Connell Sanders: Rush Cycle studio a fun fast track to fitness – Worcester Mag

I can’t imagine having a baby in the wintertime. The world must feel so small. At 2 months old, my little girl has spent nearly every day of her life outside. She loves the ocean. Her best naps come with a gentle swing in our backyard hammock. Nothing settles her faster than taking the dog for a walk, snuggled up against me in her carrier. In my experience, the only downside of this time of year is the revealing nature of a summer wardrobe. My tops fit a little bit tighter and my shorts fall a little bit shorter than they used to.
Vulnerabilities aside, when my daughter is hungry, my modesty disappears faster than Abbie Hoffman jumping bail. Yesterday, I fed her in the middle of Green Street. Who has time for inhibitions when a baby is crying? 
People have been surprisingly polite about the 15 pounds that stayed with me after giving birth. The sorority of motherhood continues to boost my self-confidence wherever I go. Societal expectation be damned.
I’m in no hurry to ditch the baby weight. But, before pregnancy, fitness was a big part of my social life. I spent the bulk of last summer paddle boarding and training for a half marathon with my pals. Neither seems feasible with a newborn. 
When a friend of mine opened a new spin studio in nearby Hudson, I decided it was just the push I needed to get back into a healthy routine and get out of the house. My husband made me promise not to push myself too hard. “We can’t have you on the injured list,” he said, balancing an infant on one arm and a basket of dirty laundry on the other as he ushered me out the door. I spent the whole twenty-minute drive feeling guilty. 
The Rush Cycle  studio looked more like a nightclub than a fitness club. It made me realize what a snoozefest my previous spin experiences had been. During the first song, our instructor Lisa bellowed, “In this class, you are not a Michelle — you are not a Kelly— YOU ARE A BEYONCE.”
Candles flickered at the front of the dark room and I caught my reflection in the mirror. I could tell I would need a few more classes before nailing the choreography, but I liked what I saw. It felt good to work up a sweat. More importantly, I felt strong. 
Lisa made it easy to go at my own pace. For every song, she gave us a resistance range, encouraging riders to personalize the experience based on their own needs. I did my best to move to the beat. 
Toward the end of class, just as my endurance was waning, the first few bars of a Taylor Swift anthem played and a fresh wave of energy surged through me. I could sense that a masterful playlist was a significant element of any Rush ride. I had noticed a number of themed sessions on the schedule including a boy band ride, a Disney ride, and even a Warped Tour ride for recovering emo kids. “A Swiftie ride didn’t seem out of the question,” I thought, pedaling harder. 
The high-intensity workout lasted forty-five minutes. On my way out the door, a member of the Rush team handed me a refreshing lavender-scented towel to mop my brow. That’s when I knew they had me. I drove home guilt-free. “What’s good for me is good for the baby,” I told myself. For the first time in months, I felt like a Beyoncé. 
Rush Cycle is located at Highland Commons in Hudson. Your first class is free. Message me on Instagram (@sarah_connell) to tell me how it goes.


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