by Abby Draper
It is very early on a Sunday morning, so when I walk into the Santa Monica SoulCycle studio, I’m rather surprised that “How Low” by Ludacris is blaring on the speakers. I’m even more surprised to learn the 60-person class list is full and there are dozens of other attractive people who woke up, put on their Lululemon and showed up simply in hopes that a bike will open up for them. If one doesn’t, they’re out of luck.
I make my way into the studio and the hip-hop music continues to play. Loudly. After a few minutes, a gorgeous, tan, fit, blonde woman runs into the room and screams, “GOOD MORNING YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!” in a voice too large to come out of such a small person. The room erupts in cheers and instructor Lindsay Buckley turns the hip-hop up even louder.
For the next hour, Lindsay sings, raps, dances, jumps up and down and shouts out the names of the riders, most of whom I learn are there every single Sunday morning. More noticeably, though, she encourages the room through motivational stories and beautiful mantras. She tells us, “There are thousands of things you could be doing at the crack of dawn on Sunday. Like, sleeping. But, no, you chose to be here to take care of your mind; to take care of your body; to take care of your heart and to start your day with the people in this room. You may know them, you may not, but I promise you they all have your back. I have your back. This studio has your back. You are never alone when you’re in this room.”
After class, feeling incredibly empowered, I sat down with Lindsay to talk about what motivates her, how she prepares for each class (she teaches upwards of 20 classes each week!) and what her own personal mantra is.
Q: Describe your class to me
Lindsay: My class is a combination of a fun-loving demeanor paired with “OMG, I love this song” music, tailored to an especially challenging workout. I think it’s imperative to enjoy yourself but also to push your limits.
Q: You spend so much of your time motivating and encouraging others, where do you find your own motivation?
Lindsay: EVERYWHERE! Honestly, I am always looking out for an inspiring moment, listening for something that resonates. I think if you seek good you will find good.
Q: Music is an important part of each SoulCycle class — walk me through how you craft your playlists. Do the lyrics inspire what you say in class?
Lindsay: I make my playlists the night before class and always pick one song that I want to start with. From there, I build either forward or backward into the playlist. The lyrics of a song can help with messaging- but, for true inspiration, I draw more from my riders, in the room and in the moment.
Q: What would you say is your own personal mantra?
Lindsay: Keep things simple and make decisions based off of your priorities.
Q: On your social channels and personal blog, you are very funny. Do you incorporate that into your classes?
Lindsay: I most definitely do! I’ve always said that funny matters! In my class, you get the realist version of me. I joke, dance, chat and ride just as I do outside the room.
Q: Your family often rides in your classes, does that play into what you say and how you encourage riders?
Lindsay: Of course! I’m incredibly blessed to have such a supportive family that drives up from Newport to ride all the time. If I get the chance, I hope I can communicate to them how much they matter.
Q: What was the reason you auditioned to become a SoulCycle instructor?
Lindsay: I was hooked from my first ride! I knew I wanted to be an instructor and thought if I worked hard enough, I could be a great one! For me, this was and is my dream job!
For more on Lindsay: https://www.soul-cycle.com/instructors/249/lindsay+buckley/
For more on SoulCycle: https://www.soul-cycle.com/