Soul Cycle Helped Me Cope with Trauma: My Empowering Exercise Routine

This is not an endorsement for Soul Cycle, but it probably reads as one.

Trigger warning: sexual assault


Two years ago, I was molested (big word, yikes) and my mental health and physical health took a significant toll. I gained at least twenty-five pounds, and became the most depressed I’ve ever been. I was in bed all day, mentally on vacation miles away.

When I got home from college, I bought a pack of classes from my local Soul Cycle. I had been going to Soul for a couple of years on and off while home from school on vacations. After I was attacked, my routine spun out (lol pun) and dissolved. Starting again with spinning was not as hard as I thought, for a few reasons.

Cycling through all my anger, pain, and sadness made me feel like I was floating through the class. My body prison was sweating up a storm(think actual small rivers of sweat running down every surface of my body), but in my mind, I was driving with the top down on country roads, listening to soft music before running over my attacker until he bled out, or picturing other lovely thoughts.

When the instructor tells you to stand, or do the weights circuit, my brain clicks on to autopilot. My body moves in fluid ways, and my normally clumsy self feels like a finely tuned machine. While off the bike, I may run hip-first into counter tops and door handles, I am a Goddess on the bike.I don’t know why, but screw logic. Sweating, swearing, and spitting, I look like a force to be reckoned with as I pedal furiously to the music. Something pulls me through the forty-five minutes of spin and puts a trance on me. I experience a second wind, and dare I say a third wind(?) and my body feels like it is becoming lighter. I’m floating in a space where the bike and I are one being, breathing and humming together.

After every class, my spirits are high and I feel so confident. It feels like I am taking back myself and my power, and it’s incredible. Besides becoming physically stronger, I can tell that just a chunk of trauma was massaged out, and it fades out into a fuzz in the background. I haven’t tried other spin classes, but this is why I’m a true Soul Cycle fan. The positive energy in the room paired with an excellent high intensity workout is ideal for my healing process. It’s like my workout session and therapy rolled into one.

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