“It’s not an exercise class, it’s an experience!”

That is what I heard one of the riders say as the entire indoor cycling community of SHiFT gathered for an epic fundraiser a few weeks ago as the bikes moved outside complete with food trucks, live DJ and silent auction.

I wanted to ask her to extrapolate, describe the experience, but the first track had already started. An impenetrable focus and exuberance took hold of the riders and there would be no chit chat. Instead, there was a lot of sweat and panting and the occasional yet resonant “woot woot” from one of the sweating and panting participants.

And that’s when it hit me – it is a different experience for everyone. In the front row there was a woman who was diagnosed with cancer while she was at the hospital taking care of her sick mother, there was a Father of three that just got back from a business trip to Iraq, there was a Mom surviving a house renovation…while turning up and down their own resistance, by finding their grace and athleticism and setting their own pace, ALL of them were finding what they needed on the road. An individual path creating a collective energy. Not a class, an Experience.

The Experience starts when you first enter the studio. You come in from the parking lot entangled in your story (the kids, the jobs) but with each step you feel pulled away from the stress, and you start to summon your strength. A wall of affirmations await you when you get to the top. Literally, a wall of mantra and motivation. You are now immersed in the SHiFT Experience. The studio inviting, not intimidating. You are ready to take this time for yourself. The oxygen mask on the airplane they say to put on yourself before you put on others? That is just one of the things this studio offers. Take care of yourself, push yourself and you will have more to give to others. You cannot imagine the optimism, the patience, the joy that you will feel when you complete your course.

Some of the comments I overheard include
“I lost 15 pounds since coming here”
“Where else do you laugh while you sweat?”

But the best one yet was. . .
“With every pedal stroke, I like myself a little bit more”

I didn’t need an explanation on that one.

That right there, is exactly why I am a SHiFTer for life!!

Written by Guest Blogger and SHiFT Instructor Emily Webster