Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My First Spin Class

Many apologies for the long absence! I traveled to Philadelphia for my cousin's wedding from Thursday to Sunday and did not have the time, or should I say, I did not make the time to write!

So, backing up here. Last week I took my first spin class!

Now, I first heard of spinning 15 years ago and was always interested but never took a class. Then when I met and dated the Lady of London I would go to the gym with her while she taught her spin class. I think I was too intimidated to take her class because I was afraid of not keeping up with the rest of the group. One of my friends loved his spin class, while another said it is too awkward for tall people like us. Then there was that story on the Post about one guy in a spin class was so angry with the noise another guy was making that he picked him up and slammed him to the ground. Reading about this saga both guys sounded like such jackasses - another excuse to not try out spin class. So with all of these mind-made impediments I kept skirting the spin class. Then, last week I went to the gym after work and hopped on the bike for 10 minutes for a warm-up and then went to lift some weights which is next to the spin studio. Well, a class was about to start and without thinking I walked in and told the instructor that this was my first time. I requested a spin bike in the far back of the studio and the instructor made sure the seat was the appropriate height and told me what his commands mean.

OK, and we are off!

I was now in a darkened studio on a spin bike and incredibly fit people, mostly women, file in and get on the bike. Of 22 people in the room I was 1 of 3 men. I suddenly started to get really nervous. I have felt this peculiar anxiousness only twice before: once while standing outside the locker room before my first High School football game and watching a team significantly bigger than us walk onto the field, and the other time in college minutes before my first rugby game when our coach said something startling and all-too-true, "For most of you, in addition to playing your first rugby game, this is also the first rugby game you have ever seen live." Now, although it was to be just me and my bike (as opposed to a full contact sport against others), I was still very anxious, as silly as that sounds. I just did not know what to expect, and my greatest fear was not keeping up with the class.
We started out at a good pace, but then I realized that I was already 10 minutes in on my bike riding from before! The music was pumping, and now we are standing up on the bikes pedaling madly. The sweat was pouring out of me like blood was spurting out of Eli Manning Monday night...and it was only 15 minutes in! The whole purpose of spin class is a steady climb up an imaginary hill using increasing resistance on the wheel and punctuated by sudden prolonged bursts of pedaling.

After one particularly long burst of energy the instructor calls for a water break as we continue to pedal...water? What water? I was supposed to bring water? Looking around I saw that every single person has a big ice-cold bottle of water. I turned into that kid with his nose pressed up against the ice cream parlor, with no money in his pockets, salivating at the other kids inside enjoying their ice cream cones. Water, water everywhere and not a drop (for me) to drink! Damn. I really wish I knew that water was a part of this program! Oh, and towels. Everyone had multiple towels to wipe down their arms, legs, face, handle bars...and me with my one tiny dish towel sweating like coal shoveler on a steam ship and hallucinating from thirst. The rest of the class did not seem to be panting as much as I was as their trim bodies were effortlessly wheeling with the spin bike at a ferocious pace, and their little blond ponytails dance from side to side...wait, ahem, let's stop it right there! It was pretty gruelling since I could spy the clock in the weight room and the minutes slowly, maddeningly so, crawled forward.

But...I did it! The full hour! It was exhausting, and I never sweat more in my life. Did I like it? Well, I really love the feeling after a hard work-out, and the spin class was rough on my leg muscles but easy on my knees. Yeah, I will definitely do it again. I love boxing more, but the spin class had me all wobbly and soaked to the bone afterwards and that was a great feeling. And I got over my fear of spinning.


Vegan Epicurean said...

Yay for your first spin class! Glad you enjoyed it.


Anonymous said...

spinning is my favorite! most effective workout in the shortest time.
you have to try YAS when you're on the west coast. it's pretty awesome.

erin m