Soul Cycle: The Early Death of Norah Murphy

Alright guys… I went to Soul Cycle. For those of you who know me personally you would know that this is completely out of character. All my life I haven’t really been into working out or anything physical… like nothing. Not even Frisbee.

There was one exception though, and that was ballet. I did ballet all throughout high school and absolutely loved it. It was like an addiction to me, I couldn’t get enough, and the fact that I had to quit that addiction cold turkey because of college made me very upset. Not only was I giving up my favorite hobby, I was also giving up any form of physical activity that I did almost daily and that meant that I had to start working out.


I know. It’s crazy. Just totally unfair. So, I began getting into the swing of working out at the end of my freshman year of college after I realized that I was no longer toned and had absolutely no endurance.

I started off slow by running, and now, about six months later, I have a pretty set workout routine that I follow stay in shape. BUT I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING.

I don’t want you to think that I know what I’m doing, because I literally don’t, but what I do know is that I feel good after I do whatever I choose to do that day.

I wanted to challenge myself a little, so my friend Ellen and I signed up for Soul Cycle in Union Square. I had no idea what to expect, so I did what any rookie would do and I read every single blog post possible about people’s soul cycle experience just so that I knew what I was getting myself into. I also found a cute little post on their website that let you know what to expect, what to wear, and what to bring which I really appreciated!

IMG_4043The photo above is obviously myself before Soul Cycle when I was still excited about it since I had no idea what I was about to endure. Also why am I so awkward?

three hours later

Okay. I wrote the intro to this post BEFORE I actually took the class, so here I am post Soul Cycle with my most honest reaction.

So, you go into the building and it smells like lemon and sweat, but in a good, inspiring way?? Then you sign in and since it was my first time I had to sign a waiver that basically was like “if you pass out than it’s on you”. Real cool! The people were super eager that it was my first time so I was like wow I am excited!

Ellen and I then went downstairs to the locker room to get changed and whatnot and then we got our sneakers and headed into this darkly lit, small room with 600 (over exaggeration) bikes.

IMG_4056Me and Ellen being excited about Soul Cycle… little did we know.

We found our bikes and waited for help to get set up because it’s kind of hard to adjust your bike and whatnot when it’s only your first or second time. We got strapped in and that was that, there was NO TURNING BACK. Only turning forward… becauses the pedals… turn… forward….

ANYWAYS our instructor came into the room and she was super cool and super in shape and I was obsessed with her and essentially wanted to be her. Then she called me out in front of everyone! What a day to be Norah.

She asked what my name was since I was the only first timer in the class and basically let me know that I could follow along without taking the class too seriously which was kind of a huge relief to me, I had no idea what I was in for.

For the rest of the workout, my home girl instructor kept calling me out and cheering for me. At one point she told me she was proud of me for smiling through the pain, which was good! (?) She was my hype girl and I loved it.

As for the workouts… wow. Let me tell you, I think I passed away and then came back to life. She was blasting this really good playlist filled with all music that I love and was working us so hard it was crazy. I would be lying if I said I was able to go the whole 45 minutes. I had to stop a few times, that’s for sure, but my hype girl was backing me up the whole time and that’s all that matters.

I think that hardest part was when we broke out these teenie tiny little weights. I couldn’t help but think to myself “Wow, I’m going to kill this and my girl is gonna be so proud of me”. Yeah no.

My arms literally feel like noodles as I type this. I never stopped during the arm workouts which makes me really proud of myself but I was FEELING. THE. BURN. We had to lower those teenie tiny weights slowly until they were parallel to the ground one by one, and then slowly raise them up again. My upper arms were on fire.

We cycled for a little bit longer and closed it off with a nice stretch, which was the only thing I excelled in. How sad?

I don’t think I’ve sweat so much in my entire life. As I was walking out I thanked the instructor (my best friend) and told her how I hadn’t worked out this hard since I was a dancer, which she said she could tell I was because I had the instinct to “strike a pose”. Too true

.IMG_4047 IMG_4048

Here we see the amount that I sweat… This is why I don’t have a boyfriend, because I openly show how much I sweat, but I just wanted to show you all HOW HARD IT IS.

On their website they claim that Soul Cycle is an intense full body workout, and it is without a doubt intense, but I’m on the fence about the “full body” aspect. I felt it in my legs, arms and lower back, but as for my abs it didn’t do much. I think the reason behind that is the fact that I didn’t really know what I was doing so my form wasn’t correct, I’ll have to update you with whether or not it actually does something for your abs after the next time I go. Other than that, my entire body from head to toe felt so worked. It was awesome.

The funny part is that I totally plan on doing this again. I loved the feeling after, even though I physically could not walk. I had to keep thinking, “left… right… left… right…” with each step I took.

Soul Cycle is something I’m happy I’ve experienced. I felt so good about myself afterwards, and during the workout since the instructor was literally just shouting motivational quotes at us. It was definitely an experience, and if you plan on going than PLEASE just keep in mind how hard this actually is. I thought I was going to get through it with a breeze… nope. I did not. But maybe someday I will

Xox, Norah

IMG_4052 IMG_4055Here’s a little series of pics of me and Ellen being 11 year olds at Soul Cycle. Pretty sure I have no life in my eyes due to the fact that I was temporarily dead. 

UPDATE TWO DAYS LATER: my thighs are STILL killing me. I don’t know what I did during this stupid class but I literally cannot walk up or down stairs, so I think I won’t be returning to Soul Cycle for a while.


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