Need a Lift?

I’ve been hitting the Bar for almost a year now. Not that bar…the CycleBar. My first class was through the “Friend Zone” where someone can invite you to ride for free. I loved everything about it from the workout itself, to the instructor, live stats and of course the free water bottles and healthy snacks.

CycleBar is your not-so-average spinning class. Take everything you know about your rec center spinning class and kick it up a notch. The class takes place in what is called the CycleTheater: 56 bikes across 4 elevated rows which face the instructor in the front. As soon as the class starts, the lights are turned down and the music is cranked up. Each class’ playlist is put together by the instructors, sometimes with a theme, and drive the class by giving you your target RPM when you pedal to the beat. Your performance is tracked for metrics such as watts based on your RPM and level of resistance, all of which is displayed during the class. Each bike is ranked based on the normalized watts giving those with a competitive side a little extra motivation. To bring it all together, CycleBar has fun and motivating instructors who lead you on a challenging, yet rewarding ride.

After my first class, I knew I wanted to come back. So naturally, I went straight to one of my guilty pleasures, Groupon, and looked to see if they had any deals. Four classes for $39 and I was sold! With the Groupon, I tried a few different instructors and checked out a few different classes, like Classic and Performance, to find what I liked best. By the time the Groupon ran out, I was hooked and no longer viewed cost as a factor…it was worth it. So I bought my first 5-class pass.

To date, my favorite instructor is Z…he’s a total bad a$$ with the perfect balance of chill. His style of instructing is motivating and takes you on an exhilarating, yet peaceful ride. I saw he was teaching the Happy Hour CB Style class on Friday at 5:30 PM and with the way my week was going, I knew that was the only way I wanted to end my work week and start the weekend.

So it was set. I had a date with my bike at the Bar for one hour of Happy. Friday afternoon rolls around and I’m still running hot from work. So hot, I question if I can really leave at 5:00 PM. I quickly come to and remind myself that I’ve never been upset that I got a workout in, but I am always disappointed when I miss one.

I left the office at 5:00 PM and got to the Bar in time to change and warm up. Excited for my first Happy Hour class, I set up my bike like any other class, when I heard Z ask if anyone wanted a Lift (a craft beer brewed by our local brewery MadTree). Naturally, I shot my hand up saying “Yes!” in a joking, yet semi-serious way. Without missing a beat, he tossed me a Lift and asked who else wanted one. My reaction was a mix of “This is awesome!” and “Is this real?” I knew they would be serving drinks and snacks after the class, but this was a total surprise and my Happy Hour just got a little more happy.

Z’s class was great, per usual. And the Lift made it that much better. After feeling warmed up, I cracked the can and enjoyed it in between songs throughout the duration of the class. There’s something about working hard, getting sweaty and having a beer. Borderline symbolic, I viewed the ride as my work week and the Lift as my weekend. It was the perfect way to kick the week’s butt and say hello to the weekend.

As we pedaled out our last song, Z reminded us to leave the week at the Bar and to walk out the door only thinking about and looking forward to the weekend. It’s like Z was in my head, because that was exactly what I needed to hear. My week was a tough one and I realized I had even let it follow me on my ride, but he was right…it’s over and you made it! Z not only tossed me a can of Lift, but he gave me the Lift I needed to climb out of the week to the better things waiting in my weekend.

As much as I would love to, I don’t plan to go to CycleBar Happy Hour and drink beer every Friday, but what it did help me realize is no matter what it is I choose to do, come Friday, it is important to hit the pause button to your week and find something to give yourself the Lift you need into the weekend. The next week is inevitable and your work will still be waiting for you when you get back Monday morning and hit the play button.

So reach for that pause button and find that Lift you need. Happy Lift Day!

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