People Who Make NY Special

Soul Sister

The face of SoulCycle, Stacey Griffith, is one of the reasons why people consider indoor cycling to be practically a religion.

Photo courtesy of SoulCycle

During the Summer of 2012, I embarked on a 100-minute journey at SoulCycle’s Barn Studio in Bridgehampton. I took this on because my favorite instructor, Stacey Griffith, announced that she was leading it at the end of one of her other (shorter!) classes…and she has a way of making you feel like you can accomplish anything, like sweating your booty off on a spin bike for 100 minutes when you can barely get through 30. Having overcome drug addiction, Griffith knows a thing or two about surmounting obstacles.

Since becoming sober, the California transplant has been making the masses sweat up a storm (myself included) for more than a decade as SoulCycle’s master instructor, and she recently brought her motivational wisdom to homes across the country with the release of her first book, Two Turns From Zero

What Should We Do?! took a few laps with Griffith and talked about what inspires her playlists, the weirdest thing she’s ever seen in a class, and how she unwinds after a long day on the bike.

Photo courtesy of Stacey Griffith

What Should We Do?!: How do you go about making playlists for your classes?
Stacey Griffith: 
I go on inspiration from what’s going on in the world: the weather, the vibe of the city, [and even] the state of the studio! I usually start the class from one main track that I’m in love with and build it from there. It’s like a puzzle of motivation, a journey through time and space, that ends up in overall euphoria for all that participate.

WSWD: What other exercise do you do besides Soul?
I love to Rumble, I love Brugal Moves, and I love all of my Soul instructors. They are all special in their own way: challenging, heartfelt, and inspiring. I ride whenever I can.

WSWD: What’s the weirdest/funniest thing you’ve ever seen someone do during a class?
Just today at the end of class, this couple started totally making out, like full on going at it. I was like, damn, this must have been a good closing song!

WSWD: Who inspires you?
People with an honest story living in their purpose inspire me. None of us are perfect, but when a rider comes up and shares their journey with me, it inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing.

WSWD: Any antiaging tips aside from exercise?
Have a hydrating regime from the inside out. Drink lots of coconut water and use hydrating face and body products that compliment your skin and don’t make you break out. I use a natural coconut lotion in the shower. SkinCeuticals B5 Gel is my absolute favorite for the face.

WSWD: How do you unwind?
Griffith: I lay on the couch with a heating pad and a Sephora green tea mask on my face watching Kate Bolduan and Jake Tapper on CNN. When Wolf Blitzer comes on, I know it’s time to go back to work.

WSWD: What is your favorite slice of pizza in NYC?
Griffith: I love Pizza Beach on the Upper East Side.

WSWD: Favorite restaurants?
Griffith: Felice 83 on First Avenue, and Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria on Great Jones Street.

WSWD: Favorite shops?
Griffith: Blue & Cream has it all on First Avenue and East 1st Street. I also love

WSWD: What are your wishes for NYC?
Griffith: Less construction on every street, every day, everywhere! I feel like they should do this in sections; there is simply too much construction wherever you go.

City bikers scare me. Why is there no helmet law? They should be in the park only, not on the streets of NYC. The traffic is not in their favor, and people don’t pay attention to bikers. Please create more laws against the turns to protect cyclists.

And why aren’t more people supporting the WNBA? There should be no empty seats at any of the home games. Give the seats away if you have to; these women are talented athletes! OK, maybe if we lowered the hoop so ladies could dunk, it might be more exciting. So there you go. WNBA, are you listening? Lower the hoop!


Photo courtesy of SoulCycle