Monday Inspiration: Be Free Stories II

I had the opportunity to attend yesterday the Be Free Event yesterday! Although I could never nor would I ever attempt to retell their stories I can tell you how inspired I left!

Brian Terada started Be Free as he began the journey to come out to his family and friends. Being able to create a safe place jump started this mission of hope, love and acceptance. It has opened the doors for others to “free” themselves in many ways. Opening up others to tell their stories of freedom in their way.

I had the elite privilege to stumble upon Be Free by way of Saxbys. I’ve found such a warm welcoming from Saxbys a few months ago and since then anytime I get the opportunity to relax and enjoy their amazing coffee shop I do. Saxbys has always allowed me a conducive working space to blog and enjoy my me time. I would encourage you to give them a try you won’t be disappointed!

I saw the link for Be Free first in Saxbys Instagram story and scrolled past. I believe in timing and was drawn to relook at the story again. I saw and read the information and decided to RSVP! I still didn’t have an idea of what to expect! I purposely didn’t log onto Be Free’s website because I wanted to walk in and get my own sense of experience. Let me tell you because I believe in timing and divine calling, everything tried to deter me. However surpassing my own anxiety that attempted to rise as each hurdle came along, I knew I had to be there!

Once inside I was greeted by warm smiles and my anxiety was also calmed by Saxbys cold brew! Ryan Lewis my Soul Cycle instructor, gave me the look of relief and I knew whatever hurdles I had gone through to get there was worth it. Y’all remember the last time I blogged about Ryan. As I sat and listened to the stories of strangers I had never met, one reoccurring theme hit me. No matter what they had been through what made them “free” was their ability to not quit even when quitting was all they had. Each person including me was not at that moment by chance. We all needed to hear each other’s story. Stories of amazing strength from life. Stories of pressing through pain and heartache, everyone wants to be free to live, to love, to be whole!

I encouraged Brian not to stop the Be Free Stories. This safe space is necessary. This may be the only therapy, the only space of love, the only space of encouragement that someone receives. There are so many who need Be Free’s movement! If you could be in a space of complete freedom, love and knew you wouldn’t be judged, would you go to that space?! If the answer is yes, Be Free is that space!

I am grateful for the moment to be present in watching, listening, and participating in other people’s breakthrough and triumphant. Shout out to Lululemon for sponsoring this amazing event along with Saxbys.

To get more information on how you can participate, donate, and support to Be Free, Be Free Stories

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Soul Cycle Survivor

Yes I said Soul Cycle survivor.  Even as my adrenaline has calmed down, I’m writing this blog on two very sore booty cheeks.  When I say sore everything  I really mean it.  Not a part of my body has been left untouched. I think they mean Soul Cycle to really mean they taking you to the ground and bringing it back.  Who knows, right?

When I walked in at the Ardmore location, I was immediately impressed and a bit intimidated.  There were people buzzing around getting signed in.  What I liked was the girls registering us was so used to it and spotted the unregistered and helped me along.  She explained what I was to expect and everything she said was true.

I went and found me a locker, grabbed my water, and put on my cycle shoes provided to me.  I felt great at this point.  Let me say the Ardmore location is beautiful.  Okay as I entered the room that was getting dark, one of the workers helped me right to my assigned seat.  The last time I was in an assigned seat was in elementary school.  The Soul worker helped me click my shoe into place.  You ever watch a prison movie when the doors slam and you hear that click? Yes that was me.  Take a second and visualize that with me.  The sound made me want to roll but to be honest if I wanted to I couldn’t figure out how to get them shoes off even after it was over.  There was no point of return, I was stuck.

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So if you ever seen a cycle class online when you see the cyclers in formation getting it? Well it’s just like that but what makes you get your life right in those moments is the energy of the instructor.  Shout out to Ryan as he came with his A game.  The music was another level today.  At the time when Jayz came on it felt like I too had channeled all that Hova had to get me to the next part of the workout.  Then I don’t know if it was because Beyonce is going to be in concert here in Philly or not but we went right into Bootylicious and it was on.

