You sit in the dark propped upright on a stationary bike wondering: how in the world did I get myself here at 6 am and why am I so awake? It’s the loud music and disco ball that initially wakes you, and the workout itself is the first splash of cold water of the day… ironic considering the heat in the room.
Our mothers before us had the likes of Jane Fonda, Suzanne Somers and (the currently missing, if you believe the podcast) Richard Simmons. Pop in a VHS and they could sweat from the comfort of home with no witnesses, squeezing their booties to 80’s hits. But I don’t want to sweat alone. I want to see the person next to me working so hard that I have to keep up with the pack, I can practically smell the after-workout coffee waiting for me. Wait, that’s not coffee! Did someone drop a towel on the candle lighting the room? Nope, the burning smell is someone’s bike on full resistance and I just think “goals.”
The concept of Spin isn’t a new one and this particular culture seems to have similarities to the world of Soul Cycle, or so I’m told by those who have gone. If Soul Cycle sounds familiar, it’s because it gets mentioned from time to time on Hollywood gossip sites. It’s where Charlize Theron pretends not to know Tia Mowery in the most Mariah Carey “I don’t know her” fashion and where the stars go to fix what liposuction cannot.
Nick Staples is the CEO and founder of Zenergy, not to mention many people’s favorite instructor, with people clamoring to reserve a bike in his classes. He couldn’t be reached for comment, which is fancy speak for “he didn’t return my email a year ago” which is understandable, since he’s been busy building and expanding an empire!
But here’s the “word on the street” … which I now use so I don’t have to cite a source… A tactic that I’m sure a legal team somewhere would disagree with…
He began Zenergy in Charleston, WV, expanded to Morgantown, Pittsburgh and beyond, recently adding on a few in Florida. He’s even added Barre classes (which I still have never tried) and Pilates in Boca. He’s added a surprisingly user-friendly app for buying packages and reserving bikes. Zenergy studios also have boutique like clothing sections including tank tops with cheeky sayings like “you had me at tap backs” and various pride related attire, that you wanna be the one wearing at your local pride parade.
For the record, I’m not angry about his lack of communication largely in part because just to be in Nick’s presence, you feel a sense of desperately wanting to impress him by riding your best, being a good person and living his motto of patience, dedication, hard work and love.
That, and also after a fortunate chance encounter on Facebook… my husband and I now sleep on a luxury barely used king sized mattress which once belonged to Nick, and I’m grateful for it every day. So I climb off of that heavenly cloud at 5:20am like a messy haired, drool stained angel 3-4 days a week for the noble cause of cardio and feeding my soul with music and positive talk.
After sprints we cycle slowly and put our heads down on the handlebars in the dark. This is the “Zen” part of “zenergy,” I suppose. Nick talks to you into forgetting your 9 year old dogs vet bills, the fact that your son is a jerk or that that your boss hates it every time you open your mouth. You focus only on you and your goals in that room, and everything gets quiet for that one song. Then back to sprints.
And right when you start to wonder how your body did this at 6am and how much longer you can sustain, your eyes darting around the room for a clock that doesn’t exist… you hear it. “Bottoms up! Cheers, baby” as Nick salutes you with his bottle of water.