share her story, her voice started to break. Recalling the time, she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, and had to fight for her life. Recalling how it had come back and she had to battle this terrible disease again. Telling us that despite what she had gone through, she loves and embraces every scare, every imperfection. It was in this moment that I realized it is my imperfections that make me who I am, that make me unique, that make me perfect in my very own imperfect way so thank you Elly for that lesson.

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The class was led by Melissa, who worked us hard for 45 minutes. Continuing to inspire us throughout the entire class, pushing me to peddle faster and work harder than I had ever worked before because I was strong and I was capable. When the class came to an end I looked down at my arm, and the word self-doubt was indeed gone, replaced by a messy paint circle of blues and purples.

As the class ended and I looked around at everyone it was an incredible realization. Everyone was a different shape, a different size, different fitness level, all one mission. To learn to accept themselves, appreciate themselves, and love themselves for exactly who they are. It was in that moment that I realized it was truly time to shed the self-doubt, not just in the form of the writing on my arm, but in how I feel about myself.

I realized it is ok to sneak a chocolate when it isn’t cheat day, do have a few extra pounds, to not have perfectly white teeth or curled hair. What is most important is that I am healthy, and take care of myself. That I am happy and honour myself. That I am loved, and that I love myself.

Life isn’t measured by the number on the scale, but rather by your experiences, your moments, your happiness. Life is measured by how loud you laugh, how big you smile, and how much you feel.

To think, it took just one simple spin class in my undies to realize this life lesson! You are beautiful, you are special, you are unique, you are loved and don’t you ever forget that

Xo

Mia