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That workout isn’t for punks but even if you we’re a newbie like me you don’t have to fret.  The bike was your archenemy for about 45 minutes of an  intense gut punching workout.  So I couldn’t ignore it even if I wanted to.  Now let me give you a few tips so you won’t be too much like a fish out of water like I was.

1. Arrive early.  Don’t do like me and arrive all fashionably late.  By the way I wasn’t trying to be late but that’s just how it worked out.  Also if you’re not on time they are starting with or without you but would prefer for you to be time.  Plus anxiety will set in.

2. Stretch before you come.  It helps to get your muscles ready.

3. Hydration is key.  The amount of sweat that you expel is enough to clean a little baby in a tub.  No joke.  Ryan had all kinds of sweat under his bike like the rest of us.  Hydrate almost a good solid 24 hours before class if you don’t you will regret it.  Had I not, someone would be picking me up off the floor after they wrangled me out my shoes.

4. Enjoy it.  Yes I wanted to throw up the deuces but we were all there together and working it out.  I didn’t know many in the room but by the end I felt like I had gotten everyone’s social security number, we we’re a family.  Family sticks together and we had fought little Ray-Ray a few times around the block today.

5. Try it at least once.  I know we as people don’t like to try new things but this is a must.  Its fun and if you are looking for a real workout, this is the one to be at.

6. There is a waiver.  Duh.  They don’t want you coming back talking about they responsible for your arm and legs actually failing off.

7. Know your limitations.  I kept moving even when I had to sit and just move my legs.  I had my left shoulder dislocated a few years back.  I’m aware of what will cause pain or further injury but I didn’t let it stop me.  If I could have found a way to use that same arm to detach my foot from that bike, I may have.  Shout out to Jon the brother of Alanda Cocoamommy blog she arranged this opportunity and he kept me grounded.

8. Go with at least one person you know.  I didn’t know Jon before but I knew he was good people and he pushed me when he saw me slacking.  It was even more fun because when I yelled out yes God he understood. I told you the workout was intense so I may have called out to a few angels to come and get me a few times. Judge me but do it after you take a class.

9. You will not be cute during the class. So leave the make up and tie down your natural, weaves, or frontals.  Yes I know you trying to scoop a cutie on bike 4, but you walking out worst than you came in.  Get cute after.  No one and I mean no one is looking at you when Ryan starts counting down.  Trust and believe.

10. Wear the right clothes. Ladies no your Vicky bra ain’t ready for spin class.  Let me repeat that Vicky needs to stay home.  Get you a good sports bra.  You should be working out with a good sports bra anyway.  So unless you got the new sports bra from Vicky, leave the lace and frills at home.  Dress like you came to work out not you came to take selfies.  You won’t have time to grab your water bottle barely let alone become the next Instagram model.  Trust me.

Overall I really enjoyed the class.  I definitely can cross this off of my list of workouts to try. I’ve been eyeing Soul
Cycle for quite some time.  Again I want to shout out Soul Cycle, their happy, pleasant staff, Alanda for setting this opportunity up, Jon for pushing me, and my little 45 minute villagers for taking the 1145 class today.

If you are interested in seeing what all of my hoopla was about come to

Soul Cycle
2 Coulter Ave
Ardmore, PA 19003

Oh and one more thing about the actual building.  It sits inside of the Ardmore shopping complex.  Parking is across the street and it’s free.  If you want to shower or clean yourself up like I did the facility is clean and very eye-catching.  You ever go to your girlfriend’s house and forget a few items? Soul Cycle is like being at your friend’s house.  In the shower area they had towels, face wash, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner in every shower area.  They also have recycled take home bags to put your wet soaked clothes in for a good wash when you get home.  I know there are plenty who get frazzled at showering at public places but trust me this was more like showering at a high-end hotel. I was more than pleasantly surprised with my germaphobic self.

Here is the link to their website: http://www.soul-cycle.com

You can select a class, and reserve a bicycle of your choice.

If and when you take one then let me know.  Until then Epsom salt, yogurt with granola, a wheel chair and some relaxation and down time are in my immediate future.