Normally I am one of those people who don’t like to read posts and tweets about individual’s exercise regimen. I embrace the concept that unless you fell off the treadmill no one wants to hear about your workout.
However, as a public service to you, my loyal readers, I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you what happens in one of those evil wicked spin classes.
So What Is Spin Class, Really?
To be clear of what I am referring, it’s a class in a gym setting, sometimes called Spin, Spinning or Cycling. The one I attended had sixteen stationary bikes, plus one for the instructor. The room is very dark and the music is very loud. I took a 45 minute class, which can more accurately be described as 45 minutes of hell.
I should probably confess that I haven’t been to the gym in a while, well six years to be exact, but who’s counting. Tuesday I did an hour of “Starter Fitness” where I was the youngest one in the class. I’m pushing half way to 100, so that’s quite a visual I just gave you about that aerobics class. Yesterday I spent an hour on various pieces of cardio equipment and then today was 45 minutes of hell. The brochure called it Beginning Spin. That class is misnamed.
I went with my teen daughters. None of us have ever tried it before. The Dominatrix, I mean instructor, was very helpful and showed us what settings to put our bike handle bars, seat and gears on plus how to put our feet in the little stirrups. (I had experience with stirrups, the girls haven’t yet!). Then the lights went down, the music went up and it was show time.
This Seat Is Not Meant For An “Normal Sized” Butt
I was fine for the first minute or two as we were warming up. Not sure how we were supposed to “relax your shoulders” when it took every muscle in my upper body to hold me up on that hard, Barbie sized seat, that was clearly made for a five year old. Then the Drill Sergeant had the audacity to tell us to stand up and pedal. At least my lady parts could have a brief reprieve from that invasive seat.
Oh get this; the seat is referred to as a saddle. I’ve been on a horse before and I’m here to tell you that hard, black apparatus was about the size of my fist; it was not a saddle. It was a Polly Pocket intrusive protrusion.
So standing up, ah, relief for the first four or five seconds until I realized that my out of shape two legs were responsible for not only continually pedaling but holding up my entire body weight. Then the Dungeon Master informed us that if we were having a hard time holding our body weight, to increase the gears so that it would be harder to pedal. Ah huh. Got it. If you’re struggling, make it harder. No problem.
My Gams Were On Fire!
There was no way I was going to be able to continue to pedal an entire minute while standing. I put my butt back down on that tennis ball sized seat. Pfeww, legs no longer on fire … because that fire has been transferred back to my lady bits! Are you kidding me! I was afraid to look over at my daughters. The next who knows how long was somewhat of a blur as I came in and out of silent cursing and Lamaze breathing.
At one point I think I started to hyperventilate. I didn’t have a paper bag to breathe into though, so I believe it was at that point I started to pray that I would not pass out and fall off the bike. I’m pretty sure there were some veteran, hard core, Spinners behind us. I didn’t want to look like a total buffoon – a partial one would suffice. Besides, if I did have a paper bag I’m certain I would have been sitting on it to feign padding.
I remember looking at the timer that showed I was 17 minutes into the 45 minutes of hell. I couldn’t even do the math to calculate how much longer I had to endure the torture but knew it was a long, long, very long time away.
One of my daughters somehow knocked her water bottle off her bike which caused me to look in her direction. Bad move. She was practically in tears. The mom in me wanted to go scoop her up and tell her to just stop or somehow make it better for her. Of course that would have embarrassed her.
I had to look away. It was killing me seeing how much she was being tortured as well. She was stationed two bikes over from me and the music was blaring so I couldn’t hear her but could see that she was mouthing, “My butt hurts!” My own nether region was an inferno so I could feel her pain – literally. Oh, oh, Dragon Lady is talking again. Time to stand up again, faster, harder, up, down, down up, faster, harder… oh my Lord, my Heavenly Father, SAVE ME!
I Was Sweating Like A Big Dog
Breathe in through the nose, breathe out through the mouth. Or is it the other way around? Huffing and puffing, legs on fire, arms like noodles, sitting on hot coals…
Just then the Heavens opened up and an angel spoke. She said, “You’re doing great! Ladies, (she was talking to us) how are you doing? Are you okay? You’re doing great; only two more hills and we are done. Let’s finish strong. You can do it!” You got it babe.
I pedaled like I’ve never pedaled before. I stood, I sat, and I ran on that bike and I went like the wind. Harder faster; faster harder; more, more more. Don’t stop. Oh keep going. Yes! Yes! Yes! Until finally I reach peak performance. Halleluja! Haaaaaa-llel-uuuuu-ja! And then it was over. Every muscle in my body relaxed while my body still trembled and I tried to catch my breath. But was it really over?
…Not quite. After a brief cool down and stretching while perched atop our Angry Bird sized saddles, we were instructed to dismount and then place one leg on top of the handle bars. On top! Are you kidding me? As I was internally thinking, “Oh hell to the no” my thoughts were interrupted as my two, not too small gams prit-near buckled under me.
I Looked Like A Drunken Sailor
I wobbled around like a baby giraffe groping to find that micro sized seat that would serve as a life preserver to keep me from tumbling to the floor like a pile of pudding. It was nice of the She-Devil to point out to the rest of the class that the old lady was noodle legs. At least I made my daughters laugh.
As I exited the class, I resembled a ten month old toddler just learning to walk. Girls were still laughing though. Somehow I made it down two flights of stairs without needing to slide down the banister and then drove home.
But don’t let this scare you. Because you know what? Now that it’s been a few hours, I’ve cooled down and my limbs have stopped quivering, I feel great! I seriously can’t wait to go again. The beginner class is only held twice a week at my local gym. I sure hope that doesn’t mean because it’ll take four days to recuperate. I guess the true test will be how I feel tomorrow.
Do The Evil Spin AGAIN??
There are Spin classes available every day, just not beginning ones. I think I need to get my sea legs before I attempt to play with the big kids. In all seriousness, the instructor, Kathie was fabulous. She was adorable, very encouraging and made the class fun. Okay, not quite fun for us yet, but I can envision it in the near future. And it was a heck of a total body workout. I can see how people get addicted to it.
One of my daughters decided she would rather swim laps in the pool than to ever do that again. I think the other one may try it with me again. I just need to get some padded bike shorts or build up callouses or something. I don’t know how veteran bikers sit on those bricks they call saddles.
I hope this Warning has been helpful to you. And now I think I better go soak in the tub and try to mitigate rigor from setting in.