Spin (315th new thing).
July 1, 2012 § 1 Comment
The only time I really ride a bicycle these days is on beach vacations. There’s something pretty awesome about pedaling away on flat sand or flat roads with an ocean breeze in your face. Plus the view is astounding. The opposite of that is probably riding a stationary bike at the gym. And worse than that is riding it at the gym in a room with eight sweaty dudes while a young fitness instructor hollers at you. Spin Class. On Day Three Hundred Fifteen I participated in this hellish course.
Patrick and I went to the City Club in Buckhead for the speedy cycling class. I was impressed with the upscale facilities and friendly desk staff. We headed into the “spin room” (insert political or textile joke), a narrow band of space with mirrored walls. Stationary bikes lined the walls, each facing inward and to the row across, slightly angled toward the back of the area where presumably the teacher would lead us in an hour of sweat. Patrick and I found two bikes next to each other with matching white towels draped over the handlebars. So classy.
We joined the ten other people on bikes, mostly dudes, which surprised me. I drank some water, Patrick stretched a little, and we waited for the class to begin.
Within a few minutes a bubbly blonde in her early twenties bounced into the room and adjusted the lighting to a dim massage ready glow. Think candlelight without the fire hazard. She took her place at the end of the room and fiddled with the sound system before settling on some Black Eyed Peas bubblegum mix. I glanced at my musically interested boyfriend and suppressed a giggle. Patrick doesn’t really go for Top Forty tunes.
After adjusting everything, Blondie led us in a few warmup stretches as she shouted out a greeting. Then we all hopped on the bikes and began pedaling at Level 8, which she considered an easy warmup. So far so good.
Throughout the class we alternated moves (sit, stand), speeds (jog, sprint), and levels (8-14). I can’t say I kept up well. At the thirty minute mark I was seeing a few stars from the exertion. Each time Blondie hollered at us to raise the level, I kept my cycle steady at level 10. I stood and “sprinted” (or pedaled very fast) with the class, but I resisted upping the resistance to a 16 like others, including Patrick. In fact, that overachiever stayed at the obscene level 16 even as we were all instructed to downgrade back to a 10. He claimed he missed the cue, but secretly I think he was just really into the stationary bike.
By the time the class had ended, and I had contemplated walking out more than twice, we were all thoroughly sweaty and worn out. The instructor led us in some cool down stretches. I felt like I had gone on an epic bike ride, with the sore butt bones to prove it. I can almost see why people enjoy the spin class, with its upbeat tunes and shouts of encouragement, but I prefer something a little less intense. Or at least a form of exercise that doesn’t have me sauntering like a cowboy for the next 24 hours.