A Day of Soul


The sun is just coming up as your alarm clock goes off. You hesitate over the temptress snooze button, but you overcome your need for sleep. You don’t need sleep; humans need sleep, but you are not human. You are a rooster. No, correction: you are a capital-B Badass rooster. A Badass rooster whose daily routine begins by checking Instagram, which is rudely interrupted by a text from Jess.

“See you at spin class?” it inquires.

“What do you mean by spin class,” you joke, “I thought we were going to SoulCycle.”

You quickly fix up some avo toast to-go, grab your water bottle and head out the door – you want to be early enough to get one of the lockers with the phone charger in it, even though your phone is fully charged. They are just too cool to pass up. Your uber pulls up in front of the familiar clean, crisp nirvana with comforting neon lights.

Entering the dark abyss of class, you pull your pony tight, take a deep breath and clip in. The next 45 minutes consist of equal parts workout, dance party, meditation and therapy. You tap it back while doing push-ups and amaze yourself with your ability to multi-task. You oblige the divine instructor and bestow the sacrificial sweat upon her throne.

Your tribe bonds together through the sick beats in the new Kygo song. Sure, you never physically move from your place on the stationary bike, but your spirit is uplifted and untouchable. You know all, you see all (except you don’t really, because it is very, very dark). You are beautiful (even though your top knot fell out). You are strong (even though one-pound weights feel heavy). You are a ninja warrior jackalope with killer triceps chiseled by baby weights – you can do anything.

And just as quickly as it begun, it ends. You take a moment to stretch out your legs and are surprised to find that they did not somehow fall off of your body. You and Jess throw each other a side glance and knowing smile. We survived.

The instructor, Veatrix, floats past you in the hallway, her hair down like a lion’s mane (a capital-B Badass lion’s mane). She looks like she just got out of a Shape Magazine cover photo shoot. “UGH, I love her! I don’t know how she does it,” Jess coos.

You and Jess head to your lockers while completing a full analysis of the differences, pros and cons of Veatrix’s class versus Thameous’s class (who teaches on Tuesdays), but the results are inconclusive – both have their own unique style which keeps you coming back for more tribe time. The only definitive conclusion you can make is that you need to get to the nearest shower as soon as possible.

The sweat sesh might be over, but the Day of Soul has just begun. Beyoncé is not just a musical artist; Pokémon GO is not just a game; SoulCycle is not just a class.

The lessons learned in your SoulCycle therapy session exude it’s walls – today, you live and breathe it.

You bop to the beat of your own rhythm (what the heck was the name of that last song on the playlist this morning? The one that sounded like inspiration set on fire?). You are ready to take on the day.

You look around the L train and see the anxiety-inducing packed car in a different light. These people are not so bad; no, they are part of your tribe. Maybe you’re dehydrated and hallucinating, but you are pretty sure they are also bopping to the beat of the same rhythm. You take an extra sip of water for good measure.

Today, you know sometimes you just have to close your eyes and take a beat, or maybe just turn off the lights for a sec and have a moment to yourself.

Today, you have learned how to let go and not sweat the small stuff (plus, you’re pretty sure there’s not enough sweat left in your body for that).

Today, you can climb mountains, especially the tough ones that tend to pop up in the middle of the work day at the most inconvenient times. It’s just a mountain; this is nothing compared to the one you (sort of, not really) rode up this morning on that stationary bike.

You turn your pain into strength. You are not a victim of your own routine. You are going to kick this day’s ass. And you will, and you do, and you’ll do it all again tomorrow, you beautiful vibrant rooster/jackalope/fox/unicorn/soul.

Happiness Think & Feel

About Cass Gunderson

Cass hails from the southwest suburbs as a proud White Sox fan and a graduate of University of Illinois. By day, Cass is a full-time student at the University of Chicago's Booth Graduate Business School. Before deciding to throw away all her money to go back to school, Cass worked for a private equity firm that buys technology companies. Raised as the youngest in a family of older brothers, Cass grew up a tomboy and remains active in sports. To her mother’s satisfaction, Cass learned how to embrace her feminine side in college and has developed an interest for fitness activities that require spandex as opposed to knee-length basketball shorts. In her spare time, she runs a lot because it is cheaper than paying for real therapy. Cass has completed four marathons and one ultramarathon (she claims she'll never do this to herself again, but that's TBD). She can still be found on the basketball courts in Lincoln Park wearing knee-length basketball shorts.