My first Spin Class…
My daughter Jane has been asking me to take a Spin Class with her for years.
I’ve been resisting for years.
My images of Spin Class are Jane and my son-in-law Matthew (my daughter Audrey’s husband) – yes, these two Spin together – returning from early morning Spin Classes beet red, dripping in sweat, carrying their clip-in shoes and soaking wet towels, chatting about the intense work-out.
I prefer to just hop on my lime-green Cannondale and go on my own outdoor Spin. My Cannondale has taken me on great adventures, including lovely Bike Path rides to sprint-triathlons to the Providence Amica Half Ironman in July 2010, where I placed 1st in my Age-Group. Ha! Because of the 2 other entrants in my age-group, one entrant didn’t show up and one didn’t finish the race in the allotted 8.50 hours…
That’s OK. I’ll take it and the trophy, too!
I’m a one-gal alone outdoor Spin Class.
Until last night.
I let Jane take me to a Spin Class at our local YMCA.
It’s as easy as the proverbial riding a bike?
No freakin’ way.
I didn’t have a towel to wipe the gallons of sweat I’d be sweating.
I didn’t have a water bottle to replenish the gallons of water I’d be losing.
Thank goodness Jane brought these things for me. Love that girl.
I don’t have clip-on shoes. Been there. Tried them. Almost killed myself. Definitely humiliated myself.
So I had to use the pedal cages on my Spin Bike. Yep. The only one in the class. A class of 17 spinners WHO ALL KNEW HOW TO DO THIS THING perfectly and magnificently, talking and laughing and adjusting their clip-ons and gears and saddles and knowing each other like a class of happy 4th graders where you’re the new girl in town.
I intermittently wanted to cry, vomit or quit while I was ahead (which means I hadn’t yet stepped an un-clipped foot in the room.)
OH, the ROOM. Three walls of gigunda mirrors, floor-to-ceiling, of course. Nice. This meant that I couldn’t hide on my bike in the back because anyone and everyone can see you in the reflection as they look ahead.
I was saying to myself WHO’S GONNA LOOK AT YOU ANYWAY AND WHO EVEN KNOWS YOU EXCEPT JANE AND WHO EVEN CARES IF YOU ARE 3 SECONDS FROM THE ULTIMATE HUMILIATION?
Yep. This is where our instructor came along.
I KNOW HIM. IT’S BOB. Audrey and Jane’s first, most awesome, most wonderful, most incredible swim coach from, oh… when Jane was 6 and Audrey was 8 and who knows my family and still coaches swimming and knows my grandkids and always cheers them on even though he’s not their coach and now will know that my kids and grandkids didn’t get one lick of athletic ability from me.
I looked at Jane with both ultimate fear. And daggers. Gigunda daggers, if you want to know.
Bob was kind enough to adjust my saddle, my pedals, the position of the bike – which I now must remember as E6 – and tighten the cages around my sneakers. Like I was 4 years old. Oh, sh#@ yeah. Then he explained the RPM’s and the positions: Saddle, 2nd and 3rd.
WHAT?! I have to STAND UP in 2nd and 3rd. Bob smiled and told me to DO MY BEST.
Well, my best ain’t gonna be pretty.
Then Bob dimmed the lights. That part was very good, because even with the 2,000,000 square feet of ultimate mirrors, I was this much disguised.
Bob has a beautiful deep voice (he’s also a musician and teacher) and began the music while calling out instructions.
I looked at the clock. It was 6:00 pm. OK. This isn’t so bad after all.
My second of complacency lasted for, oh… one second. I was in the saddle and soon in 2nd position, then in 3rd position. My quads were screaming. I was trying to concentrate on the songs and the lyrics in the darkness while pedaling and singing under my breath through the screaming in my brain and quads. OK. I like Billy Joel…
We didn’t start the fire
MY QUADS ARE BURNING
Since THE WHEELS ARE turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it AND I’M TRYING TO FIGHT IT.
I like Jennifer Lopez…
Live your life and OH CRAP I’M FALLING on the floor
SPIN the night away
Grab somebody, drink a little more
Tonight I’M gon’ be it on the floor
YEP. Tonight I’M gon’ be it on the floor.
Then several more songs that I was in too much pain to even recognize.
I looked at the clock again ‘cuz it must be 7:00.
It was, like… 6:02.
Bob shouted out HILLS or JUMPS and quickly called SADDLE. 2ND. 3RD.
I AM GOING TO PUKE.
At one point, my right foot slipped from the cage on “a HILL” and Bob had to come rescue me, tightening my cage around my sneaker again. You know, ‘cuz I’m 4 years old.
I tried my damnedest to NOT look at the clock. The spinners around me were in their zones, their happy places. I was in Spin Hell.
Miraculously, the clock moved to 6:30. That’s when I was able to talk myself into that Half-Finished mindset. That’s when I finally figured out how to accurately use my gears. That’s when I began to have fun.
Rather, I thought of my 9 grandkids and all the things they try or are encouraged to challenge themselves with. I thought of being on my 56-mile Half-Iron bike ride. I thought of how lucky I am to be here, in this room of mirrors, with my beautiful daughter who WANTS me here with her.
I basically thought F-this. I get off the bike or stay on. I get my ass in the saddle and off the saddle into 2nd and 3rd or not. And if not, I’ll just stay in the saddle for awhile and do my best to stay at 90 RPM’s.
I must say that I DO NOT remember any of the songs on the last 55 minutes. I just remember getting through it alive.
Then it was 7:00.
A nice warm-down. Some stretching. Words of encouragement from Bob.
Leaning on a shelf in the Ladies Room so I wouldn’t fall down…
Crawling to my car.
Jane asking me if I’d do it again.