I used to be so addicted to SoulCycle, I called it “spinagogue.” At first I refused to go, fearing my friends were morphing into Branch Davidians, taking subways to exerstalk their favorite instructors in BeDazzled-logo tank tops. I also didn’t want to try it because I don’t like working out and also secretly think it makes you fat; you don’t see the lithe, lipsticked women of Paris huffing and puffing—whenever I had a workout phase, I chowed like a sumo after.

But my friends prevailed, and while I barely got through the first class, which had the humidity of Singapore in monsoon season, the vibe and the endorphins made me return. Again and again and again, to the point where I’d get psyched when the new gear “dropped.” The loud music and cheering crowd rooting each other on didn’t just tone my ass but also my mind. If the brain is a muscle, the jolt of positivity and bike dancing left my noggin stretched and toned, from both the physical exercise and the human connection.