Monday, September 16, 2013

You spin me right 'round, baby...

Honestly?  I have no words.
The class was yesterday and I can barely form a coherent thought beyond the fact that I've never been more aware of my butt than I have been for the last twenty-four hours.
This can be taken many different ways out of context, so I guess I should elaborate.
My friend Courtney ( has been on this amazing journey on finding a healthier, active life and ensuring that she's passing along to her kids the value of being active by having fun while doing so (it's pretty darn amazing actually, let her blog do the talking and you'll see!).  She recently got a new gig as a spinning instructor after falling in love with it and yesterday was her first ever official class.  So of COURSE I wanted to be there!
I've been meaning to try a spinning class for a while now.  Actually, going back years and years when I first had a membership at LA Fitness (thinking back to my first high school boyfriend which means quite some time ago) and in order to take a spinning class, you had to come up to the desk to get a pass because there were only so many passes available.  I think the first thing you can do to guarantee that something is popular is to limit it and tell people that they may not get in and that you have to have something special in order to get in.  I don't care if it's to a port-a-potty, but those key words right there always means that people WANT. IN.  
I never actually worked up enough nerve to get a pass (or to really want one that bad) but it was always in the back of my head.  Then I quit the gym and signed up and donated to a couple more and then kind of forgot about it.
Now, let's fast forward to a few years later (okay, that's not really what I was going to say, but Alanis Morrisette took over and that's what came out of my head).........and now I have that song in my head (Hands Clean btw, I had to Google it) . But actually, going along with that, fast forward to quite a few years later and here's Courtney jazzed about spinning.  Either I'm an excellent enablee or Court's just the best kind of enabler, because she's so excited about it that I really want to know what it's all about - like, beyond mere curiosity.  Once she announced that she got the spinning instructor job, I told her I was ALL. IN.
In retrospect, I wish I was the kind of friend who could be supportive using words.  WORDS mean that I don't whimper at the thought of having to sit down.  But I'm jumping ahead...
So here we go...
All smiles before the start of class. 
I am SUCH an ignoramus.
I get there early because I still have that residual "only special people can get bikes" mindset that LA Fitness instilled upon me from a young age.  But in reality, I just want to get there early so I can pick out my bike closest to the door or a garbage can or both.  Whichevs, I just didn't want to have to vomit into my cupped hands and have to stand there awkwardly wondering where I was going to dump it.  A garbage can or an exit were pretty much my backup plans.  I was armed with my Nike+ SportWatch as I remember reading that it could be used for cycling too and I had two bottles of water spiked with a Gu Brew hydrating tablet.  
Before I left, I briefly considered grabbing a towel because I had always seen the hardcore spinners with towels, but then I was like, let's face it, I'm not really going to go that hard that I'm going to need one (famous last words?)
So here I am, I've got my bike all picked out, it's right by a water fountain, garbage can, paper towel dispenser and the door.  Basically, it's your run of the mill sweet spot in a group class setting.  I'm also half an hour early which is cool because I get to hang with Courtney and she gets to help me adjust the bike because I have no idea what the heck anything does.
All set and ready to riiiiide!
Or Cruise as Florida-Georgia Line and Nelly are suggesting I do.
So I'm all nice and set up, stamped and certified ready to go by the instructor herself and I get on and try that baby out.  In my head I'm thinking "Psssh.  This is going to be so easy peasy!" and in actuality, I'm eyeing Courtney's cycling shoes because clearly I need a pair to look like a legit spinner.  But in the meantime, my Skora's will have to do.  Still quite a bit of time to go and I'm pedaling and moving forward and backwards back on the seat trying to find my "groove" let's say.
The class finally starts and there's a good number of people that has shown up for a Sunday at 4 pm and looking out the huge window I can see that it's started kind of raining out and I'm thinking it's a good afternoon to go for a spin.  Let's get this thing going!  Courtney introduces herself and then she says something along the lines of "it's going to feel like we're biking up a mountain." and I'm looking out the window and my head/neck does this super quick 180 version of the Exorcist and I'm like, "what was that now?  Did she just say a friggin' MOUNTAIN?!"
Yeah, she frickin' said mountain and I'm already tired and we're just warming up.  I look down at the knob in front of me and I give it an experimental turn to the left.  He. he. he. That feels much better.  I'm spinning on a cloud right now.  I figured it's my first class, I'm just going to wade in nice and easy. butt kind of hurts.  I've moved forward and backward and I've leaned further forward and rested my elbows on the handles and then sat back with my hands on my hips and I can't seem to find just the right way to sit on this stupid bike.  It kind of hurts.  But no matter, apparently, I'm supposed to dial that knobby thing up to what feels like a seven effort and we're supposed to begin our ascent up this flipping mountain.  

