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Owner Maria Disla Talks All Things Fitness

Written By: Matthew J. Black
Photographed By: Grey Lockwood

Expert: Maria Disla
Credentials: Owner, Pure Indoor Cycling

Pure Indoor Cycling in downtown San Diego opened its doors out of pure necessity from its owner, Maria Disla.  It was easy for her to identify that downtown lacks a spin studio, and since that’s her exercise of choice she solved the issue.

Other factors influenced her as well. Maria experienced a premature health scare while working her previous job at a start-up company in New York City. After reevaluating her life and career, and relocating to sunny San Diego, she built an experience based on her philosophies that now pour into every class at Pure Indoor Cycling. While sitting down with her, this is what she had to say.

Q: When did you decide that you were going to open your own indoor cycling gym?

Maria Disla: Two years ago I moved to San Diego. I moved in downtown and there were no spin studios. There are some spin classes in other gyms, but no specific spin studio.

Q: Your spin classes are a sensory feast. What’s it like to ride during one of your classes?

MD: Riding in a class at Pure is like having that expectation that you’re going to workout and push yourself, but giving yourself the time to enjoy it. We want the experience to be rewarding. You forget that you’re working out because it’s like there’s a party going on. If you can forget you’re working out while you’re working out then that’s a win win.

During classes we also have our Pure Moment: The instructor puts it on you, and you choose what you do. You can try something new or reflect on something that’s on your mind. We’re so caught up in the outside world and all that’s going on that we forget to live in the moment. It’s so nice to give that time to yourself. If I can make you cry during your Pure Moment then I’ve done my job. You lose yourself in the full experience. At the end of 45 minutes people are rarely aware of how much time has passed.

Q: How is the cycling theater able to meet the needs of every rider?

MD: The group atmosphere while riding in unison makes you feel like you’re doing something bigger. I don’t like working out by myself because I think about other things and I get distracted. But here, I’m with everyone and we let it go, and escape together, and work toward an individual goal together.

Q: What will riders go through mentally as they experience one of your classes?

MD: Every class goes through how to fit your bike to you, and hand movements on the bars. Proper riding form is important, so we help the community and leave people with this ability. We want to set you up for success. You’re being told a story, and you’re part of the story throughout the ride. Like a story, the ride has a beginning, middle and end. We set the stage, and you go through trials and tribulations. Then you’re almost at your limit, and come down from that and have some sort of resolution, so that you feel like you accomplished something challenging.

Q: You’re located right in the heart of downtown. How do you feel Pure makes a connection with that community?

MD: Part of the concept of the studio is based on the fast-paced, want things done yesterday attitude. The studio is very self-serving. You check yourself in, grab your shoes, and your bike is already reserved. A lot of people come in on their lunch break and don’t have time for all these things you usually have to do, so you can be in and out in 45 minutes and on with your day. I love maximum efficiency.

Q: How important is it for you that everyone needs to make an effort to stay fit and live a healthy life?

MD: A big reason why I started a studio is because in my previous job—I was working really long hours and travelled four days a week. I actually developed a heart condition in my mid-20’s. It was a wake-up call to me. It put things in perspective. I asked, ‘Is this what I want to do? Is this how I want to live; with a job that hurts my body?’ I wanted to give myself the time that everyone needs to find that thing in their life that keeps you fit and healthy. Fitness is not just about outward appearance, it’s about how it makes me feel and how it makes me happy.

Q: What’s next for Pure Indoor Cycling?

MD: Pure is a cycling studio, and we’re all about indoor cycling, but we’d also like to add shape, strengthening and conditioning training. Spin was missing in downtown San Diego, and we got that here, so we’re looking to add things that are complementary to cycling. Strengthening and conditioning fit that very well.

Pure Indoor Cycling
401 W A St, Ste 140
San Diego, CA 92101
619.363.4177