20 Things I Learned About Myself During SoulCycle’s Turn It Up 20

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I have a serious love affair (okay, obsession) with SoulCycle. I started spinning at my local gym over 5 years ago, and although I enjoyed it, I always felt like something was missing.

Enter Soul.

I made a commitment at the end of 2014 to start really exploring SoulCycle. I loved everything about the brand and I was dedicated to finding a way to fall in love with it the way so many others were. I knew there was something special there and I wanted to find my soul, too. I started trying out different instructors and new studios, until I found my “home.” In fact, I was so focused on making Soul work this year that I actually rode on New Years Day to make it even more official.

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A photo of my Instagram page on New Years Day, 2015

I started riding more and more around New York City, and then one fateful afternoon in April I googled “SoulCycle transformations” to get inspired. That’s when I came across Noa Shaw’s story and within minutes, I had booked a bike in his next available class.

That ride is a total blur to me now, but I knew one thing: every bit of it was magical. From the music he played (I’m a rocker chick at heart; don’t let the Chanel and champagne fool you), to the things he was saying, I was immediately hooked. As a life coach, I am typically the one doing the motivating, so it was a breath of fresh air to have someone motivating me. And it was not just about our abs; everything Noa talks about in class is powerful and authentic, and served up with a side of dark humor that keeps me going even on my hardest days.

I started riding more and more with Noa, and was soon in his classes 4 times a week. I felt amazing, both mentally and physically, but I knew I still had more work to do. After a summer on the road for my Girl Code book tour, I came home and was ready to dive back in. But this time, things were different. I had bad habits I knew I wanted to break. I had gained a little bit of weight from living on airplanes and in hotels, and my endurance was low. I needed something to inspire me, and that’s when I learned SoulCycle was doing another round of Turn it Up 20.

In short, Turn it Up 20 means you ride 20 times in 30 days. That didn’t seem too hard for me from a physical standpoint (which is actually kind of mind-blowing to say out loud because I am the farthest thing from a natural athlete), but prior to my book tour I was riding 4 times a week. What was one more day?


I took this photo the Friday before Turn it Up 20 began and made it the screen saver on my phone to keep me motivated.

I signed up for the challenge, and within a few days I quickly realized what the real obstacle would be here: being stronger than my excuses. With only 30 days to complete 20 rides, you can’t back out of class because you’ve had a few too many glasses of wine the night before, or because it’s raining and cold outside, or because you have work to catch up on. You’ve made a promise to yourself, and you most likely want to keep it, so you grit through your own B.S. and go.

I decided to document each ride on my Instagram page using the hash tag #TurnItUp20 for accountability and to support other riders who might need a little inspiration. I posted a photo either before or after every ride, and included a caption, sometimes sharing a few of Noa’s words he told us in class, or a new perspective I gained from that particular ride.


Some of my Instagram snaps during #TurnItUp20

Truthfully, I really did not expect this experience to impact me on this level; but it did and I am so grateful. I’ve made so many positive changes in my life over the past 30 days, and I am so proud of myself for sticking with it.  I completed Turn It Up 20 2 days early, and then got up and rode a double the next day. That should give you an idea how of just how powerfully this experience has affected me. I decided to put together a list of 20 things I learned about myself during Turn it Up 20. And honestly, this list could have 100 more items on it. I am so thankful I’ve found SoulCycle — and more importantly Noa — who has been a constant source of support and motivation, and given a space to push myself, change myself, and most importantly — find myself.


Ride 20!

So without further ado, here’s my list of the 20 things I learned about myself during Turn it Up 20:

  1. Riding consistently builds confidence — in every area of life.
  2. Food can make or break your workout. Eat wisely.
  3. Don’t let your hills become your breaks. I used to lower my resistance when nobody was looking during my hills and take a little time-out. Now I push myself to work the hardest.
  4. I’d rather spend money on cute Soul gear than regular clothes.
  5. Follow through is sexy. When you say you’re going to do something — like showing up for class — and you actually do it, you build your self-worth.
  6. My body is capable of so. much. shit. Doubles? Piece of cake!
  7. Five pound weights are an awesome upgrade; as long as your arm song isn’t 8 minutes long! Check with your instructor before class which weight size to choose.
  8. Hair washing is really unnecessary when you’re riding nearly every day.
  9. Wearing red lipstick during my rides makes me feel like a badass.
  10. I am totally capable of breaking bad habits.
  11. When you feel everything “click” in class (riding on the beat, not feeling tired, being totally in sync with the choreography), it can actually feel like magic.
  12. “1-2, 1-2” is all I hear in my head while listening to music now.
  13. Speaking of, every song I know and love now has a SoulCycle routine I’ve mentally created for it.
    It feels really good to let go.
  14. Showing up for class, no matter how many other things are going on, is always the right choice.
  15. The things I thought I “needed” (aka a glass – or 3 – of wine each night to unwind, that day off from class, that plate of fries) are often just illusions draped in fear.
  16. Change is only effective when you change with love.
  17. Sweating every day is better for your skin than any facial you’ll ever get.
  18. The best project you will ever work on is yourself.
  19. You are so, so, so much stronger than you think.

And if you’re wondering if I’m planning to continue riding 20 times a month, that’s a big fat (well, toned) YES.

If you’re in the New York area and want to try SoulCycle, then come ride with us at my private Girl Code book party ride on December 5th at 6 PM in Brooklyn Heights! We’re packing out an entire class with the most inspirational and powerful women in New York City and you don’t want to miss it! Email me at Info@TheChampagneDiet.com to learn more. Space is limited so make sure you reach out ASAP.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Sade Paige

    This is awesome!
    definitely makes me want to set a goal to go 20x to the gym in 30 days.
    Been slacking lately.

  • The Champagne Diet

    Thanks! You can totally do it!! 🙂

  • Celina

    Wow this is so motivating! I have been following you for the past 5months. I first picked up your book after being fired from a job, and my self esteem was the lowest it’s ever been. I am 34 and have never been fired so it was pretty traumatizing. I finished your book in one day and had a completely different attitude and outlook on life afterwards. I picked my head up, nailed my job interview, and was offered the position one week after being let go. I have now been at that job for five months and started my fitness journey two months ago. I can relate to you in so many areas of my life, and always feel so empowered and motivated after reading your blog posts. Thank you for all you do and I look forward to more and more posts! 🙂
    Sincerely, Celina in San Antonio, Texas

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