Alexandra Petri: Your SoulCycle instructor reassures you about where your money is going

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2019, file photo, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross speaks in Davie, Fla. Ross, a billionaire New York investor who is hosting a high-dollar fundraiser for President Donald Trump also has a financial interest in the president’s business empire. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Okay, everyone!

Crank up the resistance on your bikes! Not the anti-Trump kind, the regular kind. Also, do not leave.

Let's get things pumping! I'm sorry. None of this was my idea. You understand that I am just a cog in the wheel of something much larger than myself. Wheels, moving ineluctably forward! Let that image inspire your workout.

Some bad news this week about Stephen Ross, who, to be clear, is a passive investor in our parent group, super passive. Like, if he were on a bike, he'd be way, way in the back, probably not even visible! He's hosting an extremely expensive Trump fundraiser, with tickets up to $250,000 a plate.

People have been saying this feels at odds with our mission and the values we publicly espouse. But is it not, deeply and fundamentally, in line with our mission to feel as though you are moving vaguely forward when in fact you are not progressing at all?

Now give it all you've got, just as our owner would like those attending his fundraiser to do! Feel the sweat trickle down, as he claims prosperity will! Your bike is stationary, as social mobility will soon be!

Close your eyes. Ask yourself: Did you wake up today to be mediocre? Do not ask yourself: Did you wake up today to inadvertently fund President Trump's reelection efforts? The answer to both questions is no, but only one will encourage you to push through this workout.

As for the other, we waste so much of our lives being afraid. Afraid we’re not good enough. Afraid we’re not worthy of love. Afraid that we won’t be on the right side of history if we spend money on anything that even in, like, a really tiny way benefits Trump. Well, when you clip in to this bike, you’re making a promise to yourself that you’re going to overcome those fears. You are good enough, so act like it. You are worthy of love, so go out and find it. You are on the right side of history, so stop worrying and purchase another class pack.

Come on, people. You're good. You are good enough, right now. When I look out at you all, I see so many reusable water bottles! You're part of the solution. We're here in this studio to find it together! You have values. The great thing about values is that investors can use yours to increase their own!

I mean, uh, not that. There's more to it than that. I mean, uh.

Keep pushing! Just a little longer! Shut your eyes long enough and the fundraiser will be over! You can ignore anything painful for just a short bit!

Only four more years! Seconds! Sorry! Wow. That's a scary thought.

No, don't think! Pedal harder! Imagine you are being chased by an enormous wheel, powered by money, money paid by millions of individuals in myriad everyday transactions so that no particular one of them feels really culpable! It's spinning faster! Better take it easy on the resistance if you, personally, are going to escape. Look to the person on your left, then on your right. You're going to escape together. Don't worry about the people the wheel is crushing.

Picture a tiny drop of water. And now that drop is part of a stream, which becomes a river, which flows into an ocean — that drop was your Equinox membership! Maybe you don’t need to cancel it, when you think about how big the ocean is! I don’t know! I’m trapped in this, too! We’re all trapped in this together! Ultimately we are all prisoners of something much larger than ourselves, and all movement is only an illusion!

Pedal faster!

Can a brand possibly align with values, ever? Can a brand possibly ever do anything ethical? In a larger sense isn't this an impossible request of something so immense and cumbersome and entirely powered by money? At least we get matching T-shirts!


All the people who never worked out in their lives are now feeling smug, which feels like the opposite of who should feel smug! Right? Don't let them have that! You need this! I need this!

What was that mantra? The way you ride your bike is the way you live your life: trapped, helplessly, under this corporate system that binds us all in invisible nets! Right!

Everyone shout! Everyone scream!!! Everyone keep screaming!!!!

Great class.

Alexandra Petri | The Washington Post

Follow Alexandra Petri on Twitter, @petridishes.

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