Pick a gym, and there is likely a spin class on the schedule. The room is hard to miss with row after row of stationary bicycles only inches apart with one leader of the pack at the head facing the other bikes for a showdown.
In almost every case the front wall is lined with mirrors, because who wouldn’t be encouraged to stay for the hour long class after you see yourself giggling all over the place, trying to stay in sync with the instructor and most importantly not fall off the bike.
If you’re lucky there are huge fans around the room to give that “whooshing down the mountain” tucked away in that stuffy gym. Now pray to the spin class gods that the huge “let’s pretend we’re on a mountain” fan has power, and your instructor has the ability and wherewithal to also turn them on! And if you are super duper lucky, while she’s up, she’ll also turn out the lights! Then my dear lovelies, you have a proper spin class.
Arrive approximately 10 minutes early because you’ll need that time to adjust your bike and make sure that the seat is lined up perfectly so you won’t be able to pee without crying for the next five days.
So you push through spin class literally riding anywhere from 15-20 miles depending on cadence and speed. But it’s not just a ride, the instructor who is spinning up front is yelling at you to do things with your body that are simply not natural. Squats on a bike, what? Oh yeah, squats on a bike and you want to die!
Up! Over! Down!...repeat…Up! Over! Down!...repeat…again and again and again. It’s a good thing the volume of the music is turned up as loud as possible so that my screaming doesn’t distract the other class members.
Seated climb until you think you are about to follow the light and then relief, if that is possible, when you take it to a standing climb. Recover, then power sprint…maybe I crossed over, I can’t feel my legs and I’m pretty sure we, no the entire gym is enjoying a little musical throwback to M.C. Hammer.
You watch the clock as little as possible, but the thrill of making it past the half-way mark might feel similar to finally getting my degree. Besides, the humiliation of walking out is far too much for my pride to go through, I will stay if I die here!
Time to hover…crap! Not sitting, not standing, but hovering right over the seat inches from the painful relief of my buttocks on the seat, my legs are on fire! Of course the drill sergeant wants me to pump up my resistance as high as I can handle it and literally it feels like there are enormous gnomes made of concrete sitting on my thighs trying to stop me from lifting my legs another centimeter!
Don’t forget the isolation. What is that? Well, have you ever ridden a bike where only your legs moved? Try it. You will want to die. Unimaginable pain…but oh so good!
I can’t help but doubt the instructor as she starts to slow the pace a little and we begin our cool down. She turned the music down so we could hear her invite us to the “Butts & Guts” class she will be teaching next door directly following our spin class. Is she nuts?! I don’t know if I will be able to get off my bike, much less walk to my car. The idea of taking a butts & guts class makes me want to cry. 10 minutes later class was over and I was still breathing, miracles do happen!
It’s been two days and although I do feel a little less pain in some areas, not so much in others! There was a time when 3 or 4 spin classes a week was the norm, I think I can get back to that.
Now I need to check the schedule and plan my next spin class…bring on the pain!