In 2012, I moved back to Manayunk, a place I got to know and love while completing my residency as an optometrist in 2003. I was looking for a fresh start and a cycling studio that I could call home in my new neighborhood. I found that in The Wall. It was a scrappy little studio on one of Manayunk’s side streets. The owner, Julie, greeted me at the door with a smile. The room was small, and the bikes were unique, but what set this little studio apart from everyone else was that there was always a seat for me when I booked my class, and every instructor provided a great workout. I never had to worry about my experience no matter what class I signed up for, and I knew very quickly that I found my happy place.
The Wall became so much more than a workout studio for me. It became my community. My therapy. My safe space. The friendships I found there have lasted more than a decade. I loved it so much that I still came back even after I got married and moved to New Jersey! While The Wall changed over the years — new bikes, new instructors, new locations — its heart has remained the same. It was my personal beacon of hope during the pandemic, and I have been so grateful to have this community in my life for the last 13 years.