Ben T: Kind of the Man
I had taken a few SoulCycle classes in the past, but it wasn't until I took a class with Ben T. that it became life changing.
For two years I was superglued to my job, worked insane hours, did not sleep, and legitimately dated my Blackberry (not gonna lie, we got pretty serious; I thought it was the one)...
I was blinded by my perfectionist need to please everyone, exceed expectations, and the shortsighted track to a successful career. I didn't have any awareness of how far I had gone off the deepend, despite how many people tried to tell me; I had lost a sense of myself.
I'll never forget my first class with Ben, which my friends dragged me to against my will (love themmm).. It was the first time that I was able to disconnect and forget everything else going on in the world, outside of the Union Square studio walls. At the risk of sounding crazy, it was such a euphoric experience that I actually teared up towards the end of class...it's indescribable.
Rapidly, I went from one class biweekly, to 2 x a week, to 5 x a week, to 9...to the first time I sat front row (will never go back), my first double, my first Soul Survivor, not to mention 3 Ben T. classes at different studios in one day. Some might call me a stalker, or perhaps a stage 5 clinger, but I just call it loving myself.
Though my new job (yes, I have a new job, my dream job actually that happens to have a work life balance too) requires me to travel Monday through Thursday, I get in there every Ben T. weekend class I can, and only wish there were more available. The amazing thing about SoulCycle is no matter what, I always cannot wait to be there, and working out no longer feels like a chore or a boring routine I need to just get through - it feels like a reward to which I look forward.
Why is Ben Turshen so amazing, you might ask? Here are the deets:
Though there are 60+ people in the class, Ben has a way of making you feel as if he is your own personal trainer each and every time. The shout outs in class, the "Put those F***ers away" after a grueling set of weights, the "Beautiful" while I force myself to sprint faster than what feels to be physically possible, and the way I've never loved to hate someone as much as when he doesn't stop adding resistance to my bike- these are all reminders that I can accomplish whatever I want, and that I am the only obstacle in my life if I choose to let myself be; he has this way of pushing me beyond the point of which I believed myself to be capable, a truly empowering feeling. I always leave his class feeling challenged and like I didn't leave anything on the table or my inner strength untapped...he's no bullshit. He is also absolutely ripped, makes you laugh, and you can tell he genuinely cares - a nice plus.
Then, there are the physical results...
Though a past Junior Olympic cross country runner, marathon runner, a nationally ranked and college varsity squash player... I can honestly say that I have never been in better shape than what the BenT. SoulCycle regimen has put me in. I don't need to wait until 2013 for SEAK's Sports Bra Challenge (though obviously I'll be there) because I now have the positive enough body image to rock a sports bra every class and not care what anyone thinks...
I also cannot leave out his SOLID playlists. Whether The Whistle Song or a throw back to Nelly Ride Wit Me, I always do a mental fist pump when the next song comes on... when I'm out of the studio and a song comes on from SC I'm instantly in a good mood, and when I hear one that's not on the list, I think in my head, "one, two, one two..." and think of what moves could be done and where the tap back push ups would fit in.. I'm obsessed and can't get enough.
I've never felt this good, and though I may not be able to pay Ben T. and SoulCycle back for the number of times people have said, "You look refreshed," "You seem so much more like yourself," or "I'm happy to have my friend back," I can say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you sincerely, for putting the life back into me and for making me ME again; I am extremely grateful.
Can't wait for my next ride.