Some people come into our lives just when we need them, and without knowing it change us forever.

I awoke this morning to news that Clare Veronica Walsh, one of my most beloved and inspirational SoulCycle instructors passed away yesterday.

Clare and I were not close personal friends, yet for the too brief time I knew her she made (and continues to make) a huge impact on me. Her smile lit up a room. Words of encouragement and praise from her would make my day.

I first encountered Clare in August of 2010. After walking past the TriBeCa studio every day I had finally decided to take a SoulCycle class. I was terrified as I clipped into my bike for the first time ever. For the next 45 minutes I had the privilege of watching Clare rock out, ride, and dance with so much heart, soul, energy and passion. She pushed her riders to go to the next level. You couldn’t help but rise to the challenge. Clare’s class got me hooked. I went back to SoulCycle the next day, and the next, and the next…

SoulCycle has since become a HUGE part of my life and I have Clare to thank. If that first class with her had not been so incredible I may have never gone back.

This year I had the honor of spinning with Clare on my 30th Birthday. My sweet husband talked to her ahead of time, and Clare was more than happy to make it extra special for me. When she put on “Party in the U.S.A” and said “Happy Birthday Sara” there was no place else I would have rather been.

A few months ago Clare told me she was moving to L.A to open up the WeHo SoulCycle. I was devastated. Her classes had become a part of my week I could not live without, especially her amazing “Saturday Night Dance Parties.” I knew L.A. held great opportunities for her, and it gave Doug and I an excuse to make the trip out west to take her class!

On December 23rd I unknowingly took my last class with Clare. It was the Friday morning before Christmas. I arrived stressed, tired, cranky and strung out. I had a bike front and center so I knew I had to bring it. No phoning it in with Clare. As always, her class lightened my load, cleansed my soul and put a huge smile on my face. As we rode home to “All I Want for Christmas” I caught my smiling face in the mirror. Clare’s amazing passion and energy had once again transformed me.

Clare left this world long before her time.  I am eternally grateful for the little time I got to spend with her. She inspired me to live fully in the moment and with great passion.

Tomorrow and every morning when I clip in I will think of Clare. If I close my eyes I know I will be able to see her dancing in front of me, whipping her hair back and forth.

Clare, for everything you taught me, everything you gave me I owe you a world of gratitude. Rest in peace.


By Sara
  1. Jaimie December 27, 2011

    Beautifully written Sara.

    • Rob G December 27, 2011

      I didnt know Clare but heard about her passing and have become inspired by all the wonderful thoughts shared by her friends and students. I might just take a spinning class after reading all the inspirational comments. I’m in awe over the impact she had on so many lives. Was she involved in an accident or did she fall ill? In any event, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      • Sara December 27, 2011

        Hi Rob. The details of her passing are still unknown. You should take a SoulCyle class! It is an amazing and inspiring experience, and a wonderful community to be a part of.

    • Sara December 27, 2011

      Thank you Jaimie. I am glad so many people share my love for her.

  2. Sara Soto December 27, 2011

    Well said!! I was so, so horribly sad when I heard the news… Soul Cycle will not be the same without her. That being said, I’m glad to have had her in my life for any amount of time. I’ll miss her call to let us know we’re welcome to come into the studio: “Let’s go, babies!!”

  3. tara December 27, 2011

    thanks for sharing. I will forever miss clare too. she changed my life.

  4. Ed Zumar December 28, 2011

    My wife and I loved her class – an inspiration each time we were fortunate to have her as an instructor. I always left her class in awe of her energy and spirit. An incredible loss of a beautiful soul.

  5. Bill Shea December 28, 2011

    Sara – thanks for sharing that. Clare inspired so many people, and she taught me to bring it to every one if her classes.
    I would sit and wait at my computer every Monday at noon, just so I could be one of the first to log in and get a spot at the front of her class.I would only do that for Clare. Clare your energy and passion will surely be missed. Xxxooo

  6. Marcie December 29, 2011

    I am So saddened by this tragic news……..
    I remember Clare working at the desk at w 72nd street. What an inspiration, when she became a master instructor. She is an inspiration, a beautiful girl who will be greatly missed forever……