Taking a New Spin in Zurich at Sparkcyle
“You deserve the best,” Tilly the spin instructor’s raspy guttural voice vibrated somewhere inside my disbelieving expat mom body and brain. The words were precisely what I needed to hear. I wanted to write them down, but I did my best to exhale while attempting to absorb her mantra.
“You deserve the best,” she repeated, once, twice, three times. Really? I thought.
My sweaty limbs relaxed, and I finally exhaled for real for what felt like the first time all week.
I was at Sparkcycle, a new spin gym located on Stockerstrasse in downtown Zurich. My morning had started with one child falling apart leading to the other two unwinding. Lunch boxes flew, coats got confused and some unkind words were unfortunately exchanged. I’d tried my best to piece myself and the children back together and ignore the wreath that fell from the front door as we slammed it, racing to catch the bus. I’d run, broken hand flailing, with three kids trailing behind. At school, I’d waved goodbye to my tangled young crew, feeling like a complete mom mess, and then caught a tram with another mom to meet more moms downtown. They all seemed to believe that Sparkcycle would be a good way to release some steam.
And oh, how right they were.
“Welcome!” two women proclaimed as we entered a clean, modern slightly industrial looking space. The women greeted us with a curious relaxed vibe. They did not appear to be wondering if we had biked a centennial lately. They did not look at our outfits to determine if we would fit-in. They simply treated us like we were meant to be there. Having attended numerous gyms in California, New York, and Chicago— this relaxed attitude my favorite part about this gym.
I had purchased a special introductory package online for merely 60 francs that allows me to try a one-hour class three times over a two-week period. Pretty good deal! The lockers and showers were clean, and there were even nice white towels.
The spin room was moody and pleasingly dark, so I couldn’t actually see the bags beneath my eyes. Tilly helped us arrange ourselves, click-in to our bike pedals, twist our resistance thingies and (if we didn’t already know) figure out how to do the spinning thing. No one was an outsider at this gym.
She lit a candle, and the beat began to pulse through our calves, our feet, our arms even. Back and forth, up and down, fast and slow we spun. Whether a super spinner or a first-timer, it was hard to mess-up at this place. Though I was mostly one-handed (because of my cast,) I was easily able to follow Tilly’s lead in a non self-conscious, highly motivating environment.
Just to be clear— I workout daily biking, running, swimming or sometimes kick-boxing, but Tilly’s workout kicked my butt. The pumping music, the candlelight, and the totally motivating vibe covered me in sweat, clearing my inner slate, so I could start the day again. No backpacks launching. No mad running for a late bus. Just spinning.
After the class ended, I grabbed my phone to snap a photo of our group. I wanted to share my fantastic experience at Sparkcycle. Tilly stopped me. “No cell phones allowed in the cycle room. I like to keep this place unplugged,” she explained.
“I want to take a photo because I need to write about this,” I said, hoping that other moms, expats or anyone really in Zurich who needs this place will get the chance to escape for an hour (or more!) like I did today.
“You deserve the best,” I kept remembering. “Everyone deserves the best.”
Where: Stockerstrasse 38, Zurich
Please visit the Sparkcycle website here.
Article and group photo by Amy Aves Challenger.
Amy Aves Challenger is an American expat and writer of essays, poetry, and and a novel forthcoming. She leads creative writing workshops in Zurich. Visit Amy’s website here.
Articles Which May Interest You