There is something to the completeness of a full revolution. The natural pace and pattern of cycles that pushes us forward and turns us back towards ourselves.
Upcycle is an indoor cycling and yoga studio. Their mission is to meet life where it is and then leave it better than they found it. I've been to five classes at the studio (with three pre-booked for next week), and feel better than I have in recent memory. My mind is completely still three songs in and though I'm pouring sweat and on a stationary bike, I am absolutely sure I'm getting somewhere. This is cardio that doesn't shred my joints, in a beautiful studio with friendly people who are focused on their own ride. The heart and bass beat of the studio is the owner, Kim.
Kim is one of the few women I know who doesn't dim herself for the imagined comfort of others. She isn't a hardass - she is hardcore. Solid. Steady. Unapologetically herself. And because of her state, it's easier to be yourself without reservation too. It doesn't appear to be a behavior she's learned - though I'm sure her life experiences have challenged her view of herself as anyone's do. She just is. And she's having fun with it.
Her classes are high-energy, low-lighting, with plenty of encouragement and no hint of judgment. She is able to keep an eye on the beginners for form and safety without making them feel scrutinized. The best part of Kim's enthusiasm: she's always teaching a class she wants to take cause she's doing everything with you - just a lot faster. Often my eyes are closed, legs flying, while I rap gasp the lyrics to whatever we're listening to and I look up to see Kim singing along or just straight smiling. She has helped me feel the physical power of showing up.
Spinning has a meditative quality. The exertion without changing scenery allows the mind to time out. Even more so since the gear clock on the wall has been at 7:45 for months. Most classes are an hour - a short amount of time to spend revolving yourself. When my body is cycling, the hamster wheel in my head stops and sometimes disappears completely. I remember this sacred vessel and how strong it is - how much it loves to move. And when it carries me out the door after class, I feel like an upcycled version of myself, "able to love and be of service to the whole of creation."