Riding a Bike in New York
I love New York and I like that it requires a certain level of courage in order to enjoy it. I’ve been there many times and its my favorite city. A couple of years ago I had a moment of courage that changed my life. I took a SoulCycle class (an indoor cycle class) in NYC and I didn’t die from embarrassment or pain. I say that because both of my hips were replaced in my mid 30 so taking this class took me way out of my comfort zone. After the class, I felt powerful, so powerful that I almost accepted a date from a homeless man who lived near the studio. Of course this happened, it was in NYC.
New York makes you work to enjoy it. It’s the city where you have to walk for miles, go up too many flights of stairs and take public transportation everywhere. I love all of that and I have missed it so much. I was last scheduled to be there in 2018 and I wasn’t able to make that trip, so it’s been years since I was there. I can’t imagine what everyone did during the pandemic and how they traveled and moved and even went to the grocery store. It’s even more difficult for a person who has joint pain or a physical limitation to move around in the city.
Traveling to NYC was a major challenge for me just a few years ago. During trips to the city before I had my hips replaced, I could barely take a step without feeling horrific pain and I couldn’t walk long distances without stopping and pretending to look at something. When I was in so much pain, I stayed full of pain killers that didn’t work and I struggled to enjoy traveling, acting sexy and pretending like everything was ok.
After both my hips were replaced I went back to my city. I somehow gathered up enough courage to sign up for an early indoor cycle class. This had been a dream of mine, because I loved taking spin classes at my local gym. At Soulcycle, they take it to another level with the music and the energetic instructors. I was excited and terrified and ended up being grateful I could ride for 50 minutes. I didn’t think my hips could last through the class, I was afraid I would fall off the bike and I just knew I would throw up. I remember hearing a Rhianna song and trying to distract myself by humming and peddling through my pain. I had no idea that years later I too would become a certified cycle instructor helping people who were like me riding the bike while feeling exhausted and hopeful. It’s funny how life can give you lovely little surprises along the way.
On this New York trip, I learned that the only way we grow and expand is when we do things that take us out of our comfort zone. Maybe your hips don’t need to be replaced but you need to take a class to get a skill to start your business. Maybe you need to get certified to help people do something because you have a passion for teaching people. Maybe you need to give love another chance.
I was the person who’s hips needed to be replaced and because I got out of my comfort zone, I became the person who taught cycle classes to hundreds of people over the years.
Thank you New York, for being the city that is so tough that it forces you to get out of your comfort zone and live. That act of courage and willingness to be embarrassed in that cycle studio led me to be a certified cycle instructor and now I have my Peloton bike in my garage and I ride with millions of others who also have stories about being brave.