CONFESSION: I whimpered OUT LOUD a total of two times in this class.  Once was when it was time to dig deep and turn that knob thingy and get up that mountain and the other time was when Courtney said we could sit back down on our seats.
Before the class started, a latecomer ended up coming in and taking the ONE and only bike that was behind me.  I was kind of pissed because I didn't really want him having a front row seat of my first spin class.  But about 12 minutes after the class started, I was glad he was there.  At least someone would be able to pick up up and untangle my feet from the bike after I had passed out.  It's all about safety, people.
CONFESSION: I totally caught Courtney's eye 12 minutes into her class and pointed at my watch and mouthed, "How long is this? An HOUR?!?!?!"
I guess I should be a little bit happy that I didn't end up trying to coast through class on my little cloud.  I was able to try and push myself a little bit and got a good workout in.
CONFESSION: Okay, that wasn't really my original plan.  When Courtney first said it was time to turn that resistance knob to get it to where we're feeling REALLY uncomfortable, to the point where we had to get up and pedal to get ourselves up that hill, I thought I would be sneaky and turn the knob the OTHER way so that it would be easier and I would look super awesome pedaling like a superstar fiend up that hill.  YEAH. NO. I don't know if it's because my little legs are so short or if it was because it was so easy with zero resistance, the second I tried to power up that hill, my foot totally came down hard in the pedal and I pretty much slammed my girly bits into that bike seat.  I am 100% sure I went cross-eyed trying not to cry out loud.  Yeah, twist twist twist that resistance.  When it was time to stand up and pedal, I turned that baby so I could barely even turn the pedals.  It would hold me up and away from that stupid, evil seat.
Oh yeah, DISCLAIMER: I mention my girly bits in this entry.
Near the end of the ride, I'm out of breath and I'm sweating and I have to pee and I want to get a paper towel to wipe the sweat out of my eyes, but there's no way I was getting off that bike.  I was too scared to even stop pedaling.  Earlier on, I realized that my SportWatch would not work in an indoor spinning setting and that little screen in front of me was the ONLY thing I had to show for my efforts.  The one time my resistance was too hard that I couldn't pedal, the screen kind of flashed blank at me and I almost died thinking I had lost all my data from the class.  There was NO way that was happening and I was leaving this class with nothing to show but a sore ass and a bra full of pooled sweat.  Hey, whatever, man, you gotta find your motivation where you can!  And numbers and data are mine.

So here I am at the end of my first ride and I'm trying really hard to ignore that my butt bones are weeping at the thought of having to sit in the bicycle seat for another second more when I'm distracted by the fact that the girl in front of me gets off her bike to get a paper towel and her bike is telling her she went over 22 miles! Say whaaaat?!  She went THAT MUCH farther than me!?  I KNEW I should have started pedaling as soon as I had come in!  I had a half hour on everyone!  22 miles! Then I had to let it go because we were supposed to be keeping our RPMs between 70 - 80 or something and clearly, you can see that I was pretty much donezo for the day.
But I made it through my first class and I'm pretty sure I made it through the worst kind of exercise pain I have ever experienced.  Ever.  It was all I could do not to limp, horse-back walk my way out of that class room.
I thought I was saved by the end of class?  So, SO wrong.

Today, I whimpered every time it was time to sit down somewhere.  I'm also pretty sure I lost 10 minutes of my lunch just from slowly trying to get in and out of a car without too much pain on my butt.  I wondered if I needed one of those blow up butt rings that people sit on.  I haven't ruled it out yet.  However, I AM convinced without a shadow of a doubt that bikes or bike seats were made/created by the devil.  I don't even think I'd wish a bicycle seat on my worst enemy.  It's just so wrong.
BUT! (Or should I say BUTT! He. He. He. Whatever, you try being funny when you want to cry real tears because of your butt) besides my dramatic antics and the misery that is currently my derriere right now.  I really liked the cycling class.  It REALLY puts a lot of onus on you to decide what kind of workout you get and it's all about you and your bike.  Nobody else.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I even heard Courtney say that.  To just close our eyes and just ride.  Do whatever it is we needed to do to get that last push in.  To be able to see if we had it in ourselves to turn that knob one more time (which of course I didn't, unless she meant to lower the resistance, but I doubt that's what she meant).  And it's cool.  You can only walk out of there feeling whatever it was that you put into it and that's my kind of workout.
Walk out of there feeling like you didn't get anything out of it?  Chances are you didn't push yourself.  Walk out of there feeling like you just went head to head against a frickin' mountain and won?  Chances are you went all out and you've got pride and endorphins to coast through the rest of the day.  Walk out of there feeling like you want to no longer have anything to do with your butt?  Chances are it was your first spinning class, so simmer down.  But whatevs!  Spinning puts the fate of your own fitness in your hands and I like the honesty in that.
For the longest time, I bought into SO many different fads and gimmicks because it promised me that I would get the body I always wanted for the least amount of work (or none at all!) and they seem to succeed because people totally buy into that.  Because somewhere along the way, the idea took that you don't have to do anything to get things out of life.  And I've slowly been learning that if you really want something, you gotta work for it.  
I have promised to come back next Sunday for round two (hopefully the rest of my body parts are also as willing and able as my mouth is to promise such things) and now I'm not only going to show support for a friend, but also to get what I can out of that class. 
I also liked it that there wasn't a lot of stress or trauma to any joints.  My and the little miss seemed to do okay minus the bouncing around I did at the beginning when I was trying to cheat my way out of resistance.  
I'm hoping that tomorrow feels a lot better than it did today and that I can sit in my chair for an extended period of time without a funny, desperate, miserable look on my face.  It's good to have goals!


AShu93 said...

LOL! That's pretty much the way spinning is, it'll take 3-4 classes to get used to it, but then it won't hurt. Mine was usually numb, so I didn't even know how much it hurt.

Courtney said...

this is AWESOME. that is all.